Monday, September 22, 2014

The One Year Anniversary!

My dear friends, it has officially been a year. One year ago today I moved to middle-of-nowhere Arizona full of hope and excitement. I knew that this year was going to change me. Little did I know how much this year would transform my life. 

As I look back I am absolutely amazed at what God has done.

One year ago our team was a little less than friendly to one another. Today we are praying for each other, connected as family with a love that overcomes our differences. When people are around us they remark without fail, "You guys really love each other, don't you?" And the answer is 100% glory to God.

We are the epitome of iron sharpens iron.

We have seen the best and the worst of each other and yet we are better people because of the ways in which we have been challenged. I have to say that I am so immensely grateful for the place this team has in my life. They have transformed who I am and I wouldn't trade in any of this past year, the good or the bad.

This past year has also been more challenging than I could have imagined. I have lost hope and regained it. I have cried and cried again over the struggles of my students and my helplessness to change it. I have made mistakes and I have had moments of great accomplishment. Most surprisingly, I spent the year continuing to question God's place in the midst of it all. I reached low points, where God's goodness was hidden from my eyes, and I reached high points as those around me stuck with me through it. I was blessed by a patient God and people who were willing to be my eyes, to see His goodness and remind me of His truth. 

So I enter into this next year as a much different person than when I arrived. My faith has been tested and made stronger. My relationships have fallen and been rebuilt. Though I still do not have the answers I now have the faith that God is insanely in love with these students. I have the confidence that He is in control, and I can see His goodness in every moment our team works together with these students. I see His glory and His grace, and there is no place else I would rather be.

Praise God for continually challenging us. Praise Him for surrounding us with people who make us better. Praise Him for His provision even amidst our unfaithfulness.

What a year of ministry it has been. What a joy it will be to see what He has in store next. 

The very first team picture ever taken!

So glad that hiking has been such a huge part of this year. 

So grateful for the joy that is present in my life! 

A happy home has been such a blessing. 
This is the life my friends. What an absolute joy. 

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