18 Jan 2017
By: Juliandra Durkin
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” -John 10:10
Abundant life. I dream of that some days. After packing my lunch, cleaning dishes, putting gas in my car, working all day, barely getting a shower after my work out and in between church groups and going out with friends.
Abundant life. Most days seem monotonous. Routine. Maybe adventurous when I travel or perhaps my days seem like a comedy when joking with coworkers. But abundant?
Is that what Jesus really said?
Yes. He has called us to an abundant life, my friend. And this is how I know it’s true:
Throughout my college and post college years I struggled to get along with my family. A divorce split my parents my freshman year at school. My brothers have been on and off of drugs and in and out of jail for over a decade. And I felt like I could do life better on my own, without the drama, on the other side of the country.
Well, about a year after graduating college, because of circumstances beyond me, I moved 3,000 miles back home. That was two years ago. And for most of that time, I begged God to open up any door, in any country so I could leave my hometown because of the painful memories here.
But wouldn’t you know that my hometown is where God called me to start my career.
After a YEAR of applying to jobs and internships, with few interviews, watching my bank account grow small from living off of my savings, and struggling to forgive my family for how normal it was in conversation to bring up “police” and “lawyer” I finally got a “Congratulations we can’t wait to have you on our team!” letter.
The last two years have been a journey for sure… bringing me to the past 4 months, where I am getting a taste of abundant life right in the middle of everything in my home town.
Yes, it’s written right there. In the Bible. Plain and simple. Jesus came not just to forgive and pave a way to the Father, but to bring us abundant life and He is showing and teaching me how to have life abundantly where He’s called me.
Career taking flight, I now work in TV Production as a sports Producer and Director, where I am challenged daily and feel freedom to be “me” in my work. I was able to take a 10 day vacation back to Southern California for Christmas. My Dad took the time to help me pick out a new, safe car that I can afford- a blessing these winter days in Pennsylvania. And despite the family saga of crap that has been the main narrative for 10 years, God is teaching me to forgive, forgive, forgive and in that I am connecting with my family in new ways these days.
I pray that in the routines of life you may find yourself. In the trials- relational, financial, physical. Behind the closed doors that make you feel claustrophobic or trapped. I pray you continue to press on, with bravery, and trust in the Lord that He has special plans for you. It might not come the way you expect, but your abundant life is just around the corner my friend.
Do not lose hope.
Photo Cred: Chelsea Steller
Juliandra Durkin is the manager for Wonderfully Made’s blog Know Your Value. She also writes at Written Jewels, a personal blog with stories and reflections on life. Besides writing, she spends her free time exercising or out in nature. Give her a beach or a mountain; sunrise or sunset, she loves it all, especially walking her dogs in the woods! A graduate of Westmont College, Juliandra was able to attend three study abroad programs exploring Spain, parts of the Middle East, and Mexico. These experiences gave her a heart for culture and travel and she hopes to get more stamps in the passport soon!