Not once, or twice, but five times I have flown across the Pacific Ocean on my way to making a new place my home. The most recent move was about six months ago when I moved to the beautiful land of Australia.
Most of my life was spent in Hawaii in the United States of America, and if I am being honest, I thought that moving to a coastal town in Australia wouldn’t be that different from what I was used to. I would be near the beach, I had friends living there, everyone spoke English, and, since I have an American accent, as long as I didn’t open my mouth I would fit right in.
But it takes more than that for a place to feel like home.
A few weeks in, after the excitement had settled, I realised that I was terribly uncomfortable. Nothing felt normal; my closest friends were oceans away, and I felt like I was missing out on my family’s life. Some days I felt like I just needed to eat tons of chocolate, and other days I felt like all I wanted to do was sleep. To my disappointment, excessive amounts of chocolate and sleep did not fix the problem.
So there I was feeling uncomfortable and craving sleep, when God, in His grace, reminded me about a thing called self-control. It’s something everyone knows they should have, but we cringe when we think about putting it into practice. Nevertheless, God knew exactly what I needed and was prepared to help me completely. He reminded me that He is the only one who satisfies, and He showed me that seeking comfort in anything else just leads to dissatisfaction.
Self-control is an absolute gift from the Holy Spirit.
I realised that it is impossible to be self-controlled without His help. I began to turn to the Lord far more often than I had before, and chose to seek Him first. When chocolate was the only thing that sounded good, I quickly asked the Lord for help. He was so faithful to remind me of His character, and the Holy Spirit gave me strength that I know I could not have come up with by myself. I started inviting God into the seemingly insignificant parts of my life here in Australia. Self control was not something that I could do by myself; instead, it was the result of being in relationship with the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) and allowing His Spirit to work in my life. My desire for this relationship proved to be more powerful than my cravings. And it helped me actually feel at home.
I have found that self-control is not abstaining from something; rather, it is choosing God, through the strength of the Holy Spirit, to be my sole source of comfort.
YWAM Newcastle Staff
Hanna (USA) joined staff in October 2016, and currently works in our Student Communications Department. She is passionate about welcoming others into missions, and she enjoys exploring, taking photos and spending time with friends.
This post is the ninth and final blog in a series on the fruits of the Spirit by YWAM Newcastle staff and alumni. In the series, each author shares how a specific fruit of the Spirit has impacted their understanding of God’s character. Through these blog posts, we hope to encourage you to look for examples of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your own life.