I turned 26 in the last week of September, and like every other year when my birthday rolls around, I reflected on my life and the journey I have been on until this point.
This year the reading from Ephesians 2:10 was the centre of my reflection.
“God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things He had already planned for us to do.”Ephesians 2:10
Five years ago, I was in a space where I did not think that I was doing the good things He had planned for me to do.
Five years ago, just before my 21st birthday, I was very lost. I did not know what I was doing with my life. I didn’t know what career path to take and didn’t know why university wasn’t working out for me. I felt that my friends and family all knew the path they were on and that I was the only one who hadn’t figured it out yet. I even felt like I wasn’t enough to ask God for help and guidance.
Five years ago, I was not in a good space and it really affected my mental health and spiritual health.
When in a space like this, it is hard to dream for the future. It’s hard to dream big.
Although I was in a rough space mentally and spiritually, I had some great support around me, even when I thought I didn’t deserve it. I had friends and family and a faith community that prayed for me, even without realising the space I was in. I had people check in on me, and care for me, and love me, especially when I felt like I couldn’t care and love myself.
It has been a loooooooong journey, even in the span of five years.
Now as a Pastor in the PULSE Team, working in a space that I am so passionate about, and with my faith stronger than ever, I can see clearly how even in my not-so-great times, God has made me what I am. That in Christ Jesus, God makes me a new person, that everyday I can reset and try again, to do the good things that He has all along planned for me to do.
I am in a space where I can DREAM BIG again!
Dream of a church that continues to figure out what it means to be a true Multicultural Church.
Dream of a church that continues to LOVE every single person, as well as LOVE our God, as Jesus told us to.
Dream of the continued path God leads me, of the work I will do after PULSE, of the contribution I will have in this world.
We are good. God made us good! But there are things in life that can make us think that we are not good and I encourage each of us not to contribute to that.
COVID has already been a tough time for literally everyone. It definitely has not been easy for those of us who have been in and out of lockdown. Many have had work, school, social lives, hobbies, passions, and more affected due to this pandemic. We do not need to add to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual toll that COVID and other life stresses have had on people.
I encourage us all to show love and care and light to all our neighbours, and not be an additional external affect that can hinder how we continue to dream for the future.
It is okay if you are in a space of discerning, if you think you are not ready yet, if you think you are not worthy enough. God is there through it all, the good and the bad, waiting on us until we are ready.
We are good. God made us good!
Let us do the good things He has planned for us to do.
Ofa Foiakau is the Field Officer (Central/West) and Youth/High School ministry lead as a part of the PULSE team.