Going off the deep end…

Earlier this week I had an unexpected conversation with my Mom that included questions and statements I assumed she might be thinking but chose to hope for the best.  In this case, the good ol’ saying didn’t apply and my lack of not assuming made an ass out of me.

The following day, I opened a Facebook message from a friend I made some years ago who popped back into my life about a month ago, only to quickly pop back out. Before de-friending me on Facebook, he sent me this:

“How far we travel, only to find we have not moved at all. Good bye michele, I hope you find what your looking for.”

One is a friend I had during a season of my life and one is who gave me life. Two completely different relationships, but the judgement I felt was the same…

I know my life doesn’t make sense, and I know that most people don’t get me. So I’m grateful for the ones in my life who do and I’m also grateful for the ones who don’t but keep their questions and opinions to themselves.

While some may think I’m looking for something and others may think I’m acting foolishly and irresponsibly, it is neither.

And I can say this because I know what it’s like to be searching and behaving irresponsibly.

Eleven years ago, I broke up with my college boyfriend in order to experience life on my own. Freedom came in the form of going out on the weekends and drinking until I lost all inhibition, which often led to really poor choices…

This time ten years ago, I was signing the papers on my first home. I had achieved the American dream and the financial success I hoped for as I was making nearly $100,000 and enjoying perks like a company car.

But when that wasn’t enough, I pursued my dream of being a doctor and gave it all of me: financially, emotionally, and physically. And it got all of me… but I was left empty-handed.

Emptiness is what characterized all of this. I was so empty inside. Indeed, I was searching…

And indeed, He was there.

He was ALWAYS there.

And I always knew about Him. I believed in Him. I never stopped going to church on Sunday and if I remembered I would pray before going to bed.

Boy was I missing out…

Along the way, a shift began to take place. A shift from knowing and believing in Him to experiencing life with Him.

And things have never ever been the same…

You could say I found what I was looking for… but it was more simple, I just had to open my eyes to what was in my midst the whole time… better yet, Who was in my midst.

Because He was there. He was ALWAYS there.

Those nights when I lost all inhibition and made really foolish decisions… His back wasn’t turned, He was there.

When I was quickly advancing in my career in pharmaceutical sales, yet feeling unfulfilled and looking for the next best thing, He was there.

And when my eyes began to open, I was thrilled to serve Him by being a doctor… becoming a doctor would be pleasing to God, my parents and others! This was a no-brainer…

Yet in the end, I lost my house, I lost my 401k, I lost a lot of time… and I didn’t get into medical school.

But what I gained in return was everything.

He is everything to me.

And He’s showing me that I don’t have to do anything for Him. I don’t have to please or serve Him, or anyone for that matter.

I don’t have to do anything but be loved by Him.

And the by-product of that is what you see. It’s me. It’s my life.

I may seem lost, foolish, and/or searching. And given my history, my life as it stands is par for the course.

So judge me if you must, and know it will hurt my feelings if you do it to my face… and like a little baby I’ll go crying to my Father for comfort, because He’s always waiting and ready to receive me.

He was there then. He is here now. He promises to never leave me. And His Son has already done everything for me.

And when you’re as sensitive and needy as me, any fear of heights or depths is trumped by love and the desire to be with Him… wherever that may be…

‘I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.’ –Four-Chambered Heart, Anais Nin

I’m #1

A friend told me that it sounds like I’m experiencing classic culture shock… “Typically with culture shock there is a honeymoon, then a low period where all you can see is the bad, then a period of embracing both the good and the bad.

I think I’m in the period of embracing both. Last week was three months for me! Woo hoo!!

Three months in but I’m still pretty helpless. For starters, I’m so grateful for my incredible apartment and the grace of my landlord. Money has been pretty tight so when I asked if I could split up September’s rent payment, he obliged.

I was supposed to pay the remainder last Friday, but as my day progressed, I didn’t find myself near a proper ATM. So, he gave me more grace… and I tried again to make the deposit on Saturday, but I arrived to the bank as they were closing. So when I realized there was no one to help, I spent about 10 minutes at the ATM pushing random buttons hoping I would miraculously make the deposit.

