I know people say this kind of thing all the time, but if someone would have told me back in my college days the kind of life I would live in the future, I wouldn't have believed them. Something beautiful has been birthed from my many seasons of pain, and I stand here today thankful for everything I've experienced, good or bad. God makes no mistakes and He doesn't allow you to walk through things on accident. I mean.. who could have guessed that my diet and interest in the failing food system would lead me to my greatest and ever-deepening passion that I live for today? 

I have heard Christine Caine preach a message several times now about allowing God to develop you in the "dark room" of life. She goes on to explain that just like film has to be taken to a dark room for the development process - a process that takes time - we need to allow God to do the same in us. Due to the instant lifestyle we've become accustomed to, this can be really hard for us to do. She uses the example of Instagram vs Film and being a visual person, I love it. 

The truth is that it's hard to see the value in the process when you're in the midst of it. Life throws you curve balls or things don't go according to plan and we (myself included) start freaking out because we're not where we "should be" when we think we should be there. Over the last five years or so, God has really shown me that it is the journey that counts. 

I know how frustrating this life can be. As a visionary, I'm always 10 steps ahead of reality and get discouraged when things don't match up immediately. But God, in His grace, doesn't allow us to move from A to Z in an instant. Instead, He allows us to be put into uncomfortable places to refine us and extraordinary places to use us. One is not more important than the other; both are necessary ingredients for us to be molded and shaped into the image of Christ. 

I am convinced that our greatest calling in life is to become Christ-like. "To become" signifies a process and the process we're called to is to simply live life one day at a time, trusting Jesus with obedient hearts. It's in the everyday, mundane moments that our character is being refined and our lives start to mimic Christ. No matter where you find yourself, know that if you're trusting Jesus and growing in maturity in your faith, you're living out your greatest calling. It really is that simple. It's this pursuit of Jesus that sanctifies us and transforms us from the inside out. And it's this pursuit that allows us to love like Him, act like Him, and live in accordance to His will. 

Surrender to the process and enjoy the journey. Trust me, I've tried to take my own short cuts - they don't work.