Japan & Individuality

I’ve been home from Japan for a little over a week now and there’s so much to tell about! I went to Japan last year and this year was different than before. Different because I knew what to expect and because my life is different now than it was then. I grew up a bit and learned some new things. One thing though that God has really been trying to teach me is that I am my own person.

This has been a very difficult thing for me to grasp at some points in my life, but while in Japan that was something I felt God was really trying to get across to me. The truth of the matter is, we are all different! We all have different callings in life and we all have different ways of living and thinking. God created us all to be different! No two of us are the same, no matter what we believe. This concept of individuality has been hard for me to understand because for so long I defined myself by other people and what they thought of me. I thought I had to earn God’s love and earn the love of people around me by being like them, which is so far from the truth! Even though I’m only 21 I’ve learned a lot about God’s love and how unconditional it is! I have also learned, and am still learning, that individuality is such a blessing from God! He crafted us specifically for the role He is calling us to! The beautiful thing about the role He has called or is calling us into is that He had this idea and plan for our life before we were thought of or born. He created us with purpose!

In Japan there is no true sense of individuality. We were told by one of our friends in Japan that while she was searching for a job she dyed her hair black because they like for everyone to look the same. That’s when God really started to show me how He has created us as INDIVIDUALS. As people who have their own way of thinking and living. No two people are alike. No matter how similar two people are, we are all unique. I thought it was a little strange at first that God chose to teach me about individuality in Japan since, as I said, there is no sense true of individuality, but as I started to process the concept of us being individually made by God I started to see Japanese people as individuals. The people I met and the friends I made, they are all individuals. They have their own stories and their own lives. They have their own struggles and their own joys. Just the same as every other person in this wonderful world of ours. They weren’t just thrown into a category of people labeled Japanese, the strangers on the train and the friends I made are all individual people whom God loves very much! He doesn’t see them as Japanese people, He seems them for who they are. He knows their name and how many hairs they have on their heads.

We all have different ways of viewing life and of handling stress. The key is to learn how to accept those things of different people. To see people as the individuals they are. To accept their best of times and worst of times. It is difficult, but friend it is so wonderful! Although it has taken me 21 years to understand the concept of individuality I am so glad for it because I am beginning to truly understand the person I am and who God has created me to be. I am starting to understand His love for the people of this world! How His heart breaks when we hurt and how He so enjoys our individuality! Individuality is a beautiful thing friends, lets celebrate it!!