I feel like that title makes me sound like some southern girl about to talk about a 'club' BBQ.
Although I had a lot of things get to me this week, they haven't all been bad. I've made some time to relax a bit, usually right before bed. I watched 2 movies this week: Beware of [Believers] and One Nation Under [the Father].
BoC is about these 4 American college guys who travel to Europe to casually interview people on their thoughts about the Father and clubs and just general beliefs. They go to several countries and get a variety of opinions. It's 4 college guys so they have their dumb moments and their distractions, but it all felt very genuine and real. It was great to hear the opinions of other people and their views on different beliefs, specifically what I believe. I am really fascinated by all of that.
ONUG is basically the same thing. Two of the guys are the same. This time they go around the US, and even into Canada for a few days. They stay at hostels, in random people's homes, with friends, basically wherever they can. That led to a lot of conversations with different people. This movie was more interesting to me because it's a lot closer to home, literally. It's people around me, who speak my language, and are usually a bit more familiar with what I believe.
I learned a lot from both of those movies. I got to hear all of these things that people believe that are so different from what I believe. I heard they way people view [believers]. I teach my students about stereotypes. You can't fit a whole group of people into one box. Personalities will always differ and people aren't always going to fit into a mold. But I think with believers, we should be stereotyped in certain ways. The stereotypes people currently seem to have of us though, that's the sad/scary thing.
The first word people blurt out is 'hypocrite'. Awesome. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside right? No, it's awful. If we are a group of people, a body, a family, who all base our lives around the Father and his Word, we should have common characteristics or habits. There should be things about us that are different, but those shouldn't be negative. We shouldn't be branded as hypocrites. There's something wrong there. Not with those who think that, they think that because of their experiences typically, but with those of us who are the portrayal of the Father and of the faith.
I've seen a change in myself recently - the best change I've ever noticed in myself. I am able to share with others. I have shared more about what I believe in the past 5 months, than I have in my 22 years living in America. I share more with people who can't always understand me, who weren't raised with this stuff all around them, than I do with people who speak my own language and I come into contact with constantly. I've told my girls why I came here, how I make my decisions, why I live the way I do, who my top priority is. I've shared that with other students and friends who ask. Most of the time, I try to work it into my conversations. I want to say as much as I can while I have time here. Why did it take moving to China for me to be open and excited about sharing?
In the movies, they asked people what their purpose in life is. I thought about that for a few seconds before I knew what it was. It's not to make myself a better person. It's not about finding a perfect job, a perfect husband, having a family, being comfortable, traveling the world. My purpose is to share the Father's love with every person I come into contact with. We should be living the life that He has called us to live according to His Word, but those things should come naturally as we live through His love.
I didn't know what was going to happen after this year. I thought I'd figure that out, or be shown that sometime this year. I think I know what it is now, but I still constantly ask to be shown how to use that in a bigger way. Maybe your way of living His love out is through family, maybe it's through teaching, maybe it's through traveling. It's different for everyone, but the goal should still be the same.
I know this is the really intense post where things get really serious. I couldn't just let this sit in my head. I'm too excited about it. I hate that it's taken me so long to feel excited about things. I have thousands of people around me every day in my hometown who I usually just pass by, when I could be sharing with them. I'm not the person who will force it down your throat. If you're reading this and you don't agree w/ me or believe what I believe, don't be scared of me all of a sudden. I promise I'm not going to turn into 'that [believer]'. That's the problem though. We are seen 'that way' and I want so badly for that to change. For people to love us and respect us, even if they don't agree with us. I say 'us' because we are an 'us'. We are all individuals, but our message should still be the same.
The fried food part of it all ties into this a bit. My small group girls made some traditional Spring Festival foods. I made apple pie! It was all perfect. We had another beautiful meeting with good conversations and good food.
I love Chinese food.
I love my Father.
I love getting the chance to be here and learn new things.
Time to tutor.