The months since my last post have flown by! It is now a little more than 2 weeks until missionary training, and approximately 2 months until I launch.
There are stages of “realness” when embarking on a journey like this. Initially, it is so far off that it hardly seems like a reality that will ever happen. The first stage of realness for me was making the decision to pursue the call, and contacting AFM to start the application process. At this point, only my family and close friends knew of my plans, and it seemed very remote.
The next stage of realness was likely the hardest step to take, and made it very much more real — telling my church and school families that I was pursuing this call and would not be returning to teach next year, and eventually turning in my written notice that I would not be renewing my contract for the following year. This was a huge risk, because if for some reason my plans didn’t work out I would look like a fool and be out of a job. Granted, that is a bit of a selfish fear, but a reality I had to work through with God.
I think the next time I felt the realness getting stronger was towards the end of the school year. It was a sad time in many ways. I cherished the last school worship, the last recess soccer game, the last silly shenanigans. Yet in the sadness (with a few shed tears), there was a feeling of being loved and looking forward to what is coming next. There were many goodbyes and well-wishes, and I hope I adequately expressed to my friends in Minnesota how much they meant to me in my time there.
With the end of the school year and the start of summer, it was time to move out of my house. This was my first house that was mine, and my first experience moving other than out of a single room. ( #adulting ) I am so thankful to the many people who helped me — my dad, my sister Rebecca, my friends Dan and Sara from church, and the Wilkins family for watching my dog.
As the weeks tick by, and the emails about training start coming closer and closer, the realness is getting stronger. It will be stronger at a whole new level when I go to training and spend four weeks learning how to share Jesus cross-culturally and bond with all the other missionaries getting ready to go out. It will be strongest when I get on the plane. And then, I will be there.
So far this summer, in addition to some classes I’m taking toward my master’s degree, I have been studying Thai. I have also been learning anything I can that will help in building relationships with Thai Buddhists and sharing Jesus’ love with them. And of course, I’ve been strengthening my own relationship with Christ.
I so appreciate all those who are supporting me by their prayers and contributions towards my fundraising goal. God bless!