As I was cleaning out the basement this past weekend I found my only copy of Vallarta Today Daily Newspaper from April 19, 2004. On page seven, the writer included a quote from a previous editor’s letter from 2004. And then she wrote the following, “It’s an amazing journey in a magazine, it’s written by an enlightened alien, who has landed here to take everyone to the place where freedom and creativity and being exactly how you want to be is how you should be and it’s a fabulous world.”
This newspaper article was published right after finishing the first issue for a famed Miami publication. But, let me take you a step further: The morning after “literally” finishing the issue, I was on my way to work, driving north on the Turnpike when I was hit by a drunk driver and rolled over three lanes with my then Ford Sport Explorer. This accident came during at time when I began to question my purpose at this magazine, which of course, let me to question my purpose for my life. Many in my position would have enjoyed the nightlife and all its tantalizing spirits; however, something inside of me rebuked it.
Should I have been insulted that I was identified as an alien? Actually… it was a praise and I got the answer to my questions. It was a confirmation on my purpose. You see, as a lover of Christ, I somewhat feel out of place in this world. The Psalmist said, “I am a stranger on earth” (Psalm 119:19a). The phrase, “wherever I lodge,” in verse 54, literally means: “in my temporary house.” According to Hebrews 11, the “heroes of the faith” “admitted they were aliens and strangers on earth” (verse 13).
Fast forward to yesterday. My best friend called to encourage me. She knows my parents, who are very close to my heart, just moved 12 hours away. She knows that my son underwent two surgeries four days ago. Because of these life trials, I have procrastinated, one more time with another Chispa app edition. And, here she was reminding me that each app edition comes with a life trial. Wowzers I thought. She was right. But, why?
Going back through my editor’s letters I came across a journey of seasons: fear, worry, stress, death of a child, anxiety, depression, and now I am trying to be still; trying to remember how many times and in how many trials my Heavenly Father has come through. Going back one more time, Facebook just reminded me that in 2011 I wrote the following in my status: “Jesus portrayed struggle as the entry point into the Christian life, stressing that it would be a daily reality of our faith…” Is this just a coincidence or fuel to spark my current season of remembrance?
Today, Vallarta Today sits on top of my desk as a reminder. Today, I recur the words my best friend said before we hung up: A calling doesn’t make you happy, it’s meant to make you holy.