As all of you could probably decipher from my last blog...
I have become stressed, overwhelmed, and highly anxious in the past two weeks. All these emotions have led me to dread the New Staff/Pre-Field Orientation (or training as I think I called it).
All I knew about orientation was that we would be in boonie-ville New York for two weeks going to a bunch of "talks" about global stuff... whilst at my parents things like planning, packing, and paperwork were waiting at home to be completed! To say I did not want to go is a mild understatement. I really was trying so hard to not think it was going to be a waste of time.
This, my friends, is just another prime example in my life, where my Father has proved that He knows what is best for me long before I have the humility to get clued in.
Guys, we're on day five out of sixteen and it has been SO GOOD. I am surrounded by educators from all over the world... young and old, single and married, American and not... people who in one way or another have a heart for international education. Meanwhile, these people, my friends, are about to be scattered to the ends of the earth to teach, counsel, administrate, and most of all pour their love and talents into students from continents and cultures everywhere. (Notice that was a really hard sentence to write because there are only so many ways to reference "from all over the world", haha).
I feel shockingly at home here among these total strangers because we all have a similar passion. A passion for travel, a passion for the nations, cultures, adventure, and more than anything a passion for our Father. What an incredible testament to my Father's vision for the world that He brought all these people together to be a part of His great plan! I am honestly in awe and so inspired.
I have dreamed about teaching internationally for so long and now it is almost a breath away. It is so wonderful to be surrounded by people with all these different stories and experiences, yet we have all ended up in the same place. A yes of obedience to a calling. (I've already convinced myself I've made some life-long friends who I will want to keep up with and hear about their adventures in whatever city or country they are headed to!)
I have learned SO MUCH already... about myself, my dreams and ambitions, my expectations and desires for China, and my Father's abounding love. Today, there was a focus on cultures and specifically Third Culture Kids. You may know one of those. I cried and cried and cried to see myself on the presenter's screen. Not literally, but they introduced the average TCK's incredible strengths, as well as their greatest challenges and unique worldview, in such depth I could not help, but be overwhelmed with emotion. It was so strange to see myself on that board... and realize that I am totally normal! These struggles with things like loss (of country and people), displacement, occasional loneliness, or a desire to be known and understood were things that are to be expected of TCKs (our students)! It was such an unexpected comfort. Yet, it also instilled in me a renewed assurance that teaching international students, teaching those TCKs from around the globe is my absolute Heaven-given calling. I honestly, cannot express to you what a blessing it is to have that refreshed assurance.
Also, flashing back to my stress and anxiety in life about so many things at the moment... coming to orientation has given me that healthy step away that has reminded me that no amount of worry or 'chosen' stress can change the things I do not control.
My God has closed the mouths of lions, parted great seas, and raised men from the dead. A few pieces of paperwork and packing are in no way an obstacle for His greatness.
I am seeking to rest in His love, His promises, and His calling on my life.
Thank you for your support and prayers!