First Night - Wednesday June 20th
After the long plane ride from San Fransisco to Taiwan I was finally about to meet Jessie! I went through immigration, got my luggage from baggage claim, and then finally found Jessie. When I saw her I gave her a big hug. I was so relieved to see her since I didn’t really know anyone around me, and because I was so tired and wanted to just go get some rest. We did a few things in the airport and then went to the car. When we arrived to the area I was staying at, Jessie showed me where Bethel Shelter was and then took me down the street to where I was staying. We got to this apartment, walked up some stairs, and then finally got to my room. When we got there I sat my luggage down and started to get a little upset. For some reason I had thought that I was staying at Bethel Shelter, not alone in this apartment. In my head I told myself “Don’t be so selfish! It’s just a room! You’re fine!” So I just shook it off and tried to not think about it. Jessie then took me to get a bite to eat at a 7 eleven, but I honestly wasn’t very hungry so all I got was a water. She took me back to where I was staying and told me that she would pick me up at around 8:30 the next morning. We said our goodbyes and then she went on her way. As I started walking up the stairs I instantly felt tears come to my eyes. I was so tired, and it felt weird that I was alone. I got back to my room and took my jacket off to find poison ivy all over my arms. I thought REALLY!? I instantly freaked out and facetimed Dakota and talked to him for a little bit. Asking him what I should do and seeing if he could say something that would make me feel better. He told me I was tired and that I was going to be fine and feel better in the morning. I knew he was right, so I got off the phone with him and facetimed my mom. I tried to wipe away my tears and not cry when I called my her, but right when she answered the tears came rolling down my face. She instantly knew something was wrong and started asking so many questions. I told her the situation, that I was so tired, had poison ivy all over me, and that I felt alone. She told me to take deep breath and encouraged me. We talked a little longer and then she told me to get some rest. Before my mom hung up the phone she said to me “You might feel alone, but remember you’re never alone.” She was right. I wasn’t alone. God was right there with me. I mean He is the one that lead me to Taiwan in the first place, right? We said our goodbyes and I went and got ready for bed. I went to go read my Jesus Calling book, opened up the book, turned a few pages, and stopped at the first page of June. I was curious as to what the page said, so I read it and it said “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13. Wow. In that moment I knew God was right there with me. I felt safe. I felt bad for even being upset in the first place. I was in Taiwan!! I had been waiting for this for months now!! I should have been so happy!! So I sat there and thought for a little bit. I thought about the past few months of my life and how I’ve felt like I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions. With being so excited about this new trip, preparing for it, being a college student that knows what they want to do for the rest of their life, but doesn’t really know what path to take or how to even start. It doesn’t sound like it would be hard or stressful, but the truth is that it’s not all that easy. I was so stressed. I had felt like I was doing all the right things though, so why did I feel like this? I have been praying, reading my bible, and doing all the things that a christian is supposed to do. Then I started overthinking... What if I wasn't praying for the right things? Have I not been fully trusting Him? What was I doing wrong? Then I realized I wasn’t doing one thing right… I wasn’t allowing God to help me in this journey. I had been thinking this whole time that I could figure it all out on my own and that I didn’t need any help. Oh but I was wrong. I realized I can’t do anything and be happy if I am not walking alongside Jesus. I can’t do life without Him. I have always known this…. it’s so weird how the devil brings you down and makes you think differently. All I know is that God is a whole lot stronger, and always knows when and how to bring us back to Him. I’m thankful that I have a God that can pull me back up on my feet when I don’t even realize that I have fallen. Wow. Typing that sentence brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, Lord. I thought, is this what I have been feeling these past few months? Have I felt alone and just tried pushing it away? That I can just figure it all out on my own? I think God was really trying to tell me in those moments of arriving that this whole time all I really needed was Him, and that I wasn’t going to be able to go through this journey without him. It’s weird how His timing is so perfect. So I read the rest of my devotional, prayed, and went to bed feeling a whole lot better.
Next Day - Thursday June 21st
The next day I woke up, got ready for my day, and Jessie came and picked me up. We went to Bethel Shelter and I got to meet all of the teachers and children. I saw all of their faces and I felt tears come to my eyes. I was finally here, doing something I loved!! The children were so beautiful!! I got out my camera and started taking some pictures, and then I realized how happy I was. As I was taking pictures and interacting with the children my heart started to feel weird. God?... Is that you?... Sure enough, it was Him. Pulling at my heart. Again. Letting me know He was right there with me. That is the coolest feeling in the world. Feeling God right there with you... I love that feeling. It's peaceful. A little after taking pictures it was time for Jessie and I to leave. We said our goodbyes and went on our way. Jessie took me to the doctor so I could get some medicine for my poison ivy, and then we went to her apartment where I met her son Chester. He is the cutest baby ever, and smiles at almost everything. After we went to her apartment she took me to get some lunch. I tried something new!! I don't remember what it was called, but it was so good. I also tried milk tea and bubble tea for the first time, and they were both so good! Jessie and I spent the whole day together just talking about anything and everything. She made me feel at home and talking to her was nice. She's a good friend. Later that evening we had dinner and then I went off to bed... at 8:30. I was so tired!!
Next Morning - Friday June 22nd
Today's the day Jessie and I go to China!! How fun. Im so excited to capture the children in the orphanage and get their stories. Can't wait to share them with all of you!! I won't have service in China so it will be a few days before I am able to blog or post anything again.
If you read all of this, thank you so much!! It means a lot. It's my first blog ever... so I'm sorry if I'm grammatically incorrect or if I'm all over the place. I wrote this super fast!! I'm still learning how to do all of this and this is the best way for me to tell you all my stories while I'm over here. I wrote this right before I left for China so that you all would have a little something to read before I left.
I hope that you like my story as much as I do, or that it can even help you if you are struggling with anything. God is so good, and He always knows how to pick us back up when we are down.
I'll blog again when I get back from China!! Pray for me and Jessie while we are over there!!
Thank you again!!