Thoughts for a New Year

Happy New Year!
Last night, New Year's Eve, my teammates and I got together to celebrate  the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. After eating a lot of good food and joking around as usual, we decided to spend some time reflecting and sharing about what the past year meant to us, and what we were hoping the next year would be like. For many of my team members and I,  2013 was the year that brought the decision to come to Turkey and thus all of the transitions, preparations, goodbyes, and hellos that are part of such a big life change! What a year of beautiful chaos~ mountain top moments and valley lows!

One of my teammates then shared her hopes for 2014. She said she is asking God to do what seems impossible to her: to make Turkey her home! That immediately resonated with all of us 'newbies' on the team! While we've each been here for at least a month now (Erin and I being the newest of the newbies), we still have a long way to go before life in Turkey feels "normal". Sure, we've grown accustomed to the sights, sounds, and smells ~those things that at first were so overwhelmingly new and different! Yet we still ache for that sense of familiarity, comfort, and stability!

For my teammate, one way God has been speaking to her about this sense of being at home, is through a song called "Home" sung by Phillip Phillips. While many of us had heard the song before, listening to it again while thinking of God's plan for us in Turkey was comforting and encouraging!  The lyrics to the song are:

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

God truly spoke to us through this song and reminded us that His plan is bigger than we can imagine! We may see that task of adjusting to a new country as impossible, but nothing is impossible for God!
Before I left for Turkey, I made a playlist to listen to on the plane to a) keep me from crying after I said goodbye to family, b) remind me why I'm going, and c) give me something to listen to besides crazy people in the airplane!  So after talking about "Home" with the team last night, I decided to revisit my playlist and edit it to speak to both travelling and  trusting God with His plan for me in Turkey. It's kind of a scattered mix of music both Christian and secular, indie, pop, older, newer, etc. but feel free to check it out, and I hope it may encourage you too!

God's plans often seem to call us out of our comfort zones, our familiar places, and our safe spaces to live instead on the edge where we are required to depend on Him for all things! I hope for this new year, that we will learn to trust in deeper ways and thus grow closer to Him! Happy 2014!