September 5th: Departure

As I am writing this I am sitting at the gate to board my first flight that will take me to Istanbul. After a long three days of tough goodbyes, I’m not sure whether or not I want to be here right now. Everything in me wants to just call my mom and dad and tell them to turn around and come get me so that I can just stay here with them. But I can’t, and I won’t. It has been so clear to me that God has ordained this journey for me to take. Last week Friday, I was $80 away from my support goal. On Saturday a good friend of mine came to visit from Minnesota. With her she brought an envelope from her and her summer project roommate who had selflessly donated her tip money from a job at Dunkin’ Donuts. In the envelope was exactly $80. At the time I don’t think I showed it, but I was stunned. Over the past week God has made it overwhelmingly clear that this is exactly where He wants me to be this semester. I have reached my full support goal. I was able to see almost every person I hoped to, and was able to squeeze them and say “see you at Christmas time.” I was able to finish my long list of errands. Every last minute detail has fallen into place. And now here I sit. At gate M13 of the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, fully aware that I’m about to go on an incredible adventure. I’m just not sure how to deal with it, you know? I just said goodbye to my mom, dad, and my boyfriend Zachary.

Tears streaming, I walked into the security line. The security man could clearly tell that I was upset and after asking me if I was okay, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a stack of tissues and handed me one. A small, sweet gesture of encouragement that was exactly what I needed. Then I walked around the corner and within my sight were 3 different babies, all awake and cute as can be. For those of you who know me, you understand that these babies, without having to do a thing, were able to raise my spirits. I’m at two extremes: sad and excited. The best way to describe the average of the two is just, “okay.” I’m okay. God is giving me small, seemingly insignificant things to show me He knows me better than anyone and that He is present and working. He has provided me with the most incredible support system of family and friends who are prayerfully sending me to follow Him to Thailand. And on the other side of this long 24 hours of travel, I will be greeted by the people who have been encouraging me and praying for me from across the globe for the past four months. I’m so sad to leave, but so excited to go. Updates to follow.

-E

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