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But, I didn’t… so then I went to a restaurant near my apartment where I met more language barriers but this time, a very kind stranger having lunch in the restaurant met me outside and offered his help. He was from a country I had never heard of… Kyrgyzstan have you?

Anywho, he shared how he has been living in Japan for eight years so obviously knew the language very well. I shared that I had decided on other lunch plans but asked if he could help with my ATM deposit. To which, he kindly obliged.

Unfortunately, I was still unable to make the deposit. But he totally went out of his way and tried!! And I made a new friend and learned about a new country I was not aware of!!

So on this Monday, I went to the bank and in true Japanese customer service, I was welcomed with the most gracious kindness, but then anxiety set in when I started speaking in English… yet in her anxiety, the dear woman who greeted me helped me. It took her awhile to figure out just how, but she did and the remaining amount of rent due was deposited! Yipee!! Check that off the to-do list.

I walked home feeling so accomplished and so grateful for the kindness of the people here…

Only to learn that the worst case scenario for my job had played out… as I mentioned in a previous post, I HATE being evaluated, which is the case for my current job. I hate the pressure to perform and there is a scale of one to five stars. Five being the best. One being the worst…

I got a one.

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And upon first discovery, I didn’t care, which was good. But after five minutes… things changed.

Oh my. The crazy talk started… I’m terrible at teaching English… and what am I doing in Japan, anyway? It’s time to pack it up and go home. I suck… and so does this job…

But then, my dearest friend came in just in time to put an end to the crazy talk… reminding me that Jesus’ evaluation NEVER changes…

And I recalled His Word(s)…

God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! Jeremiah 31:3

Keep me as the apple of your eye; Psalms 17:8

Bottom line: He loves me and evaluates me with a one… because I’m His #1.

And yes, I’m teaching English. And yes, my clients are paying for the best of English lessons. So I will learn what I did wrong and do my best to make the necessary adjustments.

But at the end of the day, I know I am loved and I rest in His evaluation. An evaluation that never changes.

The Cross proves that.

So I stood at the foot of the Cross, and taught more lessons this evening with the assurance of His love upholding me in the midst of this evaluation… and for an overachiever and people-pleaser like me, that, my friends, is nothing short of a miracle.

And that is what True Love does. I’m so grateful to be loved.

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I’m exhausted. Totally drained.

And I’m reading into it… SHOCKER! Me? Read into something?

Couldn’t it just be from the high 90 degree temps with extreme humidity? Or perhaps the fact that I’m still experiencing culture shock…

While I’m sure all of this is part of it, I admit that I was anticipating my new work to be completely energizing and wonderful and so very perfect for me…

womp. womp.

This week, I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that it’s just a j-o-b.

This is huge for me. I don’t hate it and for the most part it’s a good fit with my strengths and personality, which is important. But I’m always looking for deep meaning and purpose and now I’m seeing the bottom line: it pays my bills. And for this, I’m incredibly grateful!! But in my let down over the other part, I turned to Ecclesiastes and found so much comfort in Solomon’s words.

And in my ponderings and tiredness, I realize I’m so darn tired of taking life so seriously. And I’m tired of the pressure I put on myself to make a real difference in the world.

True to Cyndi Lauper’s song, this girl just wants to have fuh-un.

True to Solomon’s wisdom, this girls wants to eat, drink and be merry!

And I know that this is what my Father wants for me, too!

So what does He do?

He gives me the most beautiful friends and precious relationships.

This week I had dinner with someone I met on the train during my first week here. I had been trying to get together with her for about a month and in the midst of the planning, I discovered through Facebook that she is friends with a friend I’ve recently made at Eriko’s church. It turned out they are friends from high school who hadn’t seen each other for a year and a half.

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And I’m also making friends with some of my clients… and yesterday, one of these friends was laughing until she was crying…

We started laughing (over nothing really!) and it became one of those moments where it wouldn’t stop… and she laughed so hard, she cried. While I, on the other hand, couldn’t keep from snorting!!

SNORTING!! Crying would be so much more graceful… but I went with it and it created an opportunity for her to expand her English vocabulary!!

AND, as she left, I couldn’t help myself… I wrapped my arms around her and squeezed her!!

