[ i am loved by the king and it makes my heart want to sing ]

I finally feel like I’m starting to get settled here. I’ve moved around so much in the last five months, it’s been hard to know where home is. God has been so gracious through it all. Helping Ashley plan her wedding, moving out of my apartment in Pittsburgh and to Romania for two months, coming back to the States and living with the McGallas, saying goodbye all over again to everyone I know and love (twice), and starting a new life in Minneapolis. For all rights and purposes, I ought to have been an emotional trainwreck – but the Lord poured out such sweet peace on me through it all. I feel like He’s really grown and stretched me so much through all of this. He’s really taught me to rely on Him to meet my needs in ways I wouldn’t have even thought of a year ago. I have a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him now than ever before and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I find myself fighting a lot harder to guard my heart that I may give it more fully to my Lord Jesus Christ. And I’ve never known deeper contentment than I do now.

“When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:21-26

I really love it at Bethlehem. The teaching and especially the worship has been so good. There’s so much passion for Christ among this body of believers and it’s been so refreshing. The joy and hope and warmth and kindness of these brothers and sisters I’ve met is truly contagious. Just being here has been so spiritually healthy for me.

I really like my class as well. I did decide to take TBI Essentials instead of Mining God’s Word and Theological Foundations 1 & 2. It’s going to be considerably more work and money – but I really feel like it will make me a better missionary and a stronger Christian when all is said and done.

Sunday school started this morning. Emilie and I are small group leaders in the preschool 1 class. I had six in my group today. I adore them already. We sang “My God is so GREAT!” and I had to try REALLY hard to remember to sing it in English. Oh I miss the kids from the gradi and tabara sooooo much. The days I spent helping Corina in the kindergarten were just priceless. How a group of kindergarteners helped me SO much with my Romanian language skills. I almost had a tutor. Jonathon introduced me to someone with a Romanian co-worker… but she’s moving back to RO this week. It’s been a bit frustrating to still be without one after all this time in prayer about it. God’s always been faithful to provide everything else I need. I just have to keep trusting Him for this too. It does wear thin though.

I’ve finally found a small group. I go with the Tachick’s on Thursdays. It’s a study on the minor prophets, beginning with Hosea. It reminds me in a lot of ways of Monday nights at the Riviere’s, back when there was such a thing. Except there’s no Rivieres and the treats afterwards are nothing like Lisa’s – though that’s no big surprise. I’ve never known anyone quite like Lisa.. and I’ve surely never met anyone else who puts rosettes on their sugar cubes. :) She just makes absolutely everything special. They sent me a care package this weekend – it made me so happy. That family just shines so brightly for Christ. I hope someday to be that kind of witness for my Savior. I miss them so much. The McGallas as well. The impact they’ve had on my life for the Lord has just been immeasurable. I miss them all terribly – everyone at Grace. I can’t wait to come home for Thanksgiving. I wonder when I’ll make it home to Romania? I still haven’t heard anything from the Lord about it. I keep asking and He keeps telling me “You don’t know what’s going to happen in a year. You have no idea what I can do in a year.” I suppose that’s a call for patience.. or endurance… or both. I just wish I had more.

Whatever He has planned for me, I know it’s for my good and for His glory, and in that I rejoice. I’m just so excited and full of hope in Christ. I can’t wait to see what He does next!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13