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Quick fun life updates before I get into the newsletter that are fun to know about life

here in the Bahamas. Christmas was full of Christmas parties and carols, it was such a fun experience to celebrate Christmas in a different culture. I was also able to experience a famous event held around new years in the Bahamas called Junkanoo on Green Turtle Cay. Lastly, I was able to fly to Nassua to visit Dan and Kelly Weightmans family for a few days while getting certified in open water scuba diving on my Christmas break at Stuarts Cove Dive Bahamas, where I made friends with another American gal that moved to the Bahamas from Georgia who married a Bahamian and is teaching diving lesson at Stuarts Cove full time. What a wonderful way to end 2022 with new friendships and experiences! Now onto other news…..

To be honest I’m not sure what to write about and really have felt there is not much to share currently about life. One of the friends I made at Missionary Training International, who is serving in the Czech Republic said it best in her recent news letter, “I’m moving out of a time of constant transition and into a season of routine.”

So here we are usually waking up at 7am, groggily getting dressed, rushing to make coffee before getting in my nice little white pick-up truck (aka Carl) and driving to school. Where I always know my one student is hiding in my room to scare me while I try to get my computer setup for the day. Where I’m usually running to the printer to grab something I forgot about, till all my students arrive at 9am to start a day of learning. Then after a full day, it's usually paperwork, hanging out with young teens, grocery shopping, and a multitude of other ordinary things. Nothing very extraordinary at the moment…however it has been a very extraordinary year, 2022, and I think it is worth reflecting back on it as we all move into a new season of our lives whether it's one full of transitions or a new normal.

Life is full of transitions. The amount of transitions and lessons I’ve gone through in twelve months, especially within these last four months, would require more time and words that I know I don’t have time to write nor you have to read. To put it frankly, 2022 started off with devastating heartbreak, friends passing away, cutting ties with long time friendships, life altering news, unpleasant work environment, enduring long months of painful interactions, deep depression and anxiety where all I could say looking back is it was most definitely a “quarter life crisis.” It was like licking the floor of Hell most days, really debating whether it was worth seeing the good God could do with these gut-wrenching blows. It all just felt so unfair and not at all how life should go for a 21 year old gal in her senior year of college. Most would say that should be the “best” time of my life, full of jubilation. But that wasn't the case. Looking back on the end of my time at college and hearing/witnessing some heart-rending moments of others here in the Bahamas leads to the big conclusion that I think we have all experienced when witnessing or experiencing painful transitions or moments in our life or others of “It’s not supposed to be this way!”

In a small group of women's bible study we are reading exactly about that. We are studying “It’s Not Supposed to be this Way” by Lysa Terkeurst. This book is full of wonderful wisdom and passionate heartfelt testimony from Lysa. So like Lysa and I’m sure like yourself at times we ask the annoying question, “Why?” Why me, why now, just WHY! Lysa’s response to this grand question is most remarkable; “We must walk through God’s process before we see His fulfilled promise. God is present in this process, but there’s also a purpose in the process.”

Katie Davis Majors says it best in her book “Kisses From Katie”. Katie is a young woman who moved to Uganda at eighteen, started a ministry, and adopted fourteen children within a year. “Remember, God will never give you more than you can handle.” People repeat this frequently. I heard it when I was growing up and I hear it now. It is meant to be a source of encouragement, and it would be if I believed it were true. But I don’t. I believe God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle. Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives.” So like Katie, Lysa, and everyone else who is crawling through their portion of affliction, these unexpected and even unexplainable hurts at times might be the exact pieces and parts of our lives like Lysa Terkeurst explains “...must be added right now to protect us, and prepare us with more and more of His strength working through us. We don’t have to like it, but knowing this can help us live through it.”

Now going back to that “quarter life crisis” of my own at the beginning of 2022 was definitely not a process I enjoyed one bit having to endure. However, It prepared me for this part of my life monumentally. If I had stayed in the relationship I was hoping would end in marriage, I never would have been able to leave America and become a missionary. If I didn’t endure some very unpleasant work experiences and friendships, I would not be able to have the amount of grace and sympathy I do now for people. Dealing with horrendous crippling depression and anxiety required complete surrender to God, and I watched Him take over and do the impossible healing for my life. This all led to the answer of that question of was it worth it? Yes. Don’t be fooled though because that “yes” is still full of pain and zero enjoyment. It doesn't mean I understand all of it either, or wish some of it didn’t happen the way it did. But now I can say with peace that the process did have a purpose and will be/is worth the promise God holds for all of us during and at the end of this life.

It’s in those life shattering moments leading to a spiral of out of control unknowns that God equips us for the new normal's in our life that we either want or not. Lysa’s Terkeurst explains it best in her book when she shares this short story about pottery, “...wise potters not only know how to form beautiful thing from clay, but they also know how important it is to add some of the dust from previously broken pieces of pottery to the new clay. This type of dust is called “grog.” To get this grog, the broken pieces must be shattered to dust just right. If the dust is shattered too finely, then it won’t add any structure to the new clay. And if it’s not shattered enough, the grog will be too coarse and make the potter’s hand bleed. But when shattered just right, the grog dust added to the new clay will enable the potter to form the clay into a larger and stronger vessel than ever. And it can go through fires much hotter as well. Plus, when glazed, these pieces end up having a much more beautiful, artistic look to them than they would have otherwise.” So it’s true when they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I know most of you have had a hard year yourselves, maybe an even hard past two or more years, not knowing what lies next upon the horizon, but I pray these battle scars of my own suffering I share with you are a source of encouragement that you can survive too!

Not all of life's transitions or trials feel or even are normal (God never intended for us to experience the pain evil creates) and most certainly not a pleasing experience to walk through, however those broken pieces we all have felt our soul’s shatter into don’t go to waste. That dust is and will be used by the Great Pottery Master Himself to create you into a stronger and more beautiful vessel than before to speak of His Great Glory and sing forth of His great deeds and goodness that shall burst forth like a choir singing on Sunday morning to help ease the aches of another. So who knows what 2023 holds for you, Boyer Mission, or for myself, but whether fiery arrows from Hell or joyous rainfall from Heaven, God has a plan and is sovereignly in control, walking with you both in the valley and on the mountaintop, refining you into a beautiful masterpiece!

Prayer Request:

  1. Spiritual Growth

  2. Finishing this school year out strong and growth as a 5th grade teacher

  3. Creole Tutoring

  4. My 5th grade students and G2 girls small group for connection and trust to disciple them well!

  5. Trusting God in the new transitions and normal's that 2023 holds for myself and ministry

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