God Moments

At this point in my preparation for the big move, it is easy for me to lose God in the details. But sometimes God surprises me in unexpected ways, reminding me of his faithful presence and guidance along my journey and of his work in the lives of others and in the world.

This week, I have seen God in the young family who invited me over to dinner to talk with their kids about my future work in South Africa. On so many levels, this couple “gets it,” perhaps even more than I do, as they try to cultivate hearts of compassion in their children.

I have seen God in one of my self-defense instructors who has used a family tragedy to help we women better protect ourselves.

Penguins in South Africa? Yes. Another God Surprise? Perhaps.

I have seen God in my new friend who is going through a painful breakup. Instead of allowing the pain and hurt to drive him away from God, my friend is turning to God, growing deeper in faith.

I have seen God in a couple who, upon learning of a connection with a mutual friend, invited me, a mere stranger, to their dinner party. At the gathering, I reconnected with some old high school and college friends and I made new friends. This couple has the gift of hospitality and a love for South Africa; I’m glad I can call them friends.

These are some extreme examples of “God moments,” but I believe each day is filled with God’s touches and flourishes. Unfortunately, I’m often too busy to notice them. I’m praying to be more aware of God in my everyday life.


Back on the Mountain

All Saints' Chapel, Sewanee
All Saints’ Chapel

The carillon is ringing from the tower. Billy and the Boys are picking bluegrass in the distance. Guys are playing Ultimate Frisbee on a nearby lawn. It can only mean one thing–I’m in Sewanee.

A few days ago, I went to visit a good friend in Sewanee. It was the first time I had been on “the Mountain” in a year. To my delight, my visit coincided with freshman weekend. Seeing all the new students with their parents brought back a flood of memories. Twenty years ago, I was one of those freshmen.

Freshmen Weekend, Sewanee
Freshmen Weekend Picnic

As a confident, but somewhat naive freshman, I knew where my life was headed. I was going to major in economics, become a stockbroker, make loads of money, marry, have a few kids, and live the good life. But half way through my second economics class, I realized how much I hated the subject. I would spend most of the class staring out the window, wishing I were majoring in something else. I decided to major in what I love–history.

Life-plan update: major, history. Goal, PhD. Career, history professor
In grad school, half way through my masters’ program, I started having second thoughts about my current career path. After I received my masters’ degree, I decided to take some time off to work in publishing. I had always been interested in publishing, and I wanted to give it a try. I figured I could always go back to school to receive my PhD if the urge was still there. Thirteen years later, I’m still in publishing.

Life-plan update: Interruption, it’s God calling. Goal, to be obedient. Mission, to share and receive the love of Christ
If you would have told my 18-year-old-freshman self that I would be a missionary, I would have laughed in your face. It was nowhere on my horizon. It is amazing where life takes you, and it is even more amazing where God takes you. Although my life is not what my 18-year-old self had planned, it is much more than I could have ever asked or imagined. I’m ready for the adventure that lies for me at the tip of Africa.