Recently someone asked what was special about 2010 in my life. I’d say that this was a year of moving and big changes.
I started the year teaching junior and senior English classes in Decatur, Illinois. Even though I only lived there for a year, I met some amazing and inspiring people. I learned so much from my students, my co-workers, my friends, and my experiences there. I am so blessed to have friends there who are still praying for me as I serve and live in Japan.
In June I moved back to Iowa to live with my parents for a few months. A few days after we moved my things, we moved my parents out of the only home I ever remember growing up in. It’s still weird thinking about another family living there, but I hope they will be as happy in that home as I was. My parents moved into a condominium for people 55 and older, so that was my home for a few months too. I didn’t realize that I was such a rebel until I tried to dry some laundry on the balcony, but the residents quickly made a rule against that. My summer gave me a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family before my next move.
At the end of September I made the move back to Japan. The first time I moved to Tokyo was back in 2004 when I was right out of college, and being here again shows me how much I’ve grown and changed as a person since then. What’s neat is that after getting together with some friends here, they can see some of those positive changes in me too. It still seems a bit weird to go from being a teacher to being a student again, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to study Japanese. People here are so kind and welcoming, and I am enjoying this time of studying, forming friendships, and serving in what ways I can. In March I will be moving again, this time to Kumamoto, Japan, to teach junior high and high school English.
To be honest, I don’t really like moving, and would much rather be able to settle into a community to get rooted. So, why do I keep moving? Whenever I make big life decisions, I cover those decisions in prayer and truly desire to follow God’s will. Some time ago I told God that I wanted to serve him and that I was willing to go wherever he’d send me. I meant it when I said that and still do, so that seems to mean a lot of changes and adjustments for me, at least during 2010. The best part is that wherever I go, God goes before me and prepares the way. Even as I start thinking about my next move, I know that God will help me through the transition and has called me there for a reason. I can’t wait to see what adventures and opportunities await me in 2011!