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Category Archives: journey

“I need to find myself!”

“I need to find myself!”
Have you ever found yourself saying that? I know I often have “
I want to find myself“I’m going to university to find my direction in life “
I’m going to travel around Europe and see what it is I want to do with my life”
“I’m going to Japan to find the real me!”
Those words have come out of my mouth a lot! I spent a lot of time running around chasing myself!
Where did I think I had gone?
Well I wasn’t literally trying to find myself, but more along the lines of, I wanted to define who I was!
I looked in so many places, to so many
people, even to
material things, to try and work out who it was that was inside of me, to put a label on myself and finally realize where I was going, what I was doing with my life and who I was!
I went to university thinking I could become me, develop into the adult Laura, instead I found parties and alcohol and ended up letting others define me as ‘Party Laura’ – what else could I do but live up to that name, I thought, maybe that’s who I am!

But that wasn’t who I was and it wasn’t who I wanted to be, no where close!
So then I went to Japan, in the hope that I could expand my horizons, broa
den my views
create an adventure for myself that would define me! Instead I entered into the world of relationships and boys, and I let them define me, I couldn’t find me – so I clung onto things around me to make me seem more intriguing and interesting, to give me character!
But instead people ended up calling me fickle, because in my exploit to find the real me, I flitted from one thing to the other!
So in the end I never did find myself!


Looking for
myself, through myself and by myself wasn’t going to get me anywhere! Looking for things in the world to boost me up and make me, me wasn’t going to help either!
There was only one place I could look to define me and that was
Jesus – he showed me the best person I could be, he showed me where i was going in life and the intricate plan he has for my life. Now I no longer need to be disappointed when I can’t find who I am in the things going on around me, because I know who I am in him!

When we spend our lives searching for who we really are and what we are really doing, we just end up running in circles and getting lost!

There are usually a few questions we ask, I came up with a few that I had been asking. Now I realize I can answer then through Jesus!


1. What defines me – what makes me, ME?

I struggled a lot with trying to find my character, I always thought I wasn’t good enough, i wasn’t interesting enough, that I needed more concrete things in my life to build my character on!
But no matter how many books I read to deepen my mind, no matter how many people I turned to, or activities I took up to make me seem like I had a more interesting character –
I didn’t feel satisfied with who I was, let alone knew what it was that made me who I was!
What I didn’t realize was I didn’t need worldly things to define me! A load of books on Buddhist philosophy or self help books weren’t going to make me, ME!
We can easily define ourselves by the world’s terms,
I’m a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, an astrophysicist, I’m into dance or I’m in a band, i follow house music, indie music, j-pop, electric, any kind of sound!
But that’s not who we are, that’s what we like, what we do!


“Don’t become so well–adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well–formed maturity in you.”
-Romans 12:2 (MSG)


We are God’s chosen children, all of us, He wants the best for us, not the world’s best, and he can give it us, if we just turn to him and follow him!
But we often find ourselves running in the opposite direction; hoping there’s another corner we haven’t turned yet, a corner that will give us exactly what we are looking for – but
why does it always seem that there never is?!


2. Where are we going in life? What can we do?

If we are not asking what defines us we are often asking where are we going?
It can be easy in life to get bored and restless and feel we are not reaching our potential, just going about our everyday lifestyle. We want to be something, do something but we don’t know what!
When I felt like this, I often ended up taking up a new hobby, sign language, acting classes, volunteering at the local shelter, yoga, trekking, I even had a go at cheerleadering! But I never fell upon my niche in life, what I really felt I could be.
The thing was I never trusted God, I didn’t believe that he had a plan for me, I thought I had to make it, I was in control and that if I didn’t press all the right buttons I wasn’t going to end up on the right floor!
But the thing is God does have a great plan for me! Not just me but you too!


“For I know the plans I have for you, ” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. “
-Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)


His plan is not just great, it’s amazing,
100% flawless! And all yours!
All that means is that we have to trust him, sometimes that means
jumping in water that looks cold and deep and completely uninviting. Maybe we don’t want to go in the direction God wants us to but if we just give it a go, it can often lead us to new waters and exotic bays we could never even imagined going too!

3. Which door to open?

We don’t have all the answers and we are often facing minor and major dilemmas in life as to where to go, which direction and which door to open! Especially in this day and age, our choices are limitless! There is too much to choose from, but we don’t need to waste time opening “x” amount of doors to see if what’s behind it is exactly what we want. No, there is one person who does have the answers! Jesus.
I have opened so many doors in my life that have lead me to
dead ends, the wrong parties, the wrong countries, in situations I would have rather not found myself in! But now I know if I am following Jesus I don’t need to worry about finding myself in sticky situations or opening the wrong door, because he is leading me every step of the way!
Ok so if you have read this far and your thinking what if i do want
God to define me, if I do want to live in his great plan what can I do? Which door should I open?
Well it’s simple!


“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me. I will be found by you, ” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.””
-Jeremiah 29:12-14 (NLT)


We need to start looking towards a life with growth and a strong foundation- rather than an exciting adventure life that can fall apart when you face a big hurdle.
With God everything is an
exciting adventure, I didn’t believe this until I started running with him! I thought following Jesus was just a boring life of rules and regulations of things I couldn’t do, but it’s the exact opposite!
With him I can face anything because I know I have a foundation in him!
So open his door, turn to him. It’s better than any gap year, better than any university lifestyle!

If you want to know more about Jesus, if you want to open a door that leads to him, I encourage you to come to Jesus Lifehouse Osaka! Not only is it fun, you will make loads of friends, and it’s one step closer to finding Jesus amazing plan for you!

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www.Osaka.lifehouse.com

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How are you gettting there??

Sometimes I need to stop and think about what I’m doing. Life. What are we doing with it? How are we living it? Or are we even living it at all?

