One Day at a Time

When I first began learning Spanish in 9th grade there was a song that my teacher played for us. It was the first Christian song I learned in Spanish. It wasn’t my usual style of music but the words stuck in my head. When I went off to college, I would find myself wandering around campus alone, quietly singing the words of the song. Usually on days when life felt particularly tough or uncertain. Then I left for the mission field. Once again, this same song carried me through the days when the only certain thing seemed to be uncertainty about what the future would hold. This past week I traveled to a small town about 3 hours outside of Oaxaca City. While there, I attended a church service of about 20 people. Many songs were sang, but there was one in particular that encouraged my heart…Un Día a La Vez. And, as you’ve probably guessed already, it’s that same song that has been with me since I first began this journey of trusting the Lord to lead me to unknown places, to learn an unknown language, and immerse myself in an unknown culture.

The title of this song is the name of my blog. It’s the subject of at least two other posts I have written. And as I write about it today I am reminded that it’s so much more than a catchy tune or a happy coincidence that keeps popping up in my life. It’s the greatest lesson God has taught me. Uncertainty is perhaps the greatest tool he has used to grow my faith in Him. I have often chosen unconventional paths. And it hasn’t been easy. Saying yes to the things I have mean saying no to many other things that to human eyes look better.

At times I have wondered if it’s worth it. If living in uncertainty is a mistake. Or a sign that I am doing something wrong. Most people aren’t quite able to put me into a pre-existing category based on experience. Am I a missionary? A student? A teacher who just likes to travel? The reality is I have more often than not chosen to take the road less traveled. And that confuses people. Sometimes it worries them that I live without certain ‘necessities’ (I have learned along the way that what we deem necessary is often very relative and for many would be a luxury). And on more than one occasion I have been offered other opportunities that from a financial or social standpoint seem good. But as much as I pray about those good opportunities that sometimes present themselves, I never quite feel that they are right.

But what I have found is that the longer I embrace the unknown and truly learn to trust in Christ to live one day at a time, the deeper my sense of joy and love grow. And rather than feeling lost or afraid, I find myself more and more focused on the purposes he has for me, and less distracted by my own pursuits of success or comfort. Where I once felt the need to have a well thought out plan and to be understood by others, I have now learned to trust that he will provide and that wherever he leads me will hold joys far greater than those I leave behind. When I live my life one day at time, each and every day holds its own value and beauty. I am able to live in and enjoy the present rather than worry over what has been or will be. And I am able to live my life faithful to Him, even if it looks a little strange to everyone else.

So once again, here’s to trusting Him, un día a la vez. Because truly, it has been and will continue to be the best thing I could ever do with this life he has given me. And I am so very grateful that He has allowed me to grow in my knowledge and love of Him as each day goes by.

One day at a time, My God,

is what I am asking of you.

Give me the strength to live

One day at a time.

Yesterday is gone, My God,

And tomorrow perhaps will not come.

Help me today,

I want to live, one day at a time.

My translation of a couple of verses of the song. 🙂

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