I sat there thinking that this wasn’t really happening to me. Not now.
“What a brilliant way to ruin a holiday, you dud.” And similar thoughts played over and over through my mind. As I sat there sulking in the living room of a friend-of-a-friend whom I had literally just met, I wallowed in a rather emotional puddle of self-depreciating thoughts and feelings. I realize this sounds a bit dramatic but having just crashed a motorized scooter on a busy roadway in the middle of nowhere India (actually it was a lovely town called Ooty, I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in India) the adrenaline and negative thoughts were flowing fast and full! The sound of the wreck is something that has startled me as I continue to think about it. I remember pulling out to pass a bus on a road at rush hour, I remember seeing the Jeep turn into the oncoming lane, and I remember seeing my front tire skidding aimlessly about as I desperately tried to avoid the chrome grill of the aformentioned Jeep. What happened next was, what I can only describe as an act of God. The bike was devoured by the front right wheel of the Jeep and I was sent hurling down to earth. I am convinced that Columbia Sportswear’s Circuit Breaker backpack is actually an angel in disguise, as I tumbled onto my back the pack provided excellent cushion and sufficient bounce for me to complete a tumble and pop up on my feet, about a meter in front of the bus that had come to a stop sometime during the ordeal. I ran over to grab the bike and endure a good tongue lashing from an understandably angry driver. On the side of the road, mangled bike by my side, I started to contemplate the significance of the event. This could have been the end of me. But God, my protector, had other plans. It was that night, sitting in a good friend’s house that this thought really impacted me. My friend’s father said to me, “God has spared you, I feel that you have a great call on your life from God.” It is this phrase that has seemed to be a recurrent theme throughout the year for me. Although, it has been expressed in different ways, the main point is that God is in the refining business! There is a purpose for me and God is preparing me and using me to fulfill that purpose. However, this kind of refining does not come for free or with ease. It is often filled with hardship and trial, often with confusion and heartache, sadness, anxiety, etc. the list is nearly endless. But the hope in this is that God is still there through it all. That is the thing that this year has taught me again and again! Maybe that’s because I’m a slow learner? Regardless, God has consistently shown me so many things through the trials I have faced. In the refining fire of life the things that I so desperately need have been absent, at the same time the character of God has been shown by the same fire. When I have lacked commitment, God has shown his faithful pursuit of me. When I have lacked relationship, God has shown Himself to be a friend like no other. When I have not seen justice or mercy, God has shown me His undying empathy and sorrow for those effected by injustice. As 2016 comes to a close, I look back at what has been a challenging year to say the least! But, I also look back at a year that has taught me, and shown me more of who God is than any other in recent memory. I look forward with hopeful anticipation to what God has in store for 2017, for me and those around me as well!
A quick GlobeTREK update: So for a while now my professors back in Canada and I have been talking about my internship placement. Unfortunately, there is not much opportunity for me to fulfill the academic requirements of my internship in Kolkata. So in an effort to make this possible, through much prayer and careful consideration, my professors have decided it would be best to move to another location where I will have more of an opportunity for the Youth Ministry requirements to be fulfilled for my program. So the country I will be moving to now is Rwanda in Africa. I am sad that I must leave Kolkata, a place continuously on my heart, but at the same time I am so excited to see what God has planned for Rwanda and my time there. This is a big transition and I would appreciate prayer as we figure out Visa requirements etc. Stay tuned for more on this coming soon!
Thanks for reading! Happy New Year friends!
Grace and peace!