Monday, April 14, 2014

1 Year Ago Today

Disclaimer: This post is a little different that my usual posts. It's more of my inner realm, thoughts, and feelings. And I warn you now that if you have something against Christianity or Jesus or God, just exit this page and come back again for the usual posts. But if you feel curious and want to read on - well go right on!~

Today is the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Some of you know, a group of friends and I volunteered last year near the finish line and of course thanks to God’s grace we made it out safely. A lot of people don’t know my particular story. It’s nothing fancy, and I’m not sure why I’m sharing this but something in me wanted to be a little vulnerable today – and if you know me, this is something I would never do. Plus I RARELY share anything about my faith – probably almost never.

It was my first year volunteering and like any "noobie," I thought it would be fun and a great way to participate in one of the biggest events in Boston – because of course I ain’t no runner. Our team was stationed to give out water to the runners after they crossed the finish line and made sure the runners kept moving towards the family meeting area. It was a beautiful day out and I was excited. Our leader was super nice and hilarious and of course my team was awesome.

But anyways… The first one went off and I never heard the city (or at least the part I was in) go so silent. Everything and everyone was motionless as we looked toward that direction and all we could was smoke lifting in the air. Then soon after the second one went off. We were all so confused and couldn’t figure out what it was until a flood of people started screaming and running toward our direction like a scene in a movie. My mind went blank and the only thing I could think of was, is this it? Was this the end for me? Was I going to meet God today?

As a church "go-er" all my life, this was nothing new – seeking God first. However, during college – I fell away from God time to time and I knew He was there in the back of my head but I never really lived it. But that day, my mind just exploded and I rushed to God and literally asked, is it my time? I never thought, at the time, that in a time of crisis like that I would look towards God first.

We started to run with the crowds making sure we accounted for everyone on our team. We kept hearing rumors that there were more of them all over the city and at public transportations. So we decided to walk home. The whole walk, I didn’t know what to think. My body was in shock and I had billion things going through my mind. Every shop/store/ restaurant that we passed had a group of people in front of it – trying to figure out what had happened. I called my parents and literally my dad thought it was a joke at first & I honestly don’t remember the conversation after that because my mind was just numb. We went home and just watched the news for hours.

I had trouble sleeping, eating was quite an issue. Even though I ate – I couldn’t keep anything in within the hour. I smiled at everyone pretending that everything was alright. I kept getting emails from the school and marathon people about counseling services and what not but of course being me, being to prideful and stubborn – I was like "hecks no." Then I hear that one of the bombs they found was where we were volunteering. Then my mind blew a fuse and there was no turning back. [Way later, I hear that, it may have been only a rumor]

I asked God, what was this mess? Like what, why, how?!! You would think after this experience, I would go back to church but I didn’t. I grew so mad.


Even with this realization, I didn’t know what to do. Whenever I heard like a loud bang of any sort, my heart stopped and in my head I bugged out. I did everything ELSE but look to God. 

Months passed and these feelings were so on and off and yet still I didn’t put myself towards God as much as I should. The college fall semester came a long and a friend of mine invited me to go to a church that I used to go to back in freshman year (6 years ago?). I went, it was okay – same go attend church and go home feeling as I always did. And then I was convinced to go to their retreat. It was one of the most amazing things that I haven’t felt in a very long time. I realized then, God really protected me and it was no coincidence.  It wasn’t my time to leave earth yet. God had more plans for me. 
At the retreat the pastor told us the story of David and Goliath in a way I never really thought about. He pointed out that Goliath's name is rarely named in the story while Jesus's name is said over 10 times within the same passage.  
Goliath's name represents the struggles that we go through in our lives. We often get consumed in the struggles that we face and somehow make it the "name" we focus so much on and it tends to define us. However, just like in the Bible, our Goliath should rarely be named in our lives - it should be replaced by Jesus's name. Jesus should be the main character of our life, the hero, our Savior. 

Since then I struggled in my faith every now and then but I know since a year ago it grew stronger and my love for Him is absolute - God showed me that He really steps up on the playing field to bring me back to him. 

Even now every time I walk down Boylston street, I have to keep myself from tearing even just a little bit and my heart races until I get inside a store/restaurant but I remember, that it was one of the struggles that God gave me to turn back to him & He is certainly not letting me go that easily. 

This is only a small frame of struggles I've dealt with during my college years and I always wondered why I'd have to suffer so much. 
But a friend reminded me with a post on Facebook, a video by Bob Sorge called "God could have left Job alone." And basically, it was saying that God tests the righteous but the wicked, He leaves alone.  He has definitely has not left me alone at all during the past 7 years. And He certainly never turned His back on me, even though I did.  
He never let me go & now I won't either. PTL.
"I can do all things in Christ, who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13  


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