Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm Going Back!!

 
Oh beautiful Ethiopia how I miss you! The colors, the smell, the people, the joy and peace you feel being there and so much more. I miss it all. The saying is true "I need Africa more then Africa needs me" I do!! I would be lying if I said I don't hope to go back, because I do!! I want to take Noah to see where his brother came from, I want to go and love on the people, share the love of Jesus with those who don't know Him and yes, I want so badly to adopt more children from the country that will forever hold a big piece of my heart.
 
I thought once I came home with Isaiah my heart would stop aching, but it only aches more. It aches for the faces I can't get out of my head, the precious souls who need Jesus so desperately, the children who wonder the streets begging, not knowing where their next meal will come from. My heart aches for the mothers who sadly will continue to have to make the hard decision to place their children for adoption because they know they just can not take care of them, for those who are dying of HIV simply because they are unable to get the medical care that is afforded in the states and for the children who will watch their family die off one by one as a result of poverty and sickness, only to end up alone with no one to love them and protect them. It's been almost 8 months since I stood in beautiful Ethiopia and I miss it more every day.
 
Over the last 11 months I have traveled to Ethiopia twice, battled a sickness that has kept me weak and in and out of the hospital, come face to face with the reality that those who I thought were dear friends, were merely just putting on a good act, only to show their true colors once Isaiah came home and I lost my job right before the holidays, BUT I was also completely healed by the Lord of my sickness and the Lord has taught me so much about what it means to truly rely on Him for my daily needs. To keep my focus on Him and not things of the world, including people. I am blessed that the Lord chose to place people in my life this year who have encouraged, supported, prayed and loved me and my boys through a time of transition, change and at times uncertainty. I couldn't ask for sweeter friends, even if the majority of them do live out of state, Ha!!
 
One thing that has come from this year's experiences is my desire to work with missions. I have always had a heart for missions, and that love grew during my time in Ethiopia. The Lord broke my heart for what breaks His and continues to do so everyday. After I lost my job, I began praying about where the Lord was leading me. I wasn't happy at my job for different reasons, and a couple of months ago I had actually applied for a job at my church working full time with the missions department. I felt the Lord pulling me towards missions but I wasn't sure how that would look? I continued to wait and pray and then my job loss came and I knew I just needed to be still and wait on Him. I found out I wasn't chosen for the missions job and over the last few weeks I have applied for different jobs, interviewed for them but haven't had any job offers? Yet, I have continued to pray, being open to what/where it is the Lord is leading me. Trust me when I say I wasn't expecting what His plans were for this next chapter :-)
 
 
Yep, that's right "I'm going back" to nursing school!! I found out yesterday I got accepted into the online LPN to RN bridge program that starts in just three short weeks!! The Lord continues to amaze me at how He provides, especially during times like this where I could not even imagine going back to school while being unemployed!! The Body of Christ has literally brought me to tears and left me speechless this past month as people have prayed, sent encouraging messages/cards and even blessed me with financial gifts. It has been very humbling to say the least.
 
Let me explain how I came to the decision that now was the time to go back and why? Over the last few months my mom and sister have been asking me when I was planning on going back to school, as having my RN will open more doors as far as jobs and working with medical missions!! My response was always the same "I can't go to school full time, work full time and be a full time single mom" Now of course there are those who will say "yes you can, if you really want to" and to that I say "you're right I could physically do those things at the same time", but I choose to be a mother first and going to school and working full time would hinder my ability to do that, which to me is not an option! So the idea of going back to school never really entered my mind. Around the same time these conversations were going on I was also praying that the Lord would allow me the opportunity to be home with my kids more then I was. Call me selfish, but if I had my way about it I would be a stay at home mom in a heart beat, but last time I checked you don't get paid to do that, lol so that wasn't an option. I was however praying that somehow I could be home with my kids more.
 
When news came that I was losing my job, I didn't get too upset, because I knew the Lord was in control and His plans were greater then mine. As I applied for jobs and interviewed, I also began to apply for nursing school and get necessary documents in order for that, and stayed in prayer that the Lord would make it clear the direction He would have me to go. I never heard anything from the jobs I applied for but I was getting positive feedback from the college regarding the application process. Then yesterday I received the phone call telling me I had in fact been accepted into the program. The best part is the peace I feel about things, knowing the Lord is leading me on this journey.
 
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
 
This is a verse that a sweet friend sent me in a encouraging Facebook message she sent me a few weeks ago. Little did she know the Lord would use that scripture to speak to my heart regarding the step of faith it would take for me to go back to school. I'm once again so thankful for the Lord's provision and the body of believers He has surrounded me with.
 
SO, why now? Well, for a few reasons. The first being obvious, lol and that is the Lord says so :-) but also with my heart for missions, I am hoping that by getting my RN it will allow me different opportunities to work with medical missions however the Lord sees fit, and I am also wanting to adopt again in the near future and if the Lord sees fit to not bless me with a husband (still praying he does, will you join me) I want to be financially able to adopt at least 1 more child if not two!! Noah informed me the other night I need to adopt a brother his age and a little sister :-) My heart for Ethiopia is also a reason I wanted to go back to school. I know my involvement with that beautiful country is not done and I want to be prepared for when the Lord calls me back there!!
 
My decision to go back of course came with LOTS of praying, thinking and budgeting!! I basically will be living off my tax return next year and praying the Lord provides for our needs as I venture back into school full time. The program itself is 18 months long but I am hoping to finish it in 15 months. I should find out in a couple of weeks if that will be an option. As scary as this new journey is, I know this is the best thing for myself and my boys and that the Lord is leading the way. I of course would covet your prayers for this next chapter in my life. When I found out how long it would take, I couldn't help but think of how all the big things in my life always come in 18 month time frames. Hmmm, wonder if that means anything, lol
 
Thank you in advance for your prayers for my schooling and for this new transition my boys and I are getting ready to go through. Noah is of course super excited to have Mommy home everyday! I love how the Lord answers our prayers. With doing the online program, I will be able to schedule 85-90% of my schooling for when my boys are in bed, leaving me time everyday to be more involved with Noah's homeschooling and spend more quality time with each of my sweet boys!! A big answered prayer!! I will also be able to participate in my church's bible study in February that is offered during the week in the morning. When I signed up for it, I signed up believing the Lord would work out the details to allow me to participate in the study, as it is one that I really wanted to do and I didn't know what my work schedule would look like. God is so good!!
 
As I begin this new chapter of my life I can't help but pray that the Lord continues to break me and mold me, never letting me forget what I saw and experienced. I will never be the same and a part of my heart will always be in Ethiopia!! It is my hope and prayer to always have my hands and feet there in some way, however the Lord sees fit.
 
"Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand" Isaiah 64:8
 
 


This is the start of your sweet little story. The part where your pages meet mine, no matter where your tale takes you tomorrow, our story will always read LOVE
 

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