Monday, November 17, 2008

The Beginning of the End...Somewhat...

Dressing up or dressing down, neck ties or sweatpants, Frisbee, soccer, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, piano serenades, late night chats, hot cocoa and a warm blanket, hugs and wrestling, mail and packages, sessions and worship, ministry nights...ministry period, long games of Rook and even longer games of Risk, coloring books and crayons, quiet moments with God and loud moments with friends, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Swahili and every so often Spanglish, Coffee (but only 2 cups) and tea, water and...water, Crown's Chicken (A.K.A Chicken Charlies to some) and Angels Pizza, leftovers (need I say more), Walmart and the park, big vans and small parking spaces, Olympic Games and scavenger hunts, playgrounds, computers and sometimes the lack there of, missing friends and making new ones, happy moments and sad moments, learning about each other and learning about ourselves, highs and lows, ups and downs, realizations and changes, laughter and tears... and so many more things that couldn't even begin to sum up the end of this phase of our lives together...

Hello blog followers...Beth here. This entry will be written from my personal perspective as each of the girls have their own experiences that I am sure you will read about to come. As you probably already know, it is the final week of training, and so this blog entry will merely touch upon the last 2 months of my life. As I am nearing the end of this chapter I am forced to look back on where I came from. It was not too long ago that I was sitting in my house wondering silently to myself and to God, "what is next for me?" I couldn't imagine staying where I was any longer, but I wasn't getting any answers about the imminent "next step..." That is, until I spoke with John King and Chris Epp. I remember the days to follow: the tearful phone call to Mom stating "I'm going overseas" and the tearful response of "I think I knew this before you called." The packing up of my life in boxes and in suitcases, the final day at a job in which I would have an income, the haste in calling as many of my family and friends to inform them, the list of "things to do before..." and then, the sound of my apartment door slamming behind me as I left behind (for a few months at least) the life I had become accustomed to and was comfortable in.

That sound has been and will be ingrained in my mind as the moment in which I chose to free-fall with God.

I have come a long ways in the last few months. I have become confident in my prayer life, and my Bible has become so much more than just a book - it is God's Love Letter written specifically for me. I have seen people's lives changed, and I have observed changes in my own. I have given myself over to the healing process and allowed God to heal me. I have, in some ways, grieved the life I left behind, and have begun to rejoice at the prospects of the life I have ahead of me. I have walked the path of "weighing the cost." What am I willing to lay down for the cost of following my Savior where He calls me? It really isn't much. Yes, I may lose a few friends along the way, I may not have a job or an income when I return, the life I led before will not be the life I lead when I come back, no matter how hard I try to make it so. But Christ has called me to something serve the Kingdom. And so, I have weighed the cost, and I have chosen Christ. I have accepted this ministry. I have accepted Spain. And the best part about this is:

Christ has also chosen me.

The path that lies ahead of this team will be full of ups and downs and twists and turns. I would expect nothing less than to take a few wrong turns here and there and possibly become so confused and frustrated that we all flop down on a couch and cry out, "What am I DOING here?!" And yet, I somehow long for that time...because it is in those vulnerable and painful moments, when we cry out to God with the only strength we have left in us, that He is faithful and provides an overwhelming sense of peace. He won't always give answers...and to be honest, being as independent as I am, I am thankful for this. But He will ALWAYS show up. And that brings more comfort than anything. It was in that moment, when I cried out to God saying: "What am I doing?!" that he brought me to this program, to this moment in my life. I see the pathway now - clearly marked. It was practically paved...I just didn't see it until now. God was faithful...and faithful He will remain.

Some of you may be saying: she shouldn't be doubting! She should be confident. And please trust me, the confidence in this team is beyond words. But there are honest moments when we all look at each other and our eyes express what we are all feeling. This is all new for each one of us, and we have a lot yet to process.

The list of things we have experienced here at HDC is small...and there are many more things to be added, of that I'm certain. I expect a period of mourning, a deep sense of sorrow related to missing the friendships we just made, and a sense of confusion as we leave a safe place to go to a ... well... completely different place that is not yet "safe" for us. But with those things, I believe that God will be faithful and show up...

It is with that expectation that I continue to free-fall...

For Christ and for Spain,


Matthew 4:19