November 6, 2023

A bittersweet life update 😌

Long time no blog 😬 It's been quite awhile since I've posted anything on this blog. Honestly, I think it became a bit too much for me to post regularly on here and to write my monthly email newsletter.  However, I think most of you probably subscribe to that newsletter so you haven't missed much. 

A lot has happened since March 2021 (when I last posted on here) including: celebrating years seven and eight in Romania, making some big shifts in ministry, working with Ukrainian refugees, moving out of my beloved apartment in the citadel, unexpectedly losing my dad to a motorcycle accident, going on two home assignments to raise support, taking a three month sabbatical in the States, and so much more that I can't even list. 

I recently sent out my October email newsletter, with this life update included, but I also wanted to put it in a blog post for those of you who might not be subscribed to my newsletter. 

In December, I will be leaving my home in Romania after almost nine years and moving back home to America. I made this decision a few months ago, but it's something that's been stirring in my heart for a while.

A common question I've been asked as I've shared this news with people is if something specific happened that led to this decision. No, there wasn't one major, or even minor, event that brought me to this point. It's been a gradual process of paying attention to God's leading over the last little while, and it feels like the time has come.

It's hard to even pinpoint exactly when the question of "Is it time to leave Romania?" popped into my heart and mind. For years, I never even considered it as an option, even when times were tough. When it started floating around in my mind, I knew I needed to pay attention.

That's often how it works with me. I realize that a certain thought or idea is popping up more often than before so I start to pay more attention to it. I journal about it, pray about it, find some podcasts about the general topic, etc. I also bring it up with close friends and mentors, paying close attention to those conversations. Before long, it's usually obvious that all of those little things are pointing in the same direction.

And then, in this specific scenario, someone close to me said "you'll know when you know" over breakfast. In that moment, I knew that I knew (it was time to leave Romania), but I wasn't ready to officially make the decision. About a month later, while I was doing some guided journaling about decision making, a question was proposed and that was it! I knew it was time to officially make the decision.

When I made the decision to come to Romania, I had such a deep peace about it even though none of it made sense and I had no idea what life in Romania would look like. Now, with the decision to leave, I have that same deep peace. While it's very bittersweet, I know that it's time to go, even though I don't know what life in America will look like.

Since I made the decision, I've been doing all of the planning that comes with a big change like this one. I've been talking to Nazarene Global Missions, gradually telling people here in Romania, tying up loose ends related to ministry, packing stuff that friends were able to take back for me ahead of my departure, etc. It's been quite the process!

Again, I'm not entirely sure what's next, but I'm not too worried about figuring it out right now. I'm trying to stay present in my remaining time in Romania before planning and prepping for what's next. I'm glad I'll be able to take some time to readjust to life in America and everything that comes with that big change.

These last (almost) nine years would not have been possible without you, my people. Thank you so much for your constant support through prayer, finances, words of encouragement, etc. You've made this season of life so much better than I could have even imagined. I honestly believe that what helped me stick around as long as I did was the knowledge that I had such an incredible support system surrounding me. I cannot thank you enough.