I have prayed this scripture over Tyler for years; praying that he would be like David, a warrior for God’s glory, a shepherd, a leader, a man after God’s own heart, “I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have exalted a young man from among the people.” It is now time for me to watch from a little further away but with my knees still bent in prayer, for Tyler to be the man God has raised him up to be. Look out Texas, this young man is heading your way!
As I said with the other students: pray for them, write to them, send them care packages and pray for their parents (we are not ok)!
I was born in Texas; however, when I turned eight, my family moved as missionaries to Honduras. It was there that I spent the next ten years of my life learning the intricacies of a very different culture. This was incredibly difficult in a way that is not describable in words; it is something you must experience. Without a doubt, I would not have been able to transition without God working in my life. The first few years I was angry at God, therefore, those first few years were some of the loneliest, most miserable years of my life. I was bitter and angry at everyone for making me leave what I knew behind. This continued until I eventually started to seek God again. He changed me, took away the pain that I had, and made it into something better.
God Helped Me Love the People Around Me
As I saw tragedy in Honduras, God helped me love the people around me. For example, we were hit by two back-to-back hurricanes this year. During the hurricanes the electricity was sporadic at best, water lines were broken, communication was halted, and all major roads in and out of Gracias were destroyed. Seeing all this destruction, and being hopeless to help, changed me. My dad was in the US at a speaking engagement when the second, and most destructive hurricane hit, which made things even more worrisome as I needed to help my mom care for everything.
Nonetheless, an experience like this changes you, seeing all the death and destruction, all the pain and fear, and being hopeless to help. There is a saying that my father has, and it is one of my favorite phrases. It is, “Life can make you bitter, or it can make you better.” That is the attitude you must have if you want to come back from something like this and not be utterly broken. So that is what I did. I focused on what I could do to help instead of how it hurt. Our ministry raised thousands of dollars and spent many hours bagging and moving food to those in need. We also worked to rebuild houses, repair roofs, and help displaced families relocate.
I Have Learned
Through all this, we were changed. There is no walking away unscathed. My perspective has grown, and I have learned to appreciate what I have and what I can do to help. Now it is not a question of “Is there is something to do?” but “will I be willing to do it?” Those are the types of lessons that can not be taught in a classroom but must be learned through experiencing life, and despite all that has happened, I am glad that I was able to learn such a rare and valuable lesson.
The difficulties and experiences with Christ and in life, affected how I grew up. They have affected my values and my priorities, and they have changed the way that I view the world. Now it is all about how I allow God to work in my life.