In less than two weeks, I'm off to the USA for Christmas.
Usually, after a couple of weeks in the USA, I start missing my home here in South Africa and my people here and I start thinking about coming back. But after the difficulties of this year, I'm not sure I'm gonna have quite the same feeling. Staying in the USA sounds more tempting than ever. So I've decided to make a preemptive move by writing this list of reasons why I am coming back to South Africa before I even leave.
So, when I am enjoying all the comforts of American life, I will remember...
...the faces and the smiles of the students that I love, the students who are waiting for me to come back.
...the amazing people that I serve God with everyday, the ones who I've walked through fire with, cried with, prayed with and rejoiced with. The ones who I've spent long hours in hospital with. The ones who I've agonized over difficult decisions with. The ones I have walked the beach looking for my dead student with. The ones I've stayed up all night talking with and woken up early to pray with. The ones I've dreamed with.
I will remember what a privilege it is to wake up and know that you are doing what you love, that you are living your dream. In a world full of people living half-hearted lives doing something they hate, I will remember how rare it is to be able to honestly say that I believe in what I do and that I love my job.
I will remember how happy it is to be exhausted for a good reason, or 77 good reasons.
I will remember the promises God has given, the words He has spoken, the new things He has prepared.
I will remember puppy and that pathetic little face that peeks at me through my glass door every morning.
I will remember all the crazy adventures with my peeps.
I will remember the mountains and the sea and sunsets like this.
And I will remember the truth of Jeremiah 32:40 that God "will never stop doing good to me"...that even though this year may have seemed to go from bad to worse, without even giving me a chance to breathe, even though it felt at times that God had maybe forgotten about this little American girl down in South Africa, He will never stop doing good to me.
So no matter how bad or difficult or challenging the "now" may be, good things are just around the corner...because He says so.
He will NEVER stop doing good to me. I guess that's all the reason I need.