I know it has been over month since I wrote but life has been a little crazy. In the past several months there has been so much transition and change. There has been spiritual warfare, struggles with depression and isolation, and figuring out why Jesus called me to Raleigh. The reason I joined the program was a feeling that I was called to Raleigh. So a step onto the water. But the scariest part of all this is walking on water and feeling like I am sinking. There have been times were my heart hurts heavily and the devil whispers such lies in my ear, and I ask for Jesus to save me. Phrases like "I'm good" or "I'm fine" have been easier to say and do. We live in a culture where that is easier to say than what is actually going on. As people, we also do not take the time to really ask and see what is going on. I know I have been guilty of that so many times when I get busy. I find myself wondering where I am spiritually or emotionally, and asking Jesus to step into this void that I cannot get out of. Sometimes I just get stuck, stay in the same place, and try to fix my own problems. 

I know for myself, the last month or so I have just functioned through the day or at least strive to function more. That may sound like a weird way to put it. I think when I get into a routine, then I want to stay there as much as possible because it is stability. I crave the stability. I function my way through the day. I think the devil uses routine to trap us from seeing the beauty that God has for us. A common theme that has been coming up the past two weeks is that God is constantly remodeling our house. He is tearing down old decrepit walls for new stronger walls. He is expanding each room so that we can better commune with God. He wants to share such new beauty. But for me that means I have to give up a lot of stuff (rooms) that I have been accustomed to. That is so hard when I like stability. This is where Jesus is sticking out his hand saying I am with you. He knows I don't like change, and he wants to help me through this. I cant just be okay with how things are. I have to be willing to seek the Lord knowing he has the blueprints. But man that is harder than I think. I say it. But believing it is a whole other story that I am trying to understand.

I think in these times that I am struggling to let go, honesty and vulnerability are needed. Bring light to the darkness. I need to take a step outside of my routine and let people know what is going on in my mind and heart. I need to verbalize what is going on. Because there is God's beauty in a community that wants to know me. There is God's beauty in a host family that loves me super well. There is God's beauty in the unexpected plans. There is God's beauty even when it is so hard to see or feel. 

For me, God showed up in an unexpected way. I got a second job at Chick-fil-a because I needed the money, but also I am not feeling purposeful at my current job. This new job has been so good for me. It keeps me busy, moving, and in such a happy mood. I actually love working at Chick-fil-a. It has brought me a lot of joy the past couple weeks.

I do not know what is next. God still has me under construction. Yes, I still struggle to fight function and routine. Yes, I have been struggling to fight depression and isolation. Yes, it is okay not to be okay. And ultimately YES I want to step towards Christ continually.

Richie Rojas