The latest letter I wrote to the AIMers and AIM staff in Lubbock right now:
Hey everyone, it's been a little while since I've written, but I certainly haven't forgotten you guys. I've been thinking of you even more these past few weeks of team formations - I remember how antsy I felt during that time, and I don't miss it, haha. But I'm praying not only that God puts you "where you're supposed to be" but that you can have peace in this moment, and in future moments, concerning where you're at. I'm so excited to hear who's going where, but I guess I'll just have to wait too. ;)
I have two quick stories to share. Recently I went on a retreat with the youth group here in Grass Valley, and it was really good for me to establish relationships, reconnect with Steve and Jewel, and spend some good time with Jesus by reading the Gospel of John. But one of the most memorable things for me was singing with them Saturday night. I started to feel really emotional, and realized that since I came back from Mexico, I had only sung devo songs with a group of people maybe a handful of times, tops. I know as an AIMer it can get old to sing all the time, and you don't always feel like it, but it really is a blessing to praise God intimately with a group like that. I meditated on how God is omnipresent - in Lubbock, in Tulsa, in Mexico, in California, all at once, even though I can't be. It's a comforting thought.
Which sort of brings me to my next story - in just under a week, I will be commemorating my one-year-since-I-left-the-field day. I don't really want to say "celebrating," because it was kind of a terrible day, but I don't want to say "mourning," because it was kind of a good day at the same time. It was so hard to leave some of my best friends behind (like you, Angel) and I cried a lot. But before that, we had a party with the church. It was the beginning of what has now become a weekly event for me - singing karaoke. haha! The church hired a karaoke man and we sang all kinds of songs that day. And do any of you know about the Mexican tradition called "la mordida"? Well, it's pretty special - it means that when there's a cake for you, they all yell "bite!" until you bend down to take a bite, and inevitably someone will shove your face in it. Wendy pushed my head so hard that my glasses got stuck in the cake. And then guess what? We ate it anyway. hahaha
Anyway, I just wanted to mention that this past year since leaving Mexico has undoubtedly been the hardest year of my life, and I'm not just referring to reverse culture-shock, though I'm sure that had something to do with it. But now that I've been healing from my own mistakes and hurts from others, I can honestly say that God is faithful, and I trust him now more than I ever have before. I pray to God that you all will say the same years down the line.
I'm sorry guys, I'm feeling too overwhelmed to write shout outs, there's too many of you. I just want to say to everyone, staff and students alike, I love you, I miss you, I'm praying for you, and I hope you all have a super happy Thanksgiving wherever you may be.
Hello out there!
9 months ago