Overwhelmed with thankfulness as the day comes to an end.
June 30th - the day I used to hope would be filled with tons of presents, now has become an ebenezer (a reminder of God's help and faithfulness) in my life.
Each year I come back to this day, so acutely aware of how undeserving I am of the things and the people that I have in my life.
This year there was an added twinge of sadness to the sweet thankfulness that normally encompasses the day. In less than 2 months I will be leaving so many of the people and things on my "thankful list" to spend 6 months living and working on a hospital ship in the Republic of Congo (http://mercyships-us.donorpages.com/crewmates/ElizabethStill/).
This morning, on vacation in Palm Springs with my housemates, they woke me up singing happy birthday, and had made my favorite childhood breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes. As they each went around saying things about me that were far too kind, tears began to well up in all of our eyes.
We weren't crying about how wonderful I am, we were crying in thankfulness and celebration of what God has created. A community of 7 women who love God and love each other (more so when the dishes are done, but still :). I have learned so much about how to be family from these amazing ladies.
As I sat there, the reality of what I'm leaving sunk in just a little deeper. I know that in my life I'll say many more goodbyes for the sake of Jesus' gospel than the ones I'll say on August 23rd, but for now this is plenty of bittersweet love and pain to walk through.
I thank God that I have so many people that I love here that leaving is so painful. I know that He can watch over, comfort, and celebrate with my friends and family better than I ever could.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col. 2:6-7