Workhorses in Central Illinois
The last three weeks or so since I got back to the States have absolutely flown by: to use the expression, I "hit the ground running." The days have been filled with many much anticipated and hoped-for events: time with my family, the chance to see my out-of-town sister and her adorable baby (such a happy little girl!), and two glorious opportunities to see my fiancé. Five months is way too long to be away from the love of my life!
I've enjoyed bacon (your turn is coming, Michael!), been out after dark (couldn't do that where I lived overseas), and been overwhelmed by options in Target (how many shampoo options do you need??). However, I've also missed things: the simplicity of life I enjoyed for the last 9 months, delicious naan bread, and the gorgeous mountains that surrounded me. More than anything, I've missed people: my students and their family, fellow teachers, my host family. These people cared for me, extended their friendship to me, and shared their lives with me: there's no possible way for me to simply forget them.
How do I sum my time there up? How do I answer when someone asks for the "30 second version"? How do I tell of the relationships, culture, adventures, daily life? How do I explain the joy, tears, community, loneliness, peace? How can I ever tell of His faithfulness, sustaining hand, comforting love, gracious mercy, and daily provision?
Perhaps I'll never fully figure that out, but if I must sum everything up succinctly, I can think of one word: thankful. I'm forever thankful to the Giver of all good gifts for my time overseas the last nine months.
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen." - Romans 11:36