Life is a journey, but it all depends on what we do to get there.

When we go on a trip, there are many forms of transportation we choose to get to our destination, some are cheaper than others, some take a lot longer, or some or more environmentally friendly.

But most of the time we always have a choice, we choose the route or which kind of transportation to take. Sometimes we don’t think about it, we just take the easiest option, sometimes we spend hours planning.

Life is the same, there are many options and many ways to get where we want to go, but do we often give enough attention to how we are getting there, or are we more focused on the’ holiday destination’.

When we just go somewhere automatically without giving it enough thought we can often end up where we don’t want to be, exhausted, stressed, lost, or even in the total wrong direction. Maybe we need to realise that the decisions we make to get somewhere is going to affect how we live our lives.

Whether we choose the bus, train, aeroplane, taxi, ferry. We have a choice.

I was thinking about this and I came up with these examples of the choices we make.

When we go on holiday sometimes we choose the CRUISE SHIP!

 

A cruise ship can be fun at first, you can do whatever you want on it, live life up! The cruise ship lifestyle, is a life led by money, parties, boys and girls, drugs, drink –fun, fun, fun!! But sooner or later our money runs out and when we reach the port and realise we don’t have enough money to ride again, we can end up feeling very lost in a destination unknown to us.

Sometimes we want to take this route to run away from things in our lives, but I want to encourage you, with God we can face anything – he really will help us through it, as cliché as it may seem!

Maybe you’re the opposite and you are living the BICYCLE lifestyle.

 

It’s simple, cheap and you can be in total control of it!

Being in control of our life seems important. We can get whatever we want, whenever we want it, we don’t need to stop for any one, we don’t need to let people hassle us, or annoy us, we can just get on with our life, how we want. Simple.

 But on a bicycle, by yourself, we realise we can’t travel far, there is only SO far we can go by ourselves. The “I can do this by myself” attitude can leave us burnt out, and not getting where we really want to go.

A lifestyle led by ourselves, pedalling away at the things we really can’t do by ourselves, is tough, sometimes we end up feeling very alone, lost and depressed. This isn’t where we wanted to end up. But it doesn’t need to be that way because God is there to help us, to lead us in life, to  live a more fruitful, exciting life.

“Self help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but loose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Matthew 16v 25-26

The next ride on my list of lifestyle choices is the ROLLER COASTER!

 

The roller coaster, it’s thrilling,

                                                                                     it has its ups and downs,

           its twists and turns,

                                               you don’t need to stop and think

 you can just go,
                                         go, 
                                                             GO!!

 How amazing would it be to have a roller coaster lifestyle, always something exciting happening!!

But as thrilling as it may be, it doesn’t go anywhere, there is no driver, it’s an automatic lifestyle, based on the roller coasters theme, not on our life goals. It’s chosen for you and you just end up “going along with the ride”.

Maybe it seems we have a great job, an amazing relationship, but the theme of the ride is only that, we can’t change rides, it just keeps taking us on the same course over and over again. We end up making the same mistakes, again and again. The rollercoaster lifestyle, leaves no room for improvement and no need to learn anything new. But the more we keep going around and around we are eventually going to feel very, very SICK!

Choosing one thing to be the theme of our life can be dangerous, a job, a career, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a business, or anything that we revolve our life around, as a theme of our rollercoaster life, when we lose it and we realise we don’t have anything else great in our life, the roller coaster breaks down, that’s it – ride over!

Then there’s the BUS.

The bus can be great if the driver is God – then we can know we are heading in the right direction. Many Christians choose the Bus route, this isn’t a bad choice, choosing a journey led by God is amazing, but it’s not just about getting on the right form of transport, we have to be careful when we are riding it too!

Many people get on and ride the bus alongside us, just like many people come into our life that we can’t choose, or can’t avoid and they try and influence our decisions. Sometimes they try to change our mind about getting on the bus altogether and convince us to get off!!  New Christians may often struggle with this, they find God and accept him in their life, but then later on they get swayed by other people’s opinions and life choices.

Sometimes we get on the total wrong bus and end up going in the wrong direction with the wrong bus driver. Maybe we choose the wrong boyfriend/girlfriend, people tell us that persons great and we should stick with them because we can’t do any better. We stay in the wrong job because others tell us we can’t be more, there’s no chance you can be an actor, or singer, or world famous musician. We even stay in the wrong country or city, because no one believed you could make that jump and go, so we ended up believing that too.

Sometimes we might see a ‘someone’ on a different bus that we like, we want to ride with that person too, so we change buses and end up leading a life not led by God, but by a totally different driver. Or we see a bus that looks like it’s going to a great place, “hey, let’s get on that one!” – Without any real thought as to where it’s going or what the consequences might be.

But my favourite of rides, and the one that will take me exactly where I need to go is the TAXI.

The taxi driven by God is the best way. We are not alone, we don’t end up wasting our life away on fun and games, it’s not going round and round in circles and we don’t have random people jumping in and trying to change our life. It’s just US and GOD in the taxi of life. We can choose who we invite into our ride and who we don’t, better than that we get our own personal chaufferur!!

He can take us anywhere! The sky’s the limit – although not really with God!

It’s a risk, yes. Sometimes we don’t know where He is taking us, we don’t know the route ourselves, we don’t have the map and we can’t tell him to cut a corner if we don’t like that road. But if we trust him we can know he will lead us to a far better place than we could ever imagine.

We don’t need to get out of the taxi in search of a boyfriend, in search of an amazing job, in search of our dream. God is taking us directly there, we just have to trust him! No short cuts!

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3 v 5-6.

Whatever decision you make it’s going to take you somewhere because life is about choices and you have a choice which ride you can take!

But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin to tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!” Romans 6 v 22

www.lifehouseosaka.com