Now that I’m back in America, I thought it’d be awkward to continue blogging. I know this blog is soon coming to an end, but in some ways I feel like the experience hasn’t finished yet.
The transition back home has been very interesting. I definitely have to say that I’ve been blessed with such warm, sincere, and welcoming friends and family. My entire family surprised me at the airport and it felt surreal to actually hug and cry with them. I sense my body now being overjoyed with all the vegetables and fruits available, and I’m constantly cold since I just came back from 111°F weather. It’s so wonderful being able to cuddle with a blanket at night again and it still amazes me to peripherally look at my feet and find them so clean!
But at the same time, it has been a struggle too. It’s almost been a week since I came back and I sometimes catch myself longing for the simplicity of Chad. I miss not having so many distractions and I miss my Chadian family oh so much. Sometimes, I feel like I’m allowing things to come between God and me, now that I’m back in the comfort and safety of America. I realize just how much more strength and courage I need now.
However, God definitely knew what I needed around this time. For those who have read “My Story,” you’ll know that I first heard the calling to be an SM during my senior year of high school during a normal chapel presentation by another SM. My tennis coach, Matt Nafie, heard of my experience and asked me to present for their chapel today, which I was at first nervous to commit to. But, I knew in my heart this was something I had to do. I also ran into Tammy Parker, who lives so close-by (huge blessing!) and we went out for dinner and decided to present together at chapel! I honestly don’t know how the Spirit used our presentation to touch others, but I know that Tammy and I really really needed to share our experience with others- and especially for ourselves. As I was sitting there, clicking through the slides and speaking into the mike, I could feel my lost and confused heart slowly beginning to heal. After it was all over and I was finished talking to the teachers and students, I looked back into that corner where I sat as a teenager and remembered that first feeling- the burning conviction that God wanted me to be an SM for Him. I can’t tell you guys how incredible and profound it was for me to reflect on that day as an older me just having come back from being an SM. My heart was bursting with tears of joy as I reflected on how He had carried me since that day till now, and I’m so happy, so happy, that I dared to hear His voice that special day.