So, I’ve been posting a lot here and over at Small Still about an upcoming adventure, but I haven’t said very much about what that adventure actually is… Well, today I want to spill the beans! I’ve been accepted for a year-long position teaching English as a foreign language to children in China starting this fall.
You might’ve read previously on my blog that I was struggling to choose between teaching overseas in a new country or going to grad school in the country I already love…. Well, this had nothing to do with that. I mean, at the time I had been focusing on a different teaching experience… that I’ve since turned down.
In fact, I was right in the middle of my “saying no” season, turning down both grad school and the other options ahead of me because none of them seemed right, when this opportunity came along in such a God way. It’s crazy how it all happened, and so fast too, but I had been struggling for a long time to find either a grad program I’d love or something that was a paying job that allowed me to travel that I was already qualified for… Nothing I found seemed right (it wasn’t what I thought I wanted, applications expired, there were lots of extra costs), but I applied to this one and I got accepted. For a while I didn’t trust it because it seemed too good to be true, but God continued to encourage me through the mouths of friends and mentors and family, so I pursued it…
And now here I am, almost done with the preparation process and looking at flight prices… and still thinking, sometimes, what the heck did I just do? But you know all about that already. It’s comforting in a way, honestly, because I can see how this is a choice I never would’ve picked on my own. There must have been a nudge (or a shove) from the Spirit in there; God must have been working in my heart.
I’ve come to feel a lot more assured about this new adventure after reading Psalm 139 on a reflection retreat. As I read through the psalm, I was trying to find metaphors to relate to my experience going abroad, and I was seriously stretching the comparisons. But then God beautifully, graciously, and simply brought me to verses 9 and 10: “If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.” My Daddy knows how I love poetry, I’m so grateful.
To add to that, I’ve been reading this week in A.W. Tozer’s the Pursuit of God that God’s universal presence is a fact. He is here, always. There is nowhere we can go where He will not be. Even when we are not aware of it, He is here. He is here with me now, and He is on the far side of the sea also. I’m so excited to see what He’s up to over there and to get to be a part of it for a season.
I welcome your prayers, and I’m blessed to get to share in this journey with you, one step at at time. Cheers. (I’m going to have to find the Chinese equivalent of that…)