Every time I have sat down write these year-long summaries, I have been overwhelmed - amazed by the year God had given me, and unable to imagine how He could possibly bless me any more. My 2012 post will be no exception to that rule.
I don't think the suitcases had even been put away before it was time to pack them for what may have been the greatest adventure of the year thus far: China! We set off on July 10th; I remember just counting down to that day. I traveled with Jimmy Brazell's family and friends in order to visit and love the school and students he devoted his last months to. The two weeks we spent there just flew by as we did so much. We toured the Heavenly Temple, Tian'anmen Square, The Forbidden City, and The Great Wall. We ate delicious food, some of it identifiable, some of it not. We had random adventures looking for popsicles, trying to get toilet paper, etc. But best of all, we got to spend a week putting on the Character First Camp, where we taught all morning and afternoon about character to the students of Dandelion School. I know that God changed all of us that week, and it left me with a hunger to see Him continue to work in these young people.
I got home from Endeavor not quite sure what God had in mind next. Three and a half weeks later, the suitcases and I were landing in Beijing. I got to my apartment, had a day of adjustment, and jumped into a TESOL/TEFL course with seven other trainees from around the world. The month I spent in Beijing changed my life. Every day, God showed Himself in so many ways that I couldn't get them all in my journal. He made my faith easy because His hand was so clear to see. He filled me up and let His love pour onto those around me, like the beggars on the street who just need someone to tell them Jesus loves them. I learned that a 17-year-old can do more than people expect. I learned about the Chinese culture, and began to understand why Jesus' love is so powerful to them. I met and spent much time with my classmates, who became my international family. I learned to use the Beijing subway system, to order food in Chinese, to understand a British accent (mostly), and to depend on God for all my strength, comfort, and wisdom. He is faithful.
And that is truly the theme of my year. You are faithful. His faithfulness astonishes me. Like a rainbow, the beautiful colors of His faithfulness can't be seen as clearly until seen as His light shines through the drops of rain. As I have started to see Him in everything, I can't imagine living life without Him. My Jesus is truly my Rock, my firm Foundation. He is my everything; without Him, I wouldn't want to keep going. His Love is better than life, and this year has been proof upon proof of that truth.
God, You have been blessing me more than I ever asked for. Thank You. Whatever You are preparing me for, let me never forget what I have learned this year. Whether this is my last year or just the beginning of many, many more, help me to simply be "Jesus walking." I don't want this life without You, but I want to truly live every single moment that I spend with You. Thank You.
You are faithful.