After recounting all of this semesters extraordinary events, it was hard to prepare to leave the home I made over the last three months. There were details to be arranged, gifts to be delivered, laundry to be done, rooms to be cleaned, and flights to be caught. So, naturally, there was no time for sleep to be had.
But returning to Oklahoma for a short visit has been wonderfully refreshing and encouraging. I was able to spend about five days in Norman/OKC with my college friends and cronies. As I mentioned to several people, "I've never been to Oklahoma for a visit - I've always come home to stay." Feeling as though a time limit had been set on all my conversations because of this made me spend the first day feeling rather disjointed (this may have also been due to delirium caused by lack of sleep). But after the first 24 hours were finished I fell right back into the swing of things - being in Norman just feels so natural! It was great to see faces I've missed and to laugh and cry with some of my dearest friends in the world - I, of course, extended about 100 invitations for people to come visit me in Seattle and sweetened the deal by offering my sofabed at no extra charge. :)
Being home in Tulsa has been great. It's great to spend time with my family, and some of our oldest and dearest friends still live in this city. I loved celebrating Christmas with my church home at Redeemer. I'm thankful for sweet friends who have been praying for me and loving me even from afar. I even got to spend time with a few former interns who helped pave the way for my own internship - all three of which are now at seminary with their spouses. Seminary in my future? Feeling more possible every day.
However, being home has also given me time to process this semester and to be thankful for the ways the Lord has blessed me this past year. It has made me anxious and excited to go back to Seattle and to continue the work that the Lord is preparing for me to do there! I am grateful to be feeling rejuvenated but also grateful that I have a job that I love and a God who loves me. Being an intern is unlike anything I've ever done before and the Lord is teaching me and demonstrating his love to me in ways I could have never imagined before now.
Mild, He lays His glory by - born that man no more may die.
The beauty of Christmas is Christ! He is life and light for us.