Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sitting at His Feet

"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me. But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,  but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:38-42

      This week was hard.  So many 7-10 year old campers, a few 10-13 year olds, tons and tons of medications.  It became apparent Sunday night that it was going to be a harder week than the first, so I buckled in but with completely the wrong mindset.  The first part of the week, I felt like I was drowning in bags of medications, trying to answer counselor and camper questions, feeling like I was doing absolutely nothing to connect with the campers.  

      On Tuesday, I was smacked in the face with the realization that I was focusing completely on myself and the circumstances instead of the Reason I'm here this summer.  The next morning while we were on a run, my friend referred to this passage in Luke, one that is very familiar but too often forgotten.  It's simple, really: all God wants is for us to stop running around, stop worrying about everything around us, stop fretting about things that don't matter, and simply sit at his feet and soak in His presence. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

This is Not Goodbye

      At this moment, I am sitting in the middle of my bedroom floor, surrounded by the majority of my possessions, most of which are spilling out of half-packed, tropical-print duffel bags.  Yes, the fact that I am leaving in ten hours is obviously not of concern to me, since I'm choosing to blog instead of pack.  Several people in the last couple of days have asked me to blog more often, so blog more often I will! 
      Yesterday was my last day of work in the emergency room.  I managed to hug all of my beloved co-workers with only a tear or two - how that happened I will never know.  To my OSU family: I love you and will miss you dearly.  Thank you for everything you have taught me, for all the times you've encouraged me, made me laugh, and pushed me to be better.  You've helped make me stronger and I wouldn't be the nurse I am today without you.  
      Tonight, my parents hosted a "'til we meet again party" at our church.  I decided I don't like the sound of a "goodbye party"...way too final.  So many dear friends came to hug me and wish me well, assuring me that I will be remembered in their prayers, for which I will be forever grateful.  It was such a blessing to see so many precious faces from all the different seasons of my life come together to send me off.  Jesus is so good to me!
      Through all of the hugs and "I'll miss yous" over the past two days, only one, the very last, actually caused tears to run down my face.  Why is it that sometimes we don't realize how significant a person is until we're faced with saying goodbye? 
      That's all for now, since packing is a must at this point.  And no worries, I'll keep you updated on all of my adventures, whether you like it or not!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A New Adventure

      I have been trying to write this post for a week now and have obviously been unsuccessful until now.  There are so many thoughts spinning through my head at such a rate that they keep bumping into each other.  Probably I should have forced myself to blog earlier in the week, since now most of you already know what I'm going to be doing with the next two years of my life - which is the next step I told you about a few months ago in a post...the one I was keeping a secret from most people. 
      In August, I will be moving to Nyack, New York to attend Alliance Theological Seminary.  As most of you know, I have dreamed of a life of medical missions in Africa since I was 13.  I have spent the past ten years pursuing nursing, jumping at every opportunity to grow and learn, all the while looking forward to the day when nursing will take me to my beloved Africa.  I now have a year of experience as an emergency room nurse, an experience for which I am so thankful - I couldn't have asked for a more perfect first job.  
      This past year has been a year of preparation in every sense: professionally, financially, emotionally, spiritually.  I was frustrated on more than one occasion, tired of waiting and ready for the next step, the one that would take me closer to fulfilling my calling.  There were honestly times when I wondered if God had forgotten about me, if He was just going to leave me floundering, trying to figure out what in the world He was trying to teach me by telling me to stay in Oklahoma for now.  I'm sure you will not be surprised to hear that He has not forgotten about me, but instead opened up exactly the right doors to take me exactly where I've always wanted to be.  In the fall, I will be attending ATS to pursue a master's degree in intercultural studies.  I cannot begin to describe how excited I am to learn more about the Bible, people, and ministry.  The plan is to then go overseas with the Christian & Missionary Alliance as a full-time missionary.  
     So, that's kind of the long-term (if 2 years is long-term) plan.  Next Friday, my mom and I will pack up Dora the Explorer (she's my car) and drive to Rodney, Michigan, where I will spend the summer at Cran Hill Ranch.  Yes, I'm going to be a camp nurse!  I never had the opportunity to attend summer camp as a child, so I'm fulfilling a childhood dream!  I'm looking forward to a slower (and cooler) summer than what I'm used to.  At the end of the summer, I will pack up Dora again and drive to New York.  Talk about cross-country travel! 
      Well, that's my life for now!  Super crazy how fast everything has happened, but that's usually best for me, since I sometimes have problems making up my mind.  God seems to be pretty good at working things out in such a way that I can just go along with the plan because everything falls exactly into place at exactly the right time!  Yes, I have cried all week (and several times today) as I've said goodbye to people and started packing up my room, thinking about everyone I'm leaving behind.  I never realized how much Oklahoma truly is home until I planned on leaving.  While I feel like my heart is breaking, I am excited to discover what this summer and the next two years in New York hold for me.  Please keep me in your prayers as I embark on this new adventure!  "May every sunrise hold more promise, and every sunset hold more peace."  Blessings!