Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And so it begins!!! Finally!

I leave tonight for South Africa.
In 7 hours, I will be in the air.
It’s surreal in a big way but it also feels too real to be true… if that makes sense. After this awesome week of orientation in Chicago, I feel secure in my decision to answer this call and become a servant abroad for a year. However, I also have a better sense of how challenging this year will be. This isn’t an experience of comfort- it’s going to challenge us to be dependent on others for the tiniest things, especially with language and culture differences. But the YAGM program is so wonderful and I completely trust the people in whom we have put our faith. They are awesome!

This entire week has connected us not only with each other but also with Alumni of the program. The relationships we have formed here, I can already tell are going to be awesome resources for our spiritual journeys. These people understand the depth of what is happening for us all and have (or will have) first-hand experience similar to what this year will bring. I am SO grateful for the friendships we have made here!!

On a less joyous note, today and this week in general have been hard for me. Saying “for real” good-byes to friends and family over the phone has been pretty difficult and although I know in my mind that a year will go fast and it will be an awesome experience, my heart feels the sadness of departure. I also feel that a large part of why this has been difficult for me is because of other matters weighing down on my emotions. Last week, in the two days leading up to my flight out to Orientation on Wednesday I was at the memorial service and committal of my Granny. My mom’s mother had been sick for a few weeks and we didn’t really know how it was going to unfold. But I am so thankful that I was able to attend the services and be there to start the grieving process with my family. This event, I believe will be a huge part of my year away. Being away from my family during this time will be difficult for me and while I’m excited beyond expression for what lies ahead, I’m worried about them… to be honest.

So- That’s where I’m at!! A little nervous, a lot excited, grieving, Spirit-filled and ready to do what God has set before me. In a strange way, it truly is a beautiful thing!

Thank you all for your support, prayers, friendship and well-wishes. It would have been impossible for this to happen without your love and support. I'll miss you but I am SO grateful for each of you! (If you are not yet on my email list for my monthly newsletters, EMAIL ME!!!

PEACE!!! =)