Blessings Away From Home
When the time is right, I, the Lord will make it happen. – Isaiah 60:22
God is great. Words like great don’t begin to cover the vastness and magnitude of who the Lord is. I am speechless. He goes above and beyond, and I can only stand in awe and gratitude at the work He does.
Personally, I am doing well and I’m being provided for. Life is a rollercoaster, but I’ve got a good seat, and I’m all strapped in. Lucy M. Montgomery says, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in in yet?” I find this quote to be very hopeful. It implies that no matter what our current situation is, that God has great things in store for us. Nothing cannot be changed. I think this quote is simple, true and reassuring. Every day is new and God lets you correct your wrong doings. Do we allow ourselves to experience this? Do we believe this choice is always present?
With that, I’d like to share a little bit about my last three months. I’ve had both great days and some terrible ones. Leaving the familiar confines of my home in Mumbai, India and coming to study my masters in Washington D.C was a big change for me. I’ve felt the rush of being in a new exciting place- a dream come true, really. I’ve been welcomed by wonderful people and given love and a home away from home. Yes, I miss my family and my friends, but I’m learning that it helps me be more intentional with them despite the distance.
Fear is natural. Faith is supernatural. The Lord’s invitation, to see as He sees. -A reflection on Mark 5:36
Moving always comes with its ups and downs. I felt the love of the families that took care of me upon my arrival, but I also felt homesick as I moved into a new house with my roommates. But, in the midst of that, God provided for all my needs. For example, I’m involved with a Christian group called UCO (University Christian Outreach) in Maryland, and we got a new women’s leader who has been a wonderful gift of friendship and support for me.
Also, my university is spectacular. The faculty are approachable and knowledgeable. I’m learning and growing tremendously. I feel like this is all just a big dream and I don’t want to ever wake up…Thank you, Lord! Lastly, finding an internship was difficult for me, but after a while the Lord presented two opportunities for me to choose from! I got to work at a modern contemporary art museum on the National Mall over the fall semester.
Three months ago, I had my first emotional breakdown, and I cried for two days straight. I missed my parents, my brother, the comfort of my lower bunk bed, going on walks with my best friend and meeting my friends as and when I liked. I missed seeing everyone and just knowing they were only a walk or a cab ride away. I had never been so homesick.
That being said, God spoke through so many new people to show me that I was alright here. At first, I didn’t want to listen. I was angry with the Lord and didn’t go to church. I simply cried and prayed to be sent home. Instead, God gave me the opportunity to go on a retreat called Fan into Flame with UCO Maryland. I found myself feeling better as I was able to praise God with other young people I knew. I also had a great time playing frisbee (even though I was terrible) and laughing at random jokes. We also got to listen to thought-provoking talk series on the “Bourne” movies- a pun on the word “born.” I was surrounded by people who genuinely loved and worshiped God. This ended up being an answer to my prayer, but in an unexpected way. The Lord gave me a new gift of a community and friends.
On the retreat, I got to be prayed with, and I asked for forgiveness for my anger about wanting to go home. I thanked the Lord for bringing me to the retreat and giving me this gift of new friends. The time of being prayed over was special and sacred for me. I felt unburdened as I shouted praise during our time of worship. That evening, as I returned to the women’s house, I switched on my phone to find a surprise- my cousin offered to buy me a ticket home for the holidays! My heart was filled with awe. God had answered my prayer. He had not only given me a new community of friends, but also the opportunity to go home. In the end, I said no because I actually wanted to stay in Maryland and experience a white Christmas with my new community. I guess I just wanted to know it was an option and God showed me “I am here.” I spent Christmas with a family here and I am happy to say that it was incredible and blessed.
How great is our God, right?! My experience has taught me to trust in His plans for me. Life will always have its difficulties, but the Lord continues to bless me, surprise me, and knows what will help me grow!
Do your soul a favour and show up, listen up and choose to be engaged- I promise you won’t regret it. It’s up to you what you get out of it. I’ve found that Jesus is always present, we just don’t always perceive Him. - Taya Smith.
Vanessa has lived in Mumbai, India all her life, and she recently moved to the United States to pursue her masters in art and Museum studies at Georgetown. She is interested in building skills to promote museums as cultural spaces for all audiences especially those with disabilities and visual impairments.