Tonight, driving home from church, watching night quickly roll in, I had this moment of disbelief that I was here in Arkansas in September. Not visiting, not home for a funeral, but home in Forrest City, Arkansas. It feels unreal that this is home now. At first I was unsure. I kept asking God why He sent me here. Sometimes I still wonder.
As summer dwindled and prep for school began to become my main focus, I was left with little time to wonder about God's plan. He began to remind me through different avenues that His plan, His purpose for my life was good. It didn't matter if I didn't understand it. It didn't matter if I liked it or not. His plan was good and my job was to be obedient to Him.
School started and I met the ten kids who would eventually consume most of my thoughts throughout the day. Like any normal teacher, I also began to think about them at home, too. How can I help them? How can I not get so frustrated? How can I fix our crazy afternoons, so that we stay on task? What can I do to be a better teacher to these ten rambunctious, chatty, silly, forgiving, loving, helpful kids? I also began thanking the Lord that He only gave me a class of ten.
I began to pray for each of them. I prayed for their families. I prayed for the best way to help them succeed in the classroom. I prayed that I would love them like I loved my kids in Korea. The good news is that God is opening up my eyes to the beauty in each of them. I see a boy so joyful and looking for the good in everything. I'm seeing another boy who has quite a creative side, he just needs to know how to use it. I see girls who love to help me (even though they don't want their mothers to know, lol.) I see a girl who struggles, but put a sweet note on my desk today. It said, "I'm stupid... but I'm glad that you care about me." I see a boy who struggles, but loves to give gifts. I see a group of kids that LOVE to sing and if you know me very well, you know it's one of my favorite things to do, too. I see students loving to learn new Korean words. Each day at lunch we 기도합시다 kee-doe-hap-shee-da ("Let's Pray") and they know the phrase 앉아 ahn-jah (Sit DOWN) better than any other. It makes me smile.
I also began helping as an assistant volleyball coach for the three teams (Elementary, JV, Varsity). I didn't know what to expect, but I have been blessed by the the sweetest group of girls and their kind and encouraging parents. I'm looking forward to another season of Lady Eagles Volleyball. Only this time, I yell Go Red instead of Go Blue (which I did yesterday during the game... lol)
Lastly, I joined a church on Sunday. I've been visiting for most of the summer. I struggled with the decision, not because I felt called to another church, but because it meant letting go of the two churches that I have loved so dearly over the last 10/15 years. My church in Korea was one of my favorite places to be, I loved teaching youth Sunday School. I loved being a part of the praise team. I loved my family there. It hurt so much to leave them. I also had to let go of my church in West Memphis. I love FBC WM dearly, but it's just a little too far for me to actively be involved. After prayer and God giving His peace, I now call Ridgewood Baptist Church my home. I'm excited to be a member and more excited to see how God will direct me to serve there. I love church and it's the day of the week that I generally look forward to the most. I'm thankful this one is close by and for the wonderful people I'm already getting to know.
So, you see, God is good. His plan and His purpose is not only for His good. It's also for mine. I miss Korea, I miss my kids, I miss my church, but I am beginning to settle in and I am thankful for whatever it is God has planned.