Yup, I’m back home now. It feels good to be home, that’s for sure. Caleb is HAPPY (that’s a Praise!) and jetlag isn’t giving me too much trouble (another Praise!). This was the last trip to the States that I’ll be making without Caleb. (Unless there’s an emergency.) Those of you reading this from the States – we’ll see you in about 2 years. When I say “we” I mean Caleb and I. Wow. To think that there will be a day when I bring Caleb with me…
This trip…how do I put into words what happened? I still am kind of reeling from all that God did during those 10 days. It was so unexpected – everything. Let me try to break it down. Although, I’m warning you now, I am still trying to wrap my mind around all that He did so it may be a little confusing. I’m going to try, though, to give you a glimpse into how God showed Himself during this time. Let me tell you, it was in some pretty amazing ways.
1. Before leaving I asked God to open up conversations on airplanes. Something I usually don’t enjoy doing but felt I should ask God to do this trip. I know now why – but was I ever unprepared for how He wanted to work in these ways. Each person I spoke with wanted to know about what was going on in Marghita, they encouraged me in what I was doing, and – in various ways – want to see how they could help. Contact information was exchanged with 3 of the 5 individuals that I spoke with.
2. I reunited with some dear friends of mine in Houston for a few hours during an overnight layover to San Antonio. To worship and laugh with them…it had been 4 years since I had seen them. So thankful this worked out!
3. Met up with my mission organization in Kerrville, TX. After my pastoral care couple picked me up from the airport they let me tour the Alamo, eat a very yummy Bison Burger and then we headed off to their ranch. The peace that enveloped their home and the beauty surrounding it did my heart some good. Every worry and stress that seemed to build up over the past however many years left for a couple of days. I met in person with each worker in the office of the organization and was so encouraged by their joy. We laughed, cried and prayed together. Praise God that I was finally able to go in person and meet everyone. My pastoral care couple ended the time in Kerrville by praying for me which, ministered to me in more ways than I could put into words.
3. Headed off to Indy and then caught a ride to Bloomington. Immediately I was met face to face with God’s work as she brought me to tears explaining how she prays for me and reads me up updates. I had no idea she read the updates or prayed for me. I was hit with God’s provisional, loving ways that I don’t even see… this conversation was just the beginning of a 5 days journey of God revealing to me how loving He is. I thought I was coming to Bloomington to update everyone there. God had other plans…He wanted to update me on how His love works and moves and is real. I spent the first night there with a family who has become a constant encouragement for me but I’ve never really had time together with. I felt as if I had come ‘home’ when I was with me. The next morning I headed over to my close friends, where I would also stay for the rest of my time in Bloomington. To be with them – oh gosh – I just MISS THEM. The blessings and encouragement didn’t stop but continued to pick up speed as the days went on. I don’t think I’ve ever met with so many people to talk about Romania before. And, I don’t think I’ve ever felt God’s presence and the leading of His Spirit so closely in sharing about all of that before. Each day was packed full with meeting up with people and groups – I was exhausted, I’ll be honest. But seeing God move hearts and change lives – mine and theirs – during these days was so worth it. Highlights were definitely the dessert/coffee night for me to do a formal update, connecting so personally with an adult Sunday School class at my home church, singing with the worship team on Sunday morning, speaking to the kids during their Sunday school time, speaking at Connexion to the college students, the mission’s prayer time, unexpected friendships forming… It wasn’t so much that I was speaking or sharing that floored me…it was feeling God so CLOSE and seeing Him move within all of these groups. Oh gosh. I still become speechless as I think back to how present His presence was. Description doesn’t work – I just can’t do it justice. Basically, God showed up – big time. Oh, HIS LOVE!
4. Friends. My dear friends in Bloomington who love me even when I don’t communicate well with them or remember their birthdays. I was able to meet up with all of them and we enjoyed Puffballs, Grilled Cheese, Kroger Doughnuts, Ice Cream and Coffee as we reconnected and caught up. Thank You, Lord… And one very special friend who flew up from Florida to be my sidekick for the weekend. Seeing her and having more than just a few hours with her – you know, there are just those people that God has so connected your heart to through His Spirit…
5. I know what is wrong with my left eye! Since July I’ve had consistent burning, ripping pain in my left eye. I tried different deals – contacts, no contacts etc… and nothing seemed to fix it. I went to an eye doctor, who I knew from some years ago, and he finally figured out that I have an allergic reaction under my left eye lid. The pictures online of what I have are really gross so I’m not going to give you a link. When I have my contact in, the allergic reaction is irritated by the contact= ripping, burning pain. When I take the contact out the allergic reaction rubs on my eyeball = ripping, burning pain. I now have the problem labeled and a solution. God is awesome!
6. I met up with my Dad for breakfast and he arrived with brand-new pictures of a brand-new baby (born just the night before)…I am officially Aunt Kelsey. Baby Dax is a big, healthy and beautiful boy. Dad drove a few hours and I drove a couple of hours so that we could meet up and exchange hugs and Christmas gifts : )
6. My son isn’t angry. We’re in Day 2 now and we haven’t hit any “war” yet. A week before I left, that was war. Unusual that it hit before I left. While away I spoke to him on Skype and he was crying so hard he could barely speak : ( I wasn’t sure what to expect when I came back. He ran into my arms and velcroed himself there as we told each other how much we missed each other. It’s been fantastic yesterday and, so far, today as well. This is a gift that I’m not sure I can explain just how grateful I am for…
How was this for a blog post? Guess it makes up for not writing for so long…yikes! Thanks to EVERYONE who made this trip possible on both the US and Romania sides! I’ll post a link to pictures later, okay?