There are thirty-nine days left in this season of my life.
January was a quick month. Time seems to move faster when you’re in transition.
While a part of me is trying to savor every last moment of South African life and ministry, the other part is looking forward to the new adventures, challenges, and family time that I’ll experience stateside. I am feeling a bit torn in half as I enter into this period of grieving. I'm starting to grieve the upcoming loss of fellowship with my local church family in Stellenbosch, the step down from my anti-trafficking work with STOP and Straatwerk, and the distance that I will soon have with friends that have changed my life forever. I am going to miss this place and these people more than words can describe.
I am coming back to America as a different version of myself - a little more cultured, a little less arrogant, and a lot more "whole." South Africa has rocked me in ways that I never saw coming - both for the better and for the worse. My Heavenly Father lovingly redirected my path and graciously uncovered my passions - and it only took 7,648 miles and four years for all of the pieces to finally fit together. I have two goals for these next thirty-nine days: 1. Finish Strong and 2. Be Present. Reaching those two goals will be difficult since this will be a bittersweet time of mourning the end of one season while anticipating what's coming in the next.
As I leave “home” to go “home,” I will need lots of prayer and lots of support. To keep things real with you all, it would really help my heart to know that I am not alone in this process and that I haven't been forgotten, because sometimes in transitions like this, people can sometimes fall through the cracks. So please don't be afraid to reach out, send me an email, shoot me a text, and let's plan to have a coffee when I fly back to Florida!
I’ll also be starting over from scratch when my feet touch the South Florida sand. No car, no flat, no job, no church, and no decent Spanish (only "Spafrikaans"). However, it encourages me greatly to know that I will have the continued support of my family, a place to sleep and eat (in my grandparent's home) - and you all, my team of prayer warriors and co-fighters in this mission.
So please pray with me and for me - that I will be willing to do whatever it takes to follow my Heavenly Father wherever He leads. Because I know that if I want to wholeheartedly serve my "survivor sisters" in the United States and around the globe through counseling/discipleship relationships, then I need to step off this sweet South African soil and onto an international flight. I need to finish graduate school, I need to get my counseling license, I need to continue to heal from my past traumas and "stinkin' thinking," and I need to say goodbye to overseas missionary life.
The other night while I was reading through the Book of Esther, I was reminded of how sometimes God calls us to do dangerous, crazy, super uncomfortable, and risky things for His Kingdom. Sometimes that looks like marrying a rich Persian king, bravely speaking your mind, and risking your life to save an entire nation of people. Other times I think it can look like hugging and praying for women trapped in prostitution, completely uprooting from the mission field to study trauma counseling, and risking your life to do whatever it takes to bring hope and healing to sex trafficking survivors everywhere.
So here we go, one step at a time.
Thank you all for journeying with me, praying for me, and donating financially to make all of this possible. It was and will continue to be an honor to partner with you in this great adventure.