Saturday, December 3, 2016

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

Remember those words from the "Sound of Music"? When the Von Trapp family sang that song as their final number at the German festival, they escaped to freedom in Switzerland.

This morning, I, too, am singing that song, but it's not because I'm escaping a negative situation to find freedom. It's because I already live in freedom which is produced by walking day-to-day in the confidence of God and His desires for me to live an abundant life in Him. I know that good-byes are always just temporary absence because here, or there in heaven, we'll meet again.

Since last Saturday, I've been in Tulsa which was like my "Farewell Tour" as all my responsibilities here are completed and it's time to go beyond the comfort zone to unchartered waters, but no concern, because God is already there where I'll end up.

My sweet Life Group sisters met for the last time Thursday night, and while we shared such precious memories of answered prayers, victories won, and great expectations for our future, we talked again about those "signs" that God gives us to show us we're on track.

One of the conversations we had was about the movie my family and I saw on Thanksgiving weekend, "Moana". It is definitely the Polynesian islands equivalent to the "Frozen" movie. As one of the gals looked at the overview of the movie on her cell phone, she said, "Donna, Moana is you! It is definitely a SIGN." As I read what she had pulled up, I agreed. "Moana is an adventurous teenager who is inspired to leave the safety and security of her island on a daring journey to save her people. (Well, quite obviously, I'm not a teenager, but I do own the fact that I am adventurous. And I am inspired to leave the safety and security of my comfort zone -- Tulsa, OK. And, more than anything, I desire to be an ambassador for God who wants to lead as many people as I can to be fully devoted followers of Christ.) Inexplicably drawn to the ocean, Moana convinces the mighty demigod Maui to join her mission, and he reluctantly helps her become a WAYFINDER like her ancestors who sailed before her. Together, they voyage across the open ocean on an action-packed adventure, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills her quest and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: HER OWN IDENTITY. My sis-in-love reminded me that last year I ran my last Run-for-Ron marathon because I heard God say..."Donna, you've run-for-Ron long enough now (5 years to be exact), it's time to Run-for-Donna (my OWN identity).

Moana reminded me that, as a Christian, I should take my callings (my God assignments) seriously and pursue them with all my heart even if it is a journey with unknowns, maybe risks or costs. In other words, the selfless courage of Moana is something I want to emulate. "Moana” reminds me that I should let my mission in Christ and God’s calling in my life define my identity, not the easy peasy, comfortable circumstances or even the mistakes and disappointments along the way.

In parting, I say "Tulsa, and all my precious colleagues, friends, family and acquaintances -- THANKS for the memories. Thanks for the friendships. Thanks for making me better. Thanks for loving me, embracing me, helping me grow and BE who God destined me to be! I love you all so much. I'll see you later!"