This, after attending a training the week before in which I had to respond to the question of how I will adjust my teaching style or personality to be sensitive to the Japanese culture. And my answer had to do with being very mindful of not touching them during lessons as I know my tendency to touch someone’s hand or arm during conversation.

HA! I failed to take into account my big tendency to hug!!

It’s unique connections when the world becomes so small, moments of freedom when laughter comes for no reason and when hugs break the rules that I’m reminded that my life is exactly as it should be…

This is the kind of stuff life is made of… relationships that fill my heart and make a real difference in my world.

xoxoxoxoxo

Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” Mark 12:29-31

Destination or Journey?

Sigh…

It’s August 1 and what a month July was…

1. I kicked it off with my Residence Card in hand from the Japanese Government

2. And the following week, I woke to an email with the news that someone who I loved with all my heart is in the arms of Jesus

3. That same week I boarded a train that ended up being a ‘rapid service’ one and not a ‘local’ so I ended up rapidly flying past my stop and arriving 45 minutes late for my engagement

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4. The following week I began training for my job as an English Instructor which proved to be more challenging than I anticipated

5. The week that followed I woke to an email with a sonogram attached of my nephew!!! Yes, I’m going to be an aunt!!!

6. And then in that same week, I taught my first set of one-on-one English lessons and also decided to stretch myself just a little further outside my comfort zone by committing to teach a weekly English class to a group of adults ranging from 50 – 83. After teaching that class, I boarded a train that was a ‘local’ one instead of ‘rapid service’ so I stopped at every station along the way and arrived home 45 minutes later than I should have

No doubt I’m living and learning… in so many ways…

7. Finally, to end this month, earlier this week I was introduced to someone who has a heart for women in the sex industry and when he pulled out his iPhone to share the scripture that was laid on his heart around it, I braced myself because I knew it would hit me and sure enough tears began to flow as he read:

“But then I will win her back once again.
    I will lead her into the desert
    and speak tenderly to her there.
 I will return her vineyards to her
    and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
    as she did long ago when she was young,
    when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
 When that day comes,” says the Lord,
    “you will call me ‘my husband’
    instead of ‘my master.’ ~Hosea 2:14-16

God highlighted these verses to me about two years ago before the week-long retreat I was off to attend to complete my Holy Yoga Instructor Training. And He has used them over and over since then…

His Word is so active. It breathes life into me when I need it most…

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I still can’t believe I’m in Japan… obviously, the last month has been full. And I’m not sure what all is to come…

But that’s where the biggest lesson is for me…

I learned awhile ago that it’s not about the destination, but the journey… but now, I’m learning that it’s not really about the journey, either…

It’s all about the One who is by my side through it all…

And I’m discovering that that right there is the abundance of life that He promised.

train couple

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  John 10:10

Christmas Cake in July

I hate being evaluated, being watched. I detest it. I also do not like role-playing.

Role-playing isn’t natural, and being evaluated and watched makes it hard for me to be natural… to be free.

Last week, I began training for my job as a one-to-one English Teacher. And this may sound over-dramatic (probably is), but in the role-playing and evaluation portion, I felt like I was in a lion’s den. Seriously, the level of anxiety I felt was so intense and so horribly uncomfortable.

And what I’ve heard in times past was heard again, “Just relax, Michele. You’re too hard on yourself. You’re over-thinking.”

And maybe I am.

But I don’t know anything else.

At the same time, I’m embracing the ambition in me. I don’t want to reject it because it’s how He created me, to seek excellence in what I do and that’s not a bad thing.

What I’m finding is that in seeking excellence, I am seeking Him because I can’t do it on my own.

A short summary of my time in Japan: I can’t do ANYTHING on my own.

I have never been more aware of my need for Him in every aspect of my life as now.

When I’m at the grocery trying to make sense of things, when I’m in the midst of training for my new position trying to make sense of things, when my building manager stops me on my way out and goes on and on in Japanese and I’m trying to make sense of things…

Jesus, help!

I need Him… every hour I need Him.

