“Be dressed and ready for service and keep the lamps burning… so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him” -Luke 12:35-36
Hey friends, family, and supporters,
As you may or may not know, I am currently still in the country, and was unable to leave for South Asia in September as I originally planned. I had some issues with my visa that led to my departure for South Asia pushed back several times and, ultimately, cancelled.
And in God’s wonderful and strange will, that isn’t the end of the story.
After several frustrating and eye-opening 4-hour trips to the consulate in Atlanta, and hundreds spent in flight change fees, it became apparent that I would not be going to South Asia as I had been planning. I was crushed, months of planning, prayer, support raising, and not to mention all of the amazing support I had recieved from my family and friends and home church, all felt wasted. Stuck, I spent a couple days trying to figure out how I would possibly move on from where I was – and how I was going to tell everyone.
And then the phone rang.
I had been in contact with IJM headquarters and they were aware of all the difficulties I had been facing, and they were extremely helpful as I tried to navigate my way through the complicated mess of international bureaucracy. This particular call was from a member of the Intern and Fellows team, named Alex. Alex had been the first person I had ever talked to at IJM during my application to be a summer intern almost 2 years ago, and it was a relief to hear her voice now. She told me I had been re-assigned. I wont deny the gut-wrenching feeling that I got knowing that I officially was not going to my original assignment.
She told me a need had opened up, a big need, for an Aftercare Intern, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Thailand? Aftercare? This was the definition of not-what-I-signed-up-for. I told her I needed to think and pray about it, and as I walked into my family’s living room to tell my mother, I felt like the words were coming out of someone else’s mouth,
“Mom, IJM gave me new placement – I’m going to work with the Aftercare team in Thailand.”
In all of the chaos of the knowledge that my whole world had been turned upside-down, I felt a peace about it that can only have come from the Holy Spirit, and the knowledge in my heart that I had finally found where I was always meant to be. God had given me months to prepare, and then, like Gideon sending back almost all of his soldiers, switched the script. God, and God’s will, is so much more radical and dangerous and wonderful than I could have ever even dreamed of. I found myself laughing and smiling like I hadn’t in months into the phone as I called my best friend and my fiance, I still had no idea what I was doing, or when I was leaving, but wow, God had led me this far, who am I to question him now?
That was about 3 weeks ago; I’ve spent this time working out a start date, working on a Thai visa application, talking to the office about living arrangements, and re-packing my suitcase. To add to the madness, I’m also planning my wedding. As my departure date kept getting pushed back, I realized that the 6 months I had planned on using for getting my wedding together when I got back was now more like 4, and that I needed to have some of the major decisions made before I left.
So I don’t know exactly when I’m leaving and have very little idea of what will be expected of me once I arrive, but of this I am sure: that God is good, and is here and is more faithful than I could ever imagine.
Thank you for all of your love and patience and support, and I can’t wait to see what He has up his sleeve next!