Airplane Reflections

I love flying in planes. Something about it is so therapeutic, giving me a chance to simply sit back and reflect. Right now it is Christmas day and I am flying with my family up to Wisconsin to visit my grandparents. Wisconsin is fun because it’s cold and filled with cheese (I mean, what’s better than that?!). The past month I wrote about self-image and knowing the worth we all have in Christ. Last week my post was called, So Worth Loving, which was the climax of the series (check it out if you haven’t yet). This week I want to conclude this idea, giving the reasons why I wrote about this topic and share some of my heart with you. Reflecting is a word which here means looking back on where I’ve come from to see how God has moved in all things. That’s the truth in it, in all things that happen in our lives, God has orchestrated that to cultivate us into stronger people. We are all strong people. We have all been through some of the toughest times in life, and we have made it through these chaotic storms. Each of our lives is a story. Our story is a picture of what we have been through and where we are headed. The thing we need to remember is that the creator of the universe is in every piece of our story. We have been made in his image and he has given us the ability to write our stories because of that.

The whole month I have put this verse before each post:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:27

I have done this on purpose because we all need this encouragement, a life giving truth we can rely on. This has been an encouragement in my own life, especially when questioning my purpose on this earth. The question of why we are here has plagued all of us in our lives. We want purpose, I want purpose. Yet sometimes it seems like we don’t have a purpose or that our purpose seems impossible. This is what I’m dealing with. I feel the calling in my life to write and work with next gen ministries. I started this blog two years ago and have seen it grow, I have found life within it. All I want to do is write to lift others up, help them know they are loved and were made with purpose. I want to minister to kids and teens, because they have the power to create positive change and build the kingdom of Christ; and so often they are passed off as just being kids. I want to do these things because I felt discouraged as a teen, but people spoke truth in my life which altered my future forever. As I sit here on this plane, I’m flying over countless people that feel lost and discouraged, I want to be able to speak life into every single one of them.

Our pursuits will be attacked, but there is always hope.

One of the most frustrating things is when people speak words of death at us. This has been something that affects me very deeply. As a kid and teen I was bullied, people told me I was dumb and wouldn’t amount to anything. I hated myself. If I’m honest I hated myself a lot, but I hid by trying to make people laugh. Through small groups that changed my life, I found freedom, but I still face attack. There are still people that I know who have never read my writings (which kinda bums me out) and there have been people that ask me why I even do it at all still. I do it because I have a story to tell. God has given me a gift to write to others, so why would I refuse that calling over my life? Instead I cling to hope, a hope that says one day I will use your hard work. This same hope is offered to us all, our hard work will pay off in the end. The thing I remind myself of each week when I write is this, if even one person reads, I will have spoken truth into their life. Our actions towards others creates a ripple, one that can spread like a wildfire. You have the same ability. You can cling to this hope: your actions can create a positive change that will spread throughout the world. That one person you help can affect thousands.

You are more than the negative words spoken about you.

I’ve been dealing with this a lot recently. I have been having to deal with some people that said some complete lies about me. This lie was said to people that I care about and has caused people who don’t know me to question some of my actions. Why does this happen? The sad truth is, my recent experience is similar to many of you. Gossip kills the spirit, but forgiveness brings us back into life. You see, I am choosing to forgive the words spoken about me. God knows the truth and that’s what I will cling to, even when it gets hard. I choose to love those that hate me, because my savior died for me, and I have made so many mistakes. The negative words people have said about you are not true, the truth is, you are made in the image of God and you are worthy of love. God made you and calls you by name out of the depths. You are his child, and he will always love you.

Use your fear as launching point towards your purpose.

I have anxiety. I am so scared about the future; will I find a job? Will I make enough to support a family? Am I entering this relationship with Christ as the center? These questions are on my mind, the thing is, these questions are not from the spirit. The truth of the questions is they are from my enemy who is trying to sabotage my life. What I remember is this: Christ won the war, my enemy can do nothing to stop me when I am living in the victor’s presence. I can then look at these questions and say; God will open the doors to the job he has for you. God provides all I will need when I make wise choices. When Christ is the center, my relationship will produce fruit. I am having to look at fear a run straight into it. Instead of crumbling under its’ pressure, I will use it as a launching point into the future God has for me. This is all of our stories, when we pursue Christ, we don’t have to fear. We will rise.

airplane-relfections

We are close to landing now. I love looking back at where I’ve been, because it shows the promise of where I will go. I love time travel stories because in these stories we see how every choice and situation (good and bad) have led us to where we are now. We control our destiny. I choose to press into all God has for me, because I know my destiny will be completed in him. The next year I will graduate and need to find a job. I will have to figure out how to navigate what freelance writing and book writing will be like. I will have to see how next gen ministry will fit into what I do. I will be very scared, but I choose to take my scared and make it sacred. Sacred means to be one in Christ. I will take the situations that I find myself becoming scared and choose to be sacred.

Thank you for reading over these two years, I love you. You have seen me go through much and I can’t wait to share where I end up. So stay tuned next week for my New Year plans.

Find time for your own airplane reflections today.

-Joshua Thomas

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