For me, all of 2016 was about trust. From January until June and really since October of the year before, every time I panicked, every time I felt scared, every time I thought, “is it too late to change my mind?” I heard God clearly say, “Trust me.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
My own understanding of the situation was that I was about to leave the best school I had ever worked for to move to a country that was notorious for being difficult to get visa sponsorship since they have enough teachers of their own. But 7 years in Korea was a long time and I was ready to leave. Then again, I was not ready to leave. I had been begging God to call me to live somewhere else, and then when it happened, I wanted to stay. Oh, we are so fickle!
I was excited to move to Melbourne, Australia and I was terrified at the same time.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
I started my blog to share my life with my family and friends back in Michigan, since I live thousands of miles away from them. But throughout this journey I have realized it is also an amazing journal, and a way for me to express my creativity through photography and words (I love stories!).
The following is a journal entry.
Dear New Philly Itaewon Welcoming Team,
Thank you for being inspiring, and creative. Thank you for helping me grow as a person, and as a son (yes, that may seem confusing to outside readers, what are you doing reading my journal anyway?!). Every single one of you encourages me to smile supernaturally, and welcome the crap out of people (okay… there has got to be a better expression).
Thank you for affirming me last Sunday. Just for my records I am writing your beautiful words here, so that I can come back to them over and over again, and remind myself of WHO I AM!
I am an ice cream cone, I have many flavors— and I am sweet! Did you know that my ice cream cone also doubles as a microphone? So I can sing out all my sweetness to the world, which I do ALL THE TIME.
I am a stamp, to give you more of a visual, this stamp is in the shape of a heart— and everyone I meet gets a stamp, I stamp the father’s heart. The verse that went along with this is Proverbs 31:20, She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
I carry favor like a shield. I can be extremely vulnerable and genuine with people, with a lot of people… because of this favor.
I am a rock, rolling down a hill- I. Am. Unstoppable. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. No, Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
BRAVE. That’s me. Now think of the movie Braveheart. Now cover my face with dirt and picture me as Mel Gibson. I am a forerunner, I am brave. My love is genuine. Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
I am a clean spring, that always brings fresh water. My smile is genuine.
I am fearless, I cannot fail. I have a resilience to be admired. D.C. Talk has a song about the Proverbs 30 woman and a line from it says, “A woman who fears the Lord, she aint playing.” I need to listen to that song!
Affirmation is Powerful.
I find the best writing my students produce is usually on their own time. Every weekend they come back to class with a journal full of their thoughts, and one of my favorite activities is to read about what they have to say. You might be thinking, “Really Melody, you teach eight-year-olds, is what they have to say really that interesting?” Well, the answer is YES!
Recently one of my student’s went skiing, and she wrote a journal entry about it. There was one line that really stood out to me:
“I want to experience the speed again.”
Come on now! Can’t you just picture her at the top of the hill, coming down, cold wind whipping her hair all around… a smile on her frozen face? All of that with one simple line: “I want to experience the speed again.”
Me too girl, me too.
Writing can change people… you know? So, write stuff down!