Wednesday, November 4

The Thankful Project: November 4th

Thankful Project: November 4th: An experience

"For there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to rebuild,
a time to weep and a time to laugh
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

This passage always soothes my soul and reassures me that 'this' is just a season. When we're experiencing pain, sadness, pain or upheaval I am reminded that God promises peace and hope (Jeremiah 29:11) and that this too shall pass (Ecclesiastes 3). Sometimes you don't know you're in a season until you look back. Every experience, every person we've encountered was orchestrated by God. I believe that God doesn't do coincidence. Our experiences shape who we become, God uses them to build us up and mold us into the men and women of His Kingdom.

I think one of the experiences I'm most thankful for is my time overseas. God had a plan for me and He had to send me thousands of miles away from home for it to come to fruition. My time in England changed who I was. I was shy my whole life. I was quiet and reserved. England changed that for me. God had to draw me out of the familiar and into the unfamiliar and I had to 'get comfortable with being uncomfortable'. Know what, it worked! I'm not saying I'm this loud and outgoing life of the party but I gained a new confidence while in England that has greatly affected my life. There's something about living in a foreign country and being completely on your own that changes a person. I learned to adapt to new situations, I managed to figure out how to navigate the UK rail and bus system effortlessly, I figured out how to cook on an oven that wasn't much larger than an American microwave, I learned how to fix a water heater, I managed to make new friends, finish school and travel the country without getting utterly lost (except for that one time). Ha. I gained a new confidence, I danced, I stayed out too late, I wore high heels that I look at now and probably would've snapped my ankles. I ate greasy pub food, I learned to love hard cider, I learned to speak another language...I learned about myself and what this blondie was made of!

God orchestrated my move to England, He set things in motion that could only be through Him. He sent angels along the way to protect me and guide me, and even though I didn't realize it then, looking back I see His protective arms around me that whole trip. It has been years since I returned to the States but I am so thankful for the experiences and the life lessons God taught me on that journey... I would've trade it in for all the tea in the world.