Sweet strawberries with cool whip, swimming until hands are pruned, and the color of red, white, blue blanket my aunts lake house this exact same time every year. The Fourth of July is a time when my family celebrates the joys of freedom. This year I will be appreciating this holiday from a far as I have moved to the equator in Ecuador two months ago. Because I am not there to celebrate, the freedom I am feeling here has transformed into a completely different meaning. It is the kind that is centered on my freedom to choose.
This God given free will can be a curse or a blessing. God guides us every day but as flawed people we have a choice for everything; for breakfast, our career, a spouse, and of course our outfits. Which sometimes fashion is our biggest mistake! I find myself wrestling with the choice of how am I going to spend my life? What am I meant to do to make this world better? As a young twenty-nothing battling to find my place in the world, free will at times seems like a curse. This freedom is one that can be a monster in my dreams whispering “don’t make the wrong decision”, while other times it floats by in the form of a butterfly saying, “your opportunities are endless, go where you wish”, thus my move to Ecuador. This never-ending song seems to continue to play like the popular summer tune on the radio, over and over. Have I made the right choice to move? Have I made the right choice to be a science teacher? Am I making a difference?
As constant as this tune may be, God has been even more present, even in the middle of the world. He has found ways to settle me when I am anxious, calm me when I am angry, and lift me to new heights when I am ready. He has given me strong individuals to surround myself with that give me perspective when my family can’t wipe away the tears from my cheeks. He has shown me beautiful sunsets and allowed me to taste delicious cuisine. Pretty sure God speaks Spanish and does it way better than I ever will! I have found that he doesn’t say if I am making the right choice, but rather gives me the strength to continue on my journey. Maybe there is no “right choice” but rather “my” choice and he is there to support me with whatever I decide. He created me in his own image and that is good enough for him. In theory this sounds wonderful, but to release the stress of being “right” is a weight that I have been carrying since I graduated college. I know that I need to turn this over to him as we all should do, but this is easier said then done.
So today I will choose to smile at all who pass by my morning bus stop. I will choose to continue working hard for my students. I will even choose to remember the mouth-watering watermelon to be eaten with friends and family while floating in the refreshing lake water every July 4th. And everyday I will thank God for the freedom to choose “my” journey. Freedom in the states is fought for, while Gods gift is given so let us all choose him. Lets choose to do his work no matter what shape that may take. Because we as people of Christ have one life too live and I hope with God by my side I will choose to live life to the fullest on “my” journey.