Something Different...

Here is an excerpt of my worldview paper for one of my business classes. I hope you enjoy.

 “The unexamined life is not worth living,” said by Socrates in Plato’s Apology. This quote has captured the essence of my life to this point which has widely impacted my worldview. Growing up in a Christian home and going to private, Christian education, my worldview seemed very narrow even though I lived in Los Angeles, California. Growing up with entertainment and an urban city around me, my parents did a great job of keeping my siblings and I away from the “devil worship” also known as MTV and other stereotypical pop culture experiences. Only having known Christians around me, I was shocked by the “others” this world, but little did I know, I was the other.

 My relationship with God, and quite frankly many others, was distant and sometimes non existent. My mom is very faithful and persistent in every relationship. Her relationship with God was no different. She sent my siblings and I to Teen Mission International for 5, straight summers. I started going on mission trips since I was 9. Having been to around 21 countries and 14 mission trips, my worldview was greatly impacted without realizing it then. These incredible opportunities have taught me what it means to be human but more importantly, how. Crossing borders and making new friends of different skin color has taught me that every person desires love. As humans, we have the ability to love apart from gender, race, age, etc. As humans, we were brought into this world because of love and sometimes the brokenness of it. My worldview is not overly theological or complex but rather incredibly simple and comes down to the fact that love is the essence of a human being. Being made in the image of God is incredibly lovely and as Scripture says “God is love” then as humans, we must be an image of love. 

Loving others is hard, but loving yourself can be harder. Through my high school career, I struggled loving who I was because I was unsure who I was. I realized that my identity could not come from my situations and environment because my situations and environments were constantly changing. This was unreliable and inconsistent. My identity comes from Christ. I am a child of God. This is my understanding of myself, my family and other people. We are children God, made in the image of Love. As we continue this journey called life, pursuing Love can seem endless and undesirable. This was the Fall. 

When we looked around, we fell. When I came to Calvin, I wondered why I was here. Why did I leave beautiful, Southern California to the incredibly dull, Grand Rapids, Michigan. I felt out of place and uncomfortable. At that point of my life, living in a developing country would be more comfortable than this place. Grand Rapids could not offer me more than what I already had, or so I thought. I fell when I doubted God and what He had for me. Even if it was not the education at Calvin, it was always the people. The last 4 years have been irreplaceable. I could not get these everlasting memories anywhere else, but here. He redeemed my blindness and peeled off the scales of my cynicism and distrust. I live for a God who can redeem even the worst of situations, which for me was Grand Rapids. Throughout my time here, I have had to write countless essays on my “worldview” that at this point, I feel as though I could write it with my eyes closed. However, every time I have written these types of reflective papers, it has always been different. God has been working through even when I do not see it.

I write this to anyone who is feeling desperate for the Love that I refer to. Not only is it inviting, but it is free. You are loved.

Have a great night,

Janette