During training, we were advised on several topics that should not be discussed during lessons. And age was one with the disclaimer of how especially sensitive this topic can be regarding women…

According to Wikipedia: In Japan, women had traditionally been expected to marry at a young age and those who were unmarried after the age of 25 were sometimes scornfully referred to as Christmas cakes (unsold after the 25th).

So shortly after realizing I was a Christmas cake, I went to the restroom and looked in the mirror to see a gray hair sticking out plain as day.

Really???

It  was actually quite funny to me… so I hope you are laughing about it, too.

And the bottom line is that I so want to be a strong and patient little Christmas cake.

But I’m not going to lie. It’s been really hard lately.

And this one I don’t even attempt to make sense of…

In this case, I rest. I rest in His goodness. I rest in what my Father spoke to me months ago in Mozambique as I tried to make sense of it:

I’m not holding out on you. I’m just not ready to share you… I am jealous for you.

Oh Jesus, thank you. I need you. Every second of every day. I need you.

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

Matthew 6:6 MSG

This is not Christmas cake, but it is the dessert I enjoyed with this beautiful friend to end my week!
Obviously, not Christmas cake but next best thing… delicious desserts enjoyed with beautiful friends to end my week!!

Down to my last yen

I do my best to maintain a positive outlook on life and it helps that I’m wired to lean towards optimism. So whenever I write, it can be pretty upbeat and ‘flowery’ (pun intended after my last post!).

But today, my intent is to share that this journey isn’t always a bed of roses. Nor am I always incredibly positive about my life. Because at 35-years old, this is definitely not what I imagined.

Last night, I had to take money from a ‘stranger’ because my debit card did a disappearing act.

So allow me to explain…

Yesterday, I awaited the special delivery of my visa paperwork. My application was approved this week!! YAY! So I will start working soon, but still have a few more steps in the process to complete.

This is great news, right??

Well, for some crazy reason… I started to freak out. I started to doubt the nature of  my new job, which in short is independent contractor work. So I will be teaching English and paid per lesson taught. The more lessons, the more money. But, also, there isn’t any guarantee on my scheduled lessons as it is primarily dependent on the client’s choice of instructor.

So, the freak out begins… Will I be able to pay my bills? Will I have to eat ramen (by the way, instant noodles were invented in Osaka so I guess the good news is there isn’t a better place for me to be in this case!!)?

And then it got really good… How much longer will I have to suffer like this? Will I ever make the kind of money I used to?

Pathetic, I know.

And while I’ve come so far, there are still times when I am burdened with feeling that I’ve let my parents down. Not to mention, the concern I have over what others may be thinking such as, 1) Poor Michele. I hope she eventually finds her way 2) Weirdo Michele. She’s gone off the deep end with her faith 3) Oh Michele. If she could only understand that there is no perfect job or circumstances.

And oh my… as I write out the crazy talk in my head, I feel so much better. Because 1) I know that not all who wander are lost because it was when I wasn’t wandering that I was completely lost 2)Yes, I have gone off the deep end and there’s no turning back 3) This is not breaking news to me.

Whew. Now that that has been handled, I can get back to my story.

I literally had cents to my name yesterday…. see?

last cents

This is equivalent to about $2.50. And I tried to use the ATM to withdraw money (this was the first time I’ve had to do this). Well, the ATM wouldn’t work. So I did further research only to find out that not all ATMs here take international cards.

Thankfully, I had enough on my train pass to get me to the next station over where an appropriate ATM was. I easily located it and approached it with much anticipation only to open my bag and discover that my debit card was nowhere to be found…

Really, Michele? You left it sitting at home??

So I went back home to get it… only to find it was NOWHERE. I’m telling you NOWHERE. And a great benefit to my teeny tiny place is that I could quickly conclude it was nowhere.

All the while, I had dinner plans for the evening with someone I had just met at the church I visited last Sunday, and I felt like a complete moron with the first impression I was making by texting her all my drama!! But she was patient and I’m so glad didn’t let me cancel on her…

Because it was an amazing evening and ended with my beautiful new friend sending me on my way with some cash.

The End.

Can you say humbling???

So be careful what you pray for. I’ve asked God to make me completely dependent on Him… and like a good Father, He is answering.

Another moral of the story: Don’t wait until you are down to your last cents to get money out of the ATM in a foreign country, or any country, for that matter.

