As this year rapidly approaches its end, I can't help but wonder how a year can bring so many changes. A year ago at this time, I was making plans for a return trip to the Dominican Republic mostly because I lacked something "better" to do. Now, a year later, I'm once again making plans to return to the Dominican Republic only this time it's not because I don't have anything better to do, but because I know that God has led me there and that being there is best for me.
Since my decision last April to return to the DR to work with Students International, life has been a whirlwind full of fundraising, working as a landscaper, working as an Activities Director, Missions Training, more work as a landscaper, more fundraising, and Language Training. These activities took me to Indiana, Oklahoma, back to Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, back to Indiana, Guatemala and finally back home to Indiana. Life has been full of late nights, hard work, travel, many hellos and goodbyes, doubt, more travel, frustration, conversations in a foreign language, more frustration, and fears of the unknown. To sum it up succinctly, it has been full of transtion and challenge. As I have briefly reflected on the story of Jesus birth this Christmas, I can't help but imagine all the transitions that took place for Mary and Joseph. Excitement of coming marriage, angels visiting, becoming pregnant, fears, traveling, rumors of unfaithfulness, and finally giving birth to your child in a stable. Yet throughout all of this, God generously provided and abundantly blessed. (although it may not have been the way they thought He would do it) As I think about my transition period this past year, I too must admit that while it has been difficult at times, God has generously provided and abundantly blessed. He has provided me with friends who care deeply, encouraging notes when I have been lonely, a boss who was incredibly flexible, a mind with the ability to adapt and learn, and the INCREDIBLE generosity of friends and family.
As I look ahead to spending the next several years in the DR, I know that more transitions await and more challenges lie ahead but most of all, I know that I have a Father and Savior who is able to do immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine. While he may not always provide in the ways that I'm expecting, I look forward to the unexpected gifts that He will shower down from above. This Christmas season may each of you reflect on the many ways He has provided and enjoy the great and wonderful gift of our Savior's birth.