“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies.”
– Pope Saint John Paul II
In my heart I feel the faith of a great saint but I’ve been wondering lately if people would see me as such? I want people to see that I have faith in a wonderful and immeasurable God. I want people to see His character reflected in mine and to see His light and love shining from in me. But I have to ask myself: is the life I’m living truly reflective of the faith I claim to have?
I’ve developed a “normalcy complex” this year, self diagnosed, of course. I want to be normal and like everyone else. I’m tired of explaining that I’m a missionary, of asking people for money to support me, of feeling different because of my title. I want to be normal, with a normal job and a normal paycheck, a normal house with a normal dog. I want to live as real people do. But as I tried harder and harder to pretend to be normal I just got more and more bored with myself. Sure, a missionary seems to be a pretty heroic job from most Christian viewpoints, a job filled with lots of adventures and stories of good conquering evil, how could it be boring? It is an amazing life but it was boring because I wasn’t living the way that God wanted me to live. I was settling for a false reality that told me that I would be happy if I would do what everyone else was doing, if I would be like everyone else. And that was what being normal meant for me.
But God doesn’t make us normal – that implies that we’re the usual, what’s expected and typical, and that we’re average and ordinary. But we’re not; how can I be ordinary when there’s no one else like me? No one else has the same exact desires, the same exact hopes and dreams, or the same exact bedhead as me. No matter how close I may come to be like someone else I am still not them and they are not me. God makes each of us uniquely and specifically. It’s not random that I love writing or that you love teaching or working with the elderly. God instilled these passions in us with purpose and intention in order to give our lives a unique purpose and specific intention and that makes us anything but normal.
This last year my life was reflecting the sad reality that this life is it and that this world is all that matters. But that’s just not true, life is so much more than what we see here. The reality is that God is the Living God, actively working each day to bring about salvation for all. This is the reality I want my life to reflect. This is what I want people to see in me. The reality that faith in God means trusting that it will work out for good even when it seems impossible. The reality that faith in God means that Christ really did die on a cross, taking on the punishment we deserve for our sins, offering freedom for us. The reality that a life with Christ is a life of constant transformation and renewal and one of inexplainable joy.
He doesn’t want for us to be normal or average or ordinary. He wants us to live the faith that we claim to have and to enter into a life of abundant grace, allowing ourselves to be transformed into the face of Christ, reflecting His image and His glory. To be extraordinary. To be saints.
This is what I want my life to reflect! For too long I have been caught up in the exterior life that I have forgotten my interior life. I have let normal be more important than Heaven and I wasn’t surprised that I found the response to the above question to be no. Is the life I’m living truly reflective of the faith I claim to have? No, the life I was living wasn’t truly reflecting the faith that I have but it will now. My faith requires boldness and transformation. It requires that I take time to pray and learn who Jesus is so that I can become more like Him. It requires that I build on the qualities that reflect His image and glory and that I get rid of the qualities that don’t.
Faith comes from within and if I want that faith to be known than I have to work on what is inside of me. I’ve had a new conversion. My desire to be a saint and to live extraordinarily has been reawakened and I have given my life, my hopes, dreams, fears and desires, everything I do and am, over to Jesus and I intend for people to know that I believe in Him.