5:38am Singapore Airport.
I don’t have an internet connection as I am writing this, but I am taking full advantage of my layover to update my blog. (which I have miserably forsaken this past week).
Last Sunday, I had a commissioning time at my home church, FBC Martin. It was so wonderful to be back after a long summer to see familiar faces and spend such a special time with church family. I am so thankful for the guidance of the Lord as I have been able to be apart of such a gospel-believing church during my college years, and could not have been any more proud or blessed by the prayers and encouragement I have received from them, even from the very beginning of this journey of leaving for the Philippines. It felt so right to be back in Martin, surrounded by friends and church family who have been there to see me grow and encourage me to do so. There will never, ever be a place quite like that small West Tennessee town. Not going back is going to be so weird, but in the new season the Lord has for me, I am trusting His leading and remembering His faithfulness in the past.
After that Sunday, with the overwhelming support of FBC Martin, donations through my blog, and gifts from two specific couples in Memphis, I was able to meet my tuition goal by August 1st! And of course, God “threw open the floodgates and poured out so much blessing that I didn’t have room for it!” (Malachi 3:10). I have been provided for once again, more than I needed for the fall. I am able to save some for the spring, have some to live off of, and be blessed by those of you who are monthly supporters to save for what will be due in the spring. I am thankful that even though I had an unbelieving heart as some points, that my Savior looks past my inability and comes through for His glory and His namesake. All glory to THE sovereign, forever-faithful God!
With the petty worries of finances taken care of, I was able to spend a lot of my week with my best friend, Jessi, preparing for her wedding on Saturday. I am thankful for that sweet time and for the rest I was blessed with.
I had a “going-away” party on Thursday at my aunt’s house. That was such a fun time, having one last hooray to celebrate with my wonderful family and friends. Friday and Saturday brought wedding celebrations for Jessi and Trent. I love weddings. And I especially loved theirs--for the wonderful love that they have, but more importantly for the testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ they present as a married couple. So very happy for them and the plans God has prepared for them.
After their wedding, it was last-minute packing time. So thankful for those of my friends that literally packed my bags for me. Never ever could I express how grateful I am for all the little things my friends have done to help me. They put feet to their faith—they are the real deal. Why have I been so blessed with these relationships?
The string of goodbyes came next. Goodbyes are not easy, my friends. Not easy at all. I think that I thought it wasn’t going to be that difficult, but even thinking about it now is very, very difficult. But looking at it now, I am so blessed that it was difficult. To have relationships that are hard to let go of shows me such a fullness about my life in the US. And having relationships to look forward to cultivating and continuing in the Philippines displays that fullness once again. A fullness in Christ.
It doesn’t truly seem real that I won’t be on US soil until next summer. I am excited for what is to come. I’m nervous about learning things and acclimating to cultural norms. I am blessed to have wonderful girls to be experiencing this with. I am anxious to see what daily life will be like. But most of all, I am thankful. Thankful that I am actually living this. Thankful that the Lord sought me and directed my path when He did. Thankful that I am a daughter of the Most High. Thankful and privileged to be sharing His love with the people in the Philippines. Thankful that His salvation is free and real and life-changing and perfect. May He continue to receive all glory through His work in my life.
And thanks to all of you who support, encourage, pray, and love me. I ask that you would “pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” That is, after all, the reason I am here.
Miss you guys!! Love and prayers,