Hosea 2:14-16

Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came out of Egypt. "In that day," declares the Lord, "you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master.'"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Truly Blessed

I hate that it has been so long since I have posted! It's so hard to know where to begin. I will start by saying that the past 4 months were the fastest 4 months of my life. And the best thing that I could ever do. For so many reasons. The time that I spent in the barn in Alabama is time that I will never have again. It was so treasured. It's where everything in me was challenged. It's where tears were spilled and dealings took place. It's where healing began. It's where close bonds where made. It's where my life was changed. It's actually where I lost my life. But most of all, it's where I fell in love with Jesus. I fell in love with True Love Himself.

We got back from Israel a week ago, after being there for 3 1/2 weeks. It was an incredible experience. It was a hard trip in some ways for me, but soooooo much fun. I can't tell you how many rocks we saw. We often joked by saying, "All that I feel like I've done this trip is eat, sleep, and look at rocks." Honestly, a lot of it runs together. We moved around constantly and saw so many different things and places. Many of us were "over it" not too long after arriving at a site, not because we didn't want to see it or we weren't grateful to be there, but because it wasn't a physical object or place that excited us. It's Christ Jesus Himself who we stand in awe of and worship. Those places weren't holy. Jesus is holy. At the same time though, I really am thankful and so blessed to be able to experience all that I did and to be in the region and areas where Jesus lived and walked. It was hard to believe I was actually there, even as I stood in the very sea on which He walked, floated down the river in which He was baptized, and dove in the sea that Moses parted. A huge reason why we traveled to Israel was to be exposed to religion. There was so much emptiness, so many rules and rituals, and so much darkness and death. It was a breathe of fresh air when we did encounter people who had the Holy Spirit living in them. They radiated Life. I really appreciate getting to be immersed in the Jewish culture, all the while knowing that I KNOW Jesus and He knows me and living in that freedom.
A lot of people got sick on the trip, so vitamin C was a treasure throughout the tour. It was only by the grace of God that I did not get sick, because I was surrounded by it. Praise the Lord that everyone got well enough to get scuba certified. It was an amazing week underwater!

The trip home seemed to never end, but I was able to sleep over 6 hours on the plane, which NEVER happens for me. My mom and brother surprised me at the airport and most everyone had lunch together before going our separate ways. We had to say goodbye to a brother and sister who will not be with us at the ranch this summer, so that was not so fun. My time here at home has been good, even though physically I haven't been so well. But it has been great to be with family and see some friends. It was definitely very strange for me to come back home after 4 months of being away. I come back home and it seems like everyone I know is engaged, married, or having a baby! Haha. I feel like a lot has happened since I have been gone! Kind of feel out of the loop on a lot of things. I have been missing my LEGACY family so badly, but I get to see most of them tomorrow! I leave for the airport in about 6 hours. I am also so excited and feel so blessed that my brother, Thomas, will be working at JH Ranch this summer as well! It's a huge step for him, and I am believing that the Lord is going to do amazing things while we are there. I am so thankful that we get to experience this together. We are not sure exactly what our specific job will be yet, but we should find out after the first week of training. I will be working for the Lord whether I am mountain biking, working in the kitchen, or house keeping. The Lord knows where we need to be!

I have so many stories and details from my time in Alabama and in Israel that I so wish I could share, but  it's pretty much impossible for me to do over a blog and it would take quite a while. I want to thank all of you again for your continued prayers and support. I could not have done any of this without the Lord leading each of you to give and/or pray for me. I am so sad that those 4 months are already over, but I know they are supposed to be, and I am ready for what the Lord has next for me. This next season is going to be different, because we will be going non stop and encountering new people each week. After being in our little "bubble" (I guess you could say) we are now going back into the routine of life where we now have the opportunity to serve and work. Praise the Lord for His grace. I know this summer will be challenging. But we have all we need. Jesus. He lives inside of us, so we don't need to be anxious or worried. I still plan on going to UGA in the fall. I am not sure on my major yet or where I will live, but that will come. I get back on August 7th and classes start on the 15th. I trust the Lord with all of the details with what I am supposed to be doing, even though my flesh wants to take over and freak out. The waiting part is hard for me right now....with a lot of different things in my life, but i know He will let me know and reveal in His good time.

Well, I think it's about that time. I need a few hours of sleep before the start of this next adventure. By the way, Jesus is the best adventure buddy. You never know what He is going to come up with next! I pray that He is as real to you as He is to me! Bless you, my brother, and my sister. I praise God that we are bound by His love and that we can boast in Him. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you. And give you peace. And give you peace forever.

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