to myself, a year ago.

23 July 2014

to myself, exactly one year ago,

you’re almost there! you have been plugging away at fundraising, working over full-time and helping Pk graduate. oh, and also preparing to make a major cross continental move. you are excited, a little nervous and more than a little preoccupied with packing and preparation. but i have some important things to say to you… so listen close, keep the eye rolling to a minimum and pay attention. 

First, step away from the packing. I know it seems so important right now and I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but on the day you leave you’re going to have to open all of your suitcases and toss some stuff out and toss other stuff in. It’s chaos. You will also end up spending your first two weeks in India in a hotel and living out of 9 chaotic suitcases. On top of all of this, you will accidentally leave your big bag of coffee and you will be without good coffee for a solid two months, but don’t worry, this will pretty much be the least of your worries. Basically, all the time you’re spending obsessing over what to pack is time you could be spending doing more important things. Which brings me to my next point…

Get on your knees and spend way more time with the One who has called you. The harsh reality is that there is nothing that you can do to accurately prepare yourself for what the next year holds. You are going to walk through the valley. It is going to be so much harder than you can even imagine right now. There will be days that you do not even know how you are going to get through the next ten minutes, let alone the entire day without crying or having a total breakdown. There will be days that you end up crying on a random street corner with so many sets of eyes on you. You will experience feelings and emotions that you really haven’t had to deal with before. But you’re going to be okay because you will learn how to cling to the Lord in new ways. 

While we’re talking about spending more time with Jesus, let’s talk about your identity for a second. This is going to be a big thing this year and maybe if we can get a few things straight, it won’t be as painful. Here’s the deal, I know that you’re used to being the smart one, the confident one, the one who has it together most of the time, the in-charge one, the cool, calm collected one, but these things are just things that generally describe you. These things do not define you. These things are not the end all be all. Believe it or not, you will not die if people think you’re stupid. You will not combust if you cry more than once every 4 months. And the important thing to understand is that your identity is completely hidden in Christ. There are going to be days when the only person who understands you in an entire country is Preston. And it is going to be so hard. You are going to crave understanding, shared history and community like you never have before. You’re going to want to be around people who know that you’ve been drinking coffee since you were 11, that you skipped the 4th grade and that you know how to write a business plan. But those people will be far away and you will learn so much about finding yourself in the Lord and not in what you can do and what you have accomplished. It will be hard. And you will not have it figured out a year later, but you’ll be a lot closer than you were today. 

i know that this sounds like a lot and you are probably wondering why you should get on a plane in 2 weeks… but here is one thing that you can be assured of: You never once doubt your calling to Kolkata, India. I know, after all i’ve just told you, it’s crazy, but it’s a huge evidence of grace in your life and how the Lord has grown you & shaped you. You will always know that you are absolutely supposed to be there, even on the hard days. And here’s the thing, you are not going to walk through this next year alone. You married an incredible man who balances you out in the best way. He’s still going to do that. You have an incredible support system of family & friends. It may take a little while for people to figure out how to care for you. But it’ll also take you awhile to figure out how to be a good daughter, sister, & friend from abroad. And if you’re going to learn one thing this year, the first thing i want you to learn is this: if you want grace & mercy for yourself, you have to want them & give them to other people. This will be vital to your next year. 

All of that said, good luck and don’t forget to cling to the one who has sent you, the author & perfecter of life. He has given you everything you need for life & godliness. Yes, even life in India. 

i think you’re awesome.