Sunday, April 24, 2011

Porque √Čl Vive

I only have a few minutes to get in a post for Easter - and by now this is no longer a quirky tradition but rather a deep-seeded habit. And there's SO much to write about, I'll never make it in time for this contrived deadline of mine... But here's trying.

First off, I've been amazed at how this semester has flown by. I've been "practice" teaching fifth grade math this month in a Jackson Public School, and I have absolutely fallen in love with the kids there. I'll admit I was terrified at first - afraid of being rejected and not connecting with the kids or my cooperating teacher - but God has been so faithful! Whether it's been a good day or a not-so-good, my heart has grown for these kids every single day. Hearing my name mispronounced countless time a day - I love it. Seeing them light up when they GET IT (the math concepts or my name - I'll take either) finally - takes my breath away. It's amazing having this calling affirmed and really coming to life. I feel so at home in the classroom. It's absolutely where God has made me to serve. And I am THRILLED to do it. And these meager words don't even begin to express how much I love it. (If you can imagine...)
I'm also in the middle of classes for getting a certificate to teach English as a second language, and while I'd rather be IN the classroom actually teaching, the classes have been fascinating - brought out my nerdy side with linguistics and second language acquisition. And I've seen God use this, too! One of my London professors invited me to come and speak at her WMU meeting and share about my trip to Peru last summer, and after speaking there, I got an invitation to speak at ANOTHER WMU group where I met Mrs. O'Dell - another former London professor's wife(!) - who wanted me to teach her missions group the basics of English as a second language teaching before they head to Mexico this summer - to the same school where my "big sis" Betsey is serving this year as a missionary. Mrs. O'Dell and her husband were also once part of the faculty at Southeastern Seminary... where Andrew has been feeling led to go... and have connections with potential teaching jobs in North Carolina for me in the future... Coincidences? I think not. Haha! Again, I'm really just stunned looking back at all of these "incredible chances" that have been so affirming in learning to trust God's providence...
And speaking of this Andrew person... :) just know, Internet world, that God's plans and God's timing are absolutely perfect. Who'd've thought that a last-minute Secret Church trip back in November would bring such incredible blessings into my life... I randomly went to the Church at Brook Hills with a camp friend and her friends from junior college, and Andrew happened to be the driver for the weekend... And after he gets back from serving as a missionary over the Christmas break, he contacts me, and the rest of the story is pretty much history...
And looking back further - since this IS technically my senior year and with that comes much reflection over the past four years - I've been amazed just how every little moment in life has been orchestrated for the glory of God... I have some of the most incredible friends I could ask for. Friends who have challenged me to grow and at the same time challenged me to stay young at heart... Friends who are moving to Africa to serve - and that in and of itself is a beautiful story only God could have put together... Friends who are still waiting patiently on God's guidance for what the future may bring... Seeing His guidance in the past and trusting in His faithfulness and steadfastness for the future...
And this weekend, I was one of 50,000 brothers and sisters all over the world tuned in to "Secret" Church that has become less and less of a secret and more and more of a global movement, and throughout Friday evening I felt this overwhelming sense of being connected to something so much greater than myself... being part of this Body of Christ... knowing that God has called us as a Body - His Bride - to go and make disciples... to carry His Name... to share the message of His salvation through repentance and believing the Gospel... starting here... with my precious kids at Pecan Park... and all the way in another hemisphere to those beautiful faces of Peruvian children that are still ever-focused in my heart...

All the way my Savior leads me.
Who have I to ask beside?
How could I doubt His tender mercy
Who through life has been my guide?

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the Living Bread.

You lead me and keep me from falling.
You carry me close to Your heart.
And surely Your goodness and mercy
Will follow me...

All the way my Savior leads me.
All the fullness of His love.
All the sureness of His promise
In the triumph of His blood.

When my spirit clothed immortal
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.

All the way my Savior leads me.