A look in the rearview mirror…2013 recap

So, I completely failed at blogging in the year 2013, so here’s a quick re-cap of the challenges and blessings I faced this past year! 

In 2013…

  • I had 25 job interviews
  • I was was totally unemployed for 6 months, part time for 4 months, full time for December and counting… 😀 Praise God!
  • I got a job with Ndoto: For Africa’s Future (the ministry I served in Kenya with for 6 months in 2012) using both my degrees. 
  • I got really hand, foot and mouth disease (a virus that is normally only for small children) in July and found out in August that I had a vocal chord injury. I stopped singing, had vocal therapy and am still going… 
  • I went to China with my dad in October for 15 days, and therefore, stepped foot on all the continents except Antarctica before age 30. 
  • I spoke to a classroom of Chinese 7th graders, climbed the Great Wall, Hiked the yellow mountain, had tea in a home of a woman in an unreached people group in China, froze my behind off in Lijiang, shared the gospel with my tour guide outside a buddhist temple, went on a boat ride in the West Lake, saw Giant pandas, walked in Tiennamen Square and the Forbidden City, and laughed so hard with my dad and our 16 tour friends! 
  • I had a fourth of july family party at the lake with my dearest loved ones and my sweet niece and nephew, Shane and Callie (6 & 3). Laughed so hard, watched our dads blow up fireworks and not catch on fire, and soaked up memories! 
  • I joined Gateway Frisco, started volunteering and found a great group of ladies to share life with! 
  • In November, my dermatologist noticed a nodule on my neck near my ear/jaw line. Turned out, I had a 2cm tumor in my parotid gland. I had surgery December 11 to remove the tumor after having a sonogram, ct scan, and biopsy. Turned out, the tumor was benign (again, praise God) but the tricky part was that during surgery, my surgeon found that the nerve which controls the movement of my face was completey wrapped around my tumor. So, it took tedious work to remove the tumor and keep my facial nerve in tact. BUT…my surgeon did it! God guided his hand in such a way that my nerve didn’t even have temporary damage! Now, i’m totally healed, my voice is back to full strength, and I have no cancer! YES! 
I know it’s a short glimpse into the past year, but I wanted to just recap the struggles I’ve had, and the blessing that God has shown in my life.  In the last year I have learned that His plans are good, and they have perfect timing! It’s hard to see it sometimes, but looking back always makes it easy to see what He was up to. 
I have learned in a new way (not to say I have learned it completely) how to be content whatever the circumstances. Maintaining joy in serving cute kids in Kenya, and in a life of unemployment is difficult, but if it’s from the source of all life, Jesus Christ, it is possible.  In my mind, in those months of 25 job interviews, I had no choice but to rejoice in the Lord, trust for His provision, and let His presence be my joy. I guess you could sink into a dark depression and self pity, but I’ve been down those roads before and this time, the Lord refused to allow me to go there, and I’m so grateful! 

When I think about where the Lord has brought me, I am in awe. He has grown me so much. Even in the past few months, a dear friend told me that she can see the difference in my attitude and my heart, just by talking with me for a moment.  I’m glad the Lord’s footprint on my heart is visible to others. … what a ministry to those that are suffering. Like I always have heard since college, there is no pit too deep that God can’t get you out of it. Or, like Priscilla Shirer said at the Gateway First Conference, you cannot wear God out. His patience is unending. I am so glad I can’t wear Him out. I wear myself out, so I’m glad He’s never lacking in margin to deal with me! 

In the last year I have been bratty, broken, bruised and hurt. I’ve also been joyful, happy, full of faith, full of doubt, full of anger, full of chaos, and full of peace. I have been blessed beyond measure to experience the presence of God in my life in 2013, though I was happy to say “see ya sucka” and welcome the year 2014 with high hopes.  Though 2013 was a hard year, full of hope deferred, God was still good, gracious, near and faithful. 

Here’s hoping that 2014 is a year of favor, blessing, joy, and abundant life! 🙂 

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