I felt like my previous entry about the New Year was quite truncated in comparison to what I desired to write. So here it goes, my year in review followed by my year coming.
Hard to believe its over, and even harder to believe that it was 7 hours shorter than the year before. It was December 30, 2004 when the Lord told me that He was taking me to France in 2005/6 and it had barely hit the surface of my heart. One week later I had the application finished and submitted. On January 3, 2006 I brought my awesome room-mate Chris back to Wausau and was able to meet up for dinner and coffee with an amazing girl, Jordan. I asked her out at somethings brewing. I drove back to the cities that night just blown away that she said yes, know we would have over a year of long distance to work through.
Gods hand had already been working in preparing me for living in France when He challenged me to sign up to be an RA. Had I not done this I would have signed up to room with Chris, Wes, and Scott in the new dorm suites at Stout and would have left them in a hard open spot in a four-man room. So on January 18 I showed up to RA training. I learned so much about myself through being an RA, and my time management grew so much (will happen with 19 credits as well as leading a ministry team)!
I put in another semester as the evangelism team leader. It was an amazing blessing and just looking back on how Christ moved in my heart and got me to think more rightly about His word and my attitude towards it. So amazing, not to mention the amazing team He let me be a part of. I am still so amazed by how God used us in His time.
Spring Break, it was actually my first spring break trip outside of family trips (oh, those ski trips were amazing!). Got to go to Panama City Beach with a bunch of friends from stout. Sharing the gospel on the beach, ministering with friends I know from school, and just hanging out and diving deeper in friendships. Its unreal how blessed I felt that week. I also learned that microwave bake pizza is very gross and that I love bologna is such a good replacement.
There were frozen finals (never worn a winter coat in may to school before and needed it ) and my 21st birthday dinner with the family minus Ryan but plus a Jordan. There were the hard good byes at the airport as she left for North Myrtle Beach for the summer. The week after week schedule of me initiating phone calls, when I would rather be the one called, to make appointments and sharing a vision of Gods heart for the French.
Dean and Julies wedding, among others (heck yes Jay and Frenchy, Eric and Naomi, Jonny and Vanilla!!), when Jordan got to come home for the weekend. There is nothing quite like a mid-summer cuddle with your girlfriend who is living hundreds of miles away. The surprise fireworks the night before the 4th, as she needed to leave early the next day to get back to project in NMB. More appointments with people, it was amazing to me how many dynamic people I got to meet during that process. Gave me so much more insight into the kingdom of God and those who will inhabit it with me.
There was date week in August! A little imaginative title to the process of making up for months worth of weekly date nights that didnt happen. There were more people to meet, a week out in Keystone, CO (17-24 August) for a training and team building conference with my team for the year in France and every other international CCC short-term staffer. Easily the best conference Ive been to yet with Cru.
There was the month delay to finish raising support, the week spent at Stout sleeping on a couch so that I could help with outreaches and planning. After a couple more weeks of raising support and then it was my departure day (d-day). Jordan came over from Stout for dinner with my parents and a last date night. I was all packed up and it was an early morning out at the airport. There were more hard good byes exchanged and I was doing it. I was finally walking onto the plane that just over 9 months earlier God had told me of. My character was obviously different to me, I had grown so much to be stepping onto that plane. Its amazing to reflect on.
November 11-13 was my first retreat in France. And was kind of the final chapter to the long list of firsts that took place here. I had a good set of friends and was just loving it here. Not much has changed since then. I got to go to London and, for the first time, Rome with two team mates. Now it is 2006 and my French is improved after spending the month of December in language class (15 hours a week of one class ).
Its hard to believe its hear, Jordan and I have been dating a year now, been in France 3 months, and am rapidly approaching my 4th birthday in Christ. Its hard to imagine where I would be if God hadnt saved me from the clutches of death as He did, or if He had even waited a moment longer. This year will be one of changes. Moving back to the states, moving off campus at school, going back to school after doing a year in full-time ministry, seeing where things go with Jordan, getting a new job, and just overall change. Off of the top of my head those were the ones that came to me that were worth noting.
I only pray I have more time to write then I have of late.
Continue to let Christ bless your heart,