Four months ago we said tearful goodbyes, kissed our nephew and boarded a plane.
With anticipation, excitement, nervousness and a word from God, we left our life, family and jobs behind.
Sometimes I think we were crazy! Most times I am so thankful that God has called us to this place, for this time.
As I reflect on our months gone so far, a few things stick out. Please, let me share them with you:
1. I really like my husband. I mean, I love him too, but I genuinely like him! He's funny, sweet, considerate and strong. I like his jokes and personality, I like spending time with him! I guess, in the back of my mind, I thought there would be times we would get sick of each other. Maybe its because people kept warning me that we would, maybe its because I get sick of me sometimes, so he surely would too! But I can honestly say, I am not sick of Andrew. In fact, I wish I could spend more time with him!
2. Israel is really different that Canada. I knew this in my head, but living here is a whole different thing. Beyond the tourist sights, the schwarma's and hummus, Israel is not an easy place to live. Its loud, HOT, expensive, HOT, tense and, most surprising to canadians, still developing! It has the sheen of a first world country, but it doesn't take much digging to see that its not there yet. Also, it makes me laugh. For instance, the youth group ages are from the time you are, instead of ages, "bar mitzvahed" until "army time". Like I said, its different here. Did I mention its hot here too?
3. We really love Israel. Yes, it is all those things that #2 said, but when God places you somewhere, for any amount of time, He usually gives you a heart for that place too. I love that we drive for an hour and reach Lebanon, or that we can head east and be at the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) where Jesus walked on water! There is so much history and significance here. The bible comes alive when you see the locations in front of you!
4. God wants us to thrive. He doesn't expect us to suffer through life, but instead, He wants us to call out to Him for refreshing and renewal! He wants us to live a full, joyful, Godly life. Now, Im not saying that we wont suffer, have bad days, weeks or months, because we might! But, when we understand that we are free in Him, free to be who He created us to be, we are free indeed!
5. I have had an easy life. I have loving parents, an amazing family, a church who supports me, a husband who is faithful, kind and strong. I am so blessed. There are people out there who have none of that. There are people who are repeatedly hurt, taken advantage of, abused, who have never experienced the love of God. People who need to hear about His love and desperately need to hear truth. No, I haven't had a perfect life and, at times, have been miserable. But really, God has protected me from a lot.
And so, we enter into another month away from the great white north. We are excited for whats in store next, for each day that we have here, and for each lesson that God teaches us.