Monday, December 31, 2012

2012...Looking Back To The Way It Was

I honestly can't believe it's the last day of 2012. With this thought in mind, I'd like to take a few moments to reflect back on this year.
Looking back to January 2012....what happened...Well, probably one of my greatest discoveries was coming across my bible study that I currently go to called Platform. One of my friends out of the blue invited me one night, and it's just been so wonderful ever since. My bible study is part of this ministry called Steiger International ( which is a worldwide ministry that ministers to the secular global youth culture through many forms, wither it be music, art, dance etc....It was definitely a God coincidence to come across this bible study. God simply has a perfect timing for everything. Because of the discovery of this bible study, they have inspired me to go to Steiger International's Radical Missions School in Krogis, Germany this summer. Seriously one of the greatest unexpected blessings of my life so far.
Another amazing blessing this past 2012 was having the privledge of attending North Central for the spring semester. God grew me in so many ways, and the lifelong friends that I made, it's so priceless. Every genuine experience. Then in May 2012 I had yet another blessing of going on a month long missions trip to Macedonia. This experience radically shook my life up. Macedonia changed the course of everything. I'll never forget walking the streets of one of the poorest villages (Shutka) and God simply whispered ONE word to my whole being my eyes walked by this road of garbage....the mid day sun shining on my face....I knew this moment was coming, but I didn't expect it so soon. I could remember the tears that filled my Lietuve eyes and just stopped walking and stood frozen on this Macedonian road in shock that it took God bringing me ALL the way to southeastern Europe for me to listen to his voice...Lithuania had been His heart for me all along.....

I remember my flight from Macedonia to the United States was so dreadfully painful. I was crying my eyes out on my flight from Skopje to Vienna. Leaving Europe is like leaving my heart behind EVERY.SINGLE. TIME. I look forward to the day where I will buy a one way ticket to Europe and NEVER have to leave my heart behind again. Things were honestly rough my first couple weeks back in the U.S. It was my first summer living in the cities by myself and working. Definitely one of the hardest summers of my life, but God helped me get through it. Looking back, ever since I got back from Macedonia, I noticed that culturally I never really adjusted back. My heart was SO strong with simply living European culturally. Mid summer things were really at a standstill. God was either going to have to break through or else....I don't know what would have happened. It was honestly a miracle. I remember within 72 hours God blessed me with a place to live in the fall AND a full time job. I remember praying, "Jesus, if it's your will for this Lietuva 2013 fundraising year to be, you make it happen!" and HE.DID......

So August 2012 was when my Lithuanian fundraising year began (and my first date, but that's for another time, another blog, another story)  I was so stupidly naiive to think taking a year off to work was a FREAKIN.FREAKIN. hellishly LONG.TIME. One of the hardest things I had to do in August was leave North Central University.  My dear God, I'll never forget filling out that dark pink form in the Student Life office....kissing my worship arts major (at the time) goodbye. This was probably the greatest step of faith I EVER took. Trusting that God believe it or not had something even BETTER in mind for me. Worship leading means EVERYTHING to me. If I didn't have such a strong relationship with God I honestly would have not had the guts to do this. So for the past 5 months working full time has been a very interesting perspective of life. I still can't believe I'm alive, if it wasn't for my Jesus, I would have died in the middle of this fundraising a LONG time ago. God has taught me so much through this non-traditional year....

#1 Money will either be your God or Jesus will.
#2 The most important things in life are priceless
#3 Don't disown the dear souls in your life who live in America, and helped you get to where you are today.
# 4 Must pursue your passion even when your heart is "dried out" and the exciting feelings have left and you "feel" no inspiration.
#5 We can't define our God given passion by feelings, if we do, we're going to lose it QUICKLY.
#6 NEVER let your music passion be silenced. SCREAM.IT.LOUD.

2013 honestly, I can't even begin to IMAGINE what lies ahead. So many changes in my life are going to take place. Hopefully having the chance to go to a music missions school in Germany, than onto finishing my college education in Lithuania. This path of life I have chose will NOT be easy, it's honestly probably the HARDEST way to go about life...but seriously, who EVER said following Jesus was going to be a walk through the fluffy pink clouds?....excuse the following expression, but I'm HELLISHLY TERRIFIED at what lies ahead, but I chose to take my step of faith and trust God. I decided to FORGET what society thinks, and chose to follow my God given passion in 2012 and carry this on through 2013 and the years to come. It was the hardest decision of my life, but in the end I know it will be the MOST.WORTH.IT. I still can't believe I have the guts to actually do this year. Is this even real life? Am I seriously that freakin crazy?....Looks like I am.... I pray that wherever 2013 takes you, that you would have the boldness to always be true to yourself and your God given passions, visions, and dreams.

Until next year,
~Ruslana Evelyn.

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