"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Friday, June 21, 2013

How can I?

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


  1. I love you sister. I love the way you write, so poignant. I can hear how full your heart is.

  2. I love you, daughter. I love the way you write, so poignant. I can hear how full your heart is.

    Please know I WANT to LISTEN as you transition. Let's get away from the craziness of life in our extra-large family and just be alone. You can be silent. You can share your heart. I love you more than life itself!

  3. Such tremendous emotions and feelings to go through after being entrenched in another culture/family/ministry for 9 months for sure! Others will not be able to fully understand much of what you are feeling and there really aren't words to be able to explain so much of it, but I am so excited for you at even this step as the Lord molds and shapes who you are through this experience. There are perhaps things that others see as hardships and yet they resonate in your memory as sweet memories. There are relationships that will still grip your heart when you think about them years from now and long to be able to enjoy their fellowship again, yet knowing that may never happen on this earth. There are lessons the Lord has so graciously taught you that you are perhaps still trying to wrestle with. I pray you will be given grace as you try to balance all that is going through your heart and mind. In all of this, you have a faithful God.
    Love, Auntie (your future Auntie)
    (I think this will post as if Jessica wrote it, sorry.)

  4. What a beautiful way to communicate the awe one feels when God has graciously given you such fulness over such a season. It will take years and quiet moments to sort through the memories and realise all He has done, and, like Mary, treasure up all these things, pondering them in your heart. Thankful is indeed the most succinct way to put it.