*Random note* Yesterday was Juliana Christine's birthday (My sister who I previously wrote about) and tomorrow is her "Feast Day," The day she entered heaven!
I've been home for over a week now... thus I know it's time for an update. I've heard the question asked ; What are you doing Jess? Where are you??
Before I begin I want to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have supported and encouraged me during this time of transition. Your words have helped me tremendously and given me the strength to persevere and remember always that this time is a gracious gift from God.
I've been largely off the radar. My dear friends can attest to that. mea culpa, mea culpa... I've got to get better at communication.
Honestly, I'm not even sure where to begin. I've gone through so many stages and emotions and thoughts it would take a ridiculous amount of space to write them all. I can tell you this: God is good. I'm so thankful to be home. The day I left Michigan I called the director of the program (from the airport in DC) and asked her to explain to me again why I was leaving. I simply couldn't understand. She gently explained to me that, though I didn't see it at the moment, it was truly God's Will for me to go home... I have a bigger vocation to prepare for than a year as a missionary. I'm getting married. She told me to go home, be with Jamon and work on our future marriage since it will be a lifetime commitment. Okay I said... that's good enough for me. Often throughout that day I thought of the story of Abraham and Issac... I know I'm no Abraham, so the comparison is pale... but it helped me understand none-the-less. God asked Abraham to offer his son on the altar as a sacrifice to God. Abraham loved his son, but he loved God more, so he said Yes God, whatever you want. Just as Abraham was fixing to kill Issac God reached down and stopped him. Abraham had proven his love of God, and his faithfulness to do whatever God wants, and God said thank you, now take your son. I feel (again, pale comparison) than Jamon and I were in a similar situation. God asked for our time and relationship, and out of love for Him we said "Yes God, whatever you want." And then God smiled at us and said thanks... you can have each other back and start preparing for you marriage now. I'm so thakful to be home and to be with Jamon. I love that man. :) And, another little kiss from Christ, now I'm home for our God-Baby's Baptism. Jamon and I are God-parents to the precious Tate Russell.
When I arrived in Dallas the first thing I did was go to the grocery store. I couldn't wait to get some fresh veggies and soy milk. Mmmm! Mom was a good sport and let me fill the basket with all my favorite foods. After the grocery store I didn't really know what to do. What do you do when you have no car, money or idea of what's in store for you? I'm not one for sitting in the still and quiet so I began figuring out where God may want me. I called my contact for the orphanage in Ecuador (LOVE IT!), called my friend Stefani who lived in Dallas, talked to my mom... tried to get as many option on the table as I could. Needless to say that by the end of day one I had plenty of job and ministry possibilities to fill up a year or more. Now I was faced with the task of figuring out what I was supposed to do... and I decided nothing. I told our Lord that I would wait two weeks before committing to anything. I would give him the silence and stillness and be open to hearing what He wants for me. The first day was hard, the second too... but now it's pretty easy not having a job and not having a clue. I think next week I may get stressed about not having an income... we'll see.
Truly, each day has been a blessing and a struggle. I'm in a continuous battle with myself. I find it so easy to fall back into my self-centered ways; to wake up each morning and think "What am I going to do today?" What I want to think is "Christ, what would you like me to do today? How can I love more?" The difference it makes is unreal. Through this process I've realized that I am not the center of the world, in fact, it doesn't revolve around me at all, like I would have previously thought. The truth is, I'm here only to love those that I encounter. Each and every person I see, talk to, touch etc is a person that I'm called to love in an intense and personal way.
Digression: Have I told you simply what I'm doing or where I am? No. Geesh. I'm currently living in Dallas with mom and dad. I think I'll probably stay here, but am open to whatever God wants from me. I hope to have some more concrete plans within a week or so about where/if I'll go on the Ecuador mission or if I'll start working again. Since I sold Tan Fran (The old Explorer) I was car-less but Jamon has generously given me Black Beauty (A '93 Bronco) to drive around. She gets me from A - B. I know that God continues to work on my humility and I am SO thankful! God always provides.
I'm going to run now... I think this entry may already be a little too long and scattered so I'll step away for a bit and write more later. Please continue to join me in prayer that God's Will be done and I be humble and open enough to listen. Know that I pray for you, my dearest family and friends, everyday. I know that I am so blessed and I am SO thankful.
All my love,