La Vita é Bella-Life is Beautiful
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La Vita é Bella-Life is Beautiful

We have become so accustomed to relying on ourselves and "going with the flow" that we have all lost sight of what really makes this life beautiful.

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La Vita é Bella-Life is Beautiful

I know this seems like a strange time to be writing an article about how beautiful life is, considering the current circumstances. However, this semester I have truly seen how beautiful this life is, despite any situation I will encounter.

I began 2020 in Ferrara, Italy with my best friend, a foreign exchange student from high school. I went to visit her and explore the country of Italy and all it has to offer. I was able to experience an incredible culture with amazing architecture, rich history and beautiful people.

After returning to Oklahoma for the new semester, I had a completely different perspective on life and I began to notice the small, minute details and provisions that God had so intricately been orchestrating in my life. I had a better understanding of just how much God loves us.

Shortly after beginning the spring semester I was offered an opportunity to return to Italy for a mission trip over spring break. Was this a coincidence? I think not. Was God trying to show me something? Was this a sign of him trying to show me something? Was I going to make the right decision? All of these questions filled my thoughts and prayers for weeks. I finally surrendered all of these thoughts and decided to step out in faith and walk obediently in what I thought was God's plan.

Just a few weeks after committing to go to Italy to share the gospel with Italian college students, the pandemic known as the coronavirus broke out in Italy and spread rapidly. Just like everyone else, I was fearful and extremely doubtful of why this was happening. The beautiful country I had been exploring just weeks before,was now experiencing an illness that was putting the entire world in a panic and shutting everything down.

As the virus began to spread, so did the fear. All international and stateside mission opportunities for the rest of the year were cancelled and the rest of the spring semester was moved online.

This entire experience has been scary and hard to navigate for everyone. Some people have responded with panic, fear and hysteria and others do not have a care in the world. Some may even experience a mixture of all of these responses.

Right now, we are living in a time where we have literally been robbed of our busyness. Our normal routines and our hectic schedules have all come to a halt and I can't help but wonder what God is trying to teach me throughout all of this. I thought I was walking in obedience and following God's will for my life and I was fully trusting him to provide opportunities and to carry me every step of the way. I was frustrated and confused, but I no longer was doubtful. It was a feeling that I really can't even begin to explain. After many difficult conversations trying to navigate through some of these feelings with my mentor and some of my closest friends, I have finally come to a conclusion about this life and how I should be viewing it. I can now confidently say that a relationship with the Lord is what makes this life truly beautiful. La vita é Bella.

Even in the midst of the disappointment, fear, doubt, struggles and temptations of this world, he still chooses to love me and he loves me abundantly. This world is a mess right now and for good reason. We have become so accustomed to relying on ourselves and "going with the flow" that we have all lost sight of what really makes this life beautiful. Pursuing a relationship with the Lord will bring more peace, clarity, and confidence than anything this world could ever offer. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the hysteria and fear that the media and society, as a whole, will throw out there, but I want to encourage you to seek God's guidance and he will make it clear what it is that he is doing.

We are guaranteed to go through this life with hardships and trials. the Bible is full of accounts of people struggling with illness, death, plagues, wars and many other hardships, but there is one thing that is constant throughout the entire book. God's abundant love for his people. I want to encourage you to focus on the one thing that will always be constant despite our ever changing circumstances. When Jesus was preparing to leave the disciples he was reassuring them of his provision and how he planned to provide for his people and anyone who believed in him.

Although the times have changed and the circumstances are different, I think this verse applies extremely well. I hope that you will recognize that this life is beautiful because of Christ and I would encourage you to hold onto that during these uncertain and daunting times.

"I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:27

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