PS. Please don’t judge me. I can’t believe I let it get to that myself!!!! So grateful He always has my back!!!

Why Japan?

February 17, 2012… after giving away everything but my car, I said good-bye to to these two favorites of mine…

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He said, “Go.

So I went.

And it proved to be beyond colorful.

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Everywhere I turned was a scene right off of a postcard.

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And He gave me a wonderful opportunity working on cutting edge technology in a super hip office while also filling the void of leaving my dog!

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Within a month, it was clear that the position was not a good fit, but some amazing connections were established while a key re-connection was made resulting in an inter-continental friendship, which began to flourish via Skype.

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And then, I was offered a great job at this place…

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Values I could easily stand behind…

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But, He had other plans…

I thought I would be planting roots in Colorado, but it turned out to be a much needed watering hole.

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And a launching pad to a continent I had never been with the opportunity to make more beautiful connections…

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And another key re-connection.

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But the deepest connection of all…

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My Father’s love for me sunk into my core.

I experienced His delight in me like never before in Mozambique… and I’ll never be the same.

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I know I can’t live one second without Him, so when it was clear He wanted me to go to Thailand, I went.

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And it was in Bangkok that the desire to live overseas began to burn inside of me. So within a month, my car was packed all over again.

And Colorado bid me farewell with this…

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Surprised by His love, He led me forth, breaking open the way into a beautiful broad place! I’m rescued! All because He delights in me! Psalm 18:19
And I received a warm welcome back to Arizona…

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And an even warmer welcome into the Valley of the Sun.

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And in less than a month, I will journey onward from the Valley of the Sun to the Land of the Rising Sun…

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When you let go of all that you ever thought and all that you had, you open yourself up to all that you are and receive more than you ever thought was possible.

Trust me… better yet, trust Him… and brace yourself for the ride of your life…

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

I am Asian woman. Hear me roar.

Or in all honesty, meow may be more like it??

Though as most of you know, my laughter can be roar-like.

lion

So in exactly one week, I’m headed back on a jet plane. This time, the destination is Bangkok, Thailand and I’ll be there for three weeks.

While I’m going with a heart wide open, I have some clear purpose and a bit more focus going in to this trip.

Women. Asia. Justice.

I wrote this in the personal statement of my medical school application in 2008:

I believe that the health of women is absolutely vital to the health of every community. And if there is any patient who benefits from a connection on an intimate level it is that of women. The complexities and intricacies of their health concerns and unique issues greatly inspire me. I seek to understand the physiological components specific to women’s health all the while making genuine connections that make a real difference in their comprehensive care.

I believe in women in a big way. In fact, I could probably take what I have stated above one step further and say that the health of women is the health of the community.

Women create community. After all, God gave Eve to Adam. And so community began.

So God is fulfilling my desire to care for women’s health just in a different way than I had imagined…

And I confess here, I have carried much shame around my Filipino background. Mainly from the standpoint of looking in the mirror and finding it hard to see beauty looking back at me.

But as I journey into my Father’s heart, I’m beginning to see myself more clearly. I’m seeing the beauty that is me.

And how else would I be able to recognize the beauty in my Asian sisters in Thailand???

This is the redemption I so love about God. He works all things together for good. He’s so amazing.

Amazing and just. And oh me oh my there is so much need for justice in the world. So much.

It’s overwhelming to me. And it’s moments like this that has stopped me in times past from doing my part… it’s so much easier to not do anything.

But not now. My flight is booked. I’m on my way.

I know that what I’m entering into will take more than a meow.

But the good news is I carry a Hope within that has a roar like no other. (Colossians 1:27, Revelation 5:5)

That He would choose me to carry life, truth and freedom makes me one lucky girl. Er, I mean woman.

Yes, I am Asian Woman. Hear me rooooooooaaaaaar.

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Theresa~

To learn more about the organizations I’ll be serving with, click below:

NightLight International

Iris Bangkok

LOVED.

Tomorrow I’m off to Pemba, Mozambique for nine weeks. And never in a million years would I have dreamed I would be headed to Africa for missions school.

When you truly surrender your life to Jesus, you just never know what to expect. And I’m living proof.

