I'm currently spending Fourth of July at a Buddhist center in Cologne, Germany while on an overnight layover to Miami. It was the cheapest thing on Airbnb, and my bank account has dipped to numbers I'm not quite comfortable with. My life two months from now is absolutely uncertain. I have no clue what country I'll be in, where I'll live, what I'll be doing. So many seasons have ended in my life as of late, and it's quite uncomfortable. I'm squirming, uncertain, questioning. And yet, I'm at peace, knowing that what lies ahead is not up to me, but to God. Without further ado, here's an update.
Benin Field Service
Has a year already flown by?! The older I get, the faster life passes. It's been hard to articulate all I've experienced to people back home. How can I condense everything I've seen and learned into one elevator pitch? So as I transition into this new season back in the States, I'll hold on to the memories of all the beautiful Beninoise people I've met and the transformations I've seen; hopefully I'll be able to share it accurately with others. In the meantime, above is a snippet of my last year in one minute and twenty seconds.
Where I'm At
The ship sailed from Benin to the Canary Islands. Below are some photos of the sail:
Originally, I was going to hang out in some random hostel in the Canaries and surf until my family arrived to help me move back home. Yet, I was really unsettled about ending this season, so I booked a spot last minute (like a week before it started) on a retreat for humanitarian workers and missionaries returning "home." I've never been one to set time aside to talk about my feelings or see a therapist. I've almost prided myself in it (silly me). But man, this time, transition back hit me hard. It was such a blessing to be with other women who understood the struggle. If you're interested in doing the same, check out http://girlcatchfire.com/retreats/.
It's strange to know my life has been building up to this past year, and it's over, like a vapor. I'm not going to lie, it hurts a bit. These last few weeks, I've wanted to run back to the ship, extend for another year, in whatever capacity they'd have me. But, that would be running away, and what you love so much suddenly becomes unhealthy for you.
So where do I go from here? Good question. Thankfully, I'm staying with Mercy Ships as their Video Producer. This past year I was on the front lines capturing all the stories, and now I get to be behind the scenes editing those stories for the public. Don't quite know how all that looks like, but for now, I know I'll be in East Texas for two months getting up to speed with the team. It makes this transition a little easier, as I get to continue working for an organization I truly love and believe in. Here's a video I collaborated on. All Dr. Odry footage was shot by me. :)
I haven't shared much about my time on this page, because there was so much happening each day. It was tough to start explaining everything I experienced. I will be reworking my website soon with fresh photos/video I shot from this past year, but if you want to hang out while I'm in Miami and/or Texas, please message me. I love talking about Mercy Ships and need new people to share my love with. A little hug and a "it'll be okay" won't hurt either. ;)