As I packed all my belongings for storage, I wondered how on earth I could have so much stuff, all of which fits in my Blazer. I chuckle at the fact that all of my stuff once occupied a 2,200sqft home.

And as I go all by my lonesome, what comes to mind is when I broke up with the last boyfriend I had (ten years ago) with an explanation that went something along the lines of, “I just need some time on my own for awhile…”

To think that at the age of 27, I was debt-free (excluding my mortgage) with rock star credit and feeling pretty proud of the $40,000 I had in my 401k. Now I’ve got a significant amount of debt, a non-existent 401k and my credit took a big hit a couple years back when I had to short sale my home.

I imagined that I would be married with a family, overly comfortable financially and settled…

Instead, I am single with no children, relying on others for financial support and living out of my car.

It’s all pretty humbling and needless to say, my life at 34 years old is just not what I imagined… Not. At. All.

But the beauty is it is so much better than I ever could have imagined.

Along the way, I experienced the depths of Jesus’ love for me. And I have never been the same.

He has changed me in ways I can’t fully articulate, but I am different. I am completely different.

I know I am loved beyond all measure no matter what I do or don’t do. And that has changed EVERYTHING.

There’s such freedom in love.

And I’m here to say that as I get ready to head out, there’s still parts of the old me. The old me that feels she has to “make the grade” at missions school. The old me that needs to know what is to come when the nine weeks is up. The old me that is terrified of failure. The old me that can be completely debilitated by her concern with what others think. The old me that feels like no matter what, she’ll never measure up.

Sometimes I don’t experience the freedom there is in love.

But that’s ok because it doesn’t change anything. I am loved always and forever.

And so are you.

We love, because He first loved us. -1 John 4:19

Humbled M.E.

I wanted to be a doctor because I had this amazing uncle who was a general surgeon. And not only was he highly gifted in his trade, he was a man of integrity and incredibly charismatic. And generous. So generous. I wanted to impact people in my professional and personal life as he did. I wanted to give like he gave.

((Enter my cultural background))

I’m so often asked, “Where are you from?”

I reply, “Ohio.”

They ask again, “No, where are you from?”

I smugly (yes, I confess) reply, “Well, my parents are from the Philippines.”

That said, I have AMAZING parents. They sacrificed so much for me. They set out to start and raise a family in the United States… the land of opportunity.

They had high hopes for me. And true to our culture, I wanted to be able to provide for them financially at this point in my life.

But, that’s just not the case. And the shame around that is surfacing as I move forward… as a missionary.

Oh my. I said it. I’ve put it to paper. I am about to embark on a journey that will require me to fully depend on God for everything like never before, and this includes my finances.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKS.

It’s hard enough for me to ask for a ride to the airport… what more of money???

I’ve been dragging my feet on raising support, which was was never part of my plan.

I planned to use the severance pay I was blessed with a few months back to cover my tuition and the rest of my expenses would come from my savings…

Because depleting my savings is far better than asking for help on this journey… right?!?

WRONG. I’m sooooo wrong and so very humbled in recognizing my need. I cannot do this alone. I just can’t… nor am I supposed to. That’s not His desire for me.

And I have this reminder in my Bible of His provision. This $20 bill was given to me by a woman named Rosie who I met while attending a church during a visit to Salmon, Idaho back in December. From our conversation I don’t believe she had much to give, but she handed this to me and said, “Merry Christmas!” And I haven’t spoke with her since, but am grateful for the tangible reminder of God’s faithfulness through her.

And in His faithfulness He blew me away through my folks… who I felt did not receive my plans for missions school so well at first… and I just revealed the shame I’m working through… and I owe them so much money… so I would have NEVER considered asking them for financial support…

And I didn’t have to, they offered. My heart had received the blessing it longed for from them and I was floored by a financial blessing that came with it.

And then, a couple I’ve never met but who are close to one of my dear friends in Japan wanted to give to me. And this, turned into a huge blessing.

I just love how my Heavenly Father is so gentle with me. He knows my fear. He knows my shame… I give it all to Him. He takes it and in exchange I receive greater grace. sigh.

James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

Jesus, please keep on humbling me.