UNBELIEVABLE! It really is hard for me to believe that September 30th will be my last full day here in Kolkata - it just seems incredibly close and far away all at the same time! What is even more strange is that September has traditionally marked the beginning of the school year for most of my life. I must admit it feels odd, and GREAT, to not be counting down to the beginning of classes! Hoorah for graduating!
With my time here two-thirds completed I cannot help but find myself wondering what October will bring. I have no doubt that there will be some amazing adventures. I have the opportunity to visit friends in both Thailand and Australia as I make my way back to Canadian soil. Honestly, there is no way that seeing old friends in new countries could ever be a bad combination!
Adjusting back to life in Canada is sure to be an adventure in itself. Recently a team from The Queensway Cathedral, in Toronto Ontario, visited Kolkata. I got to spend some time with them and the team lovingly informed me, to my great surprise, that I have picked-up some Indian mannerisms and expressions during my time here. I have no doubt that some jokes are going to be made at my expense once I am home. Also, I have actually been cold here in the mornings and have caught myself heading out with a long-sleeve shirt and hat on. So my arrival in British Columbia in the middle of October could be problematic!
More than the change in culture and climate, my return home marks a whole new life-chapter for me - the post-college years have begun! I am excited to officially begin my time as a Missions Apprentice with the B.C./Yukon District. Furthermore, I have been invited to attend a missions conference in Turkey in the month of November (meaning I would be leaving Canada after only being home for a month). It would be a great learning experience and a chance to meet the missionaries under whom I could potentially work alongside for the second and third years of my apprenticeship. Now that is exciting! I do admit that I have been wrestling with a certain amount of angst that has accompanied this anticipation. By nature, I am a planner and, yes, at times even a worrier.
I recently was talking with a college friend from Westbank. This friend had just received my brochure and I was quick to tell them that I did not expect my college friends to support me financially, but to pray for me and make sure that I still take time to smile (students have enough financial strains to worry about after all). This friend stopped me and informed me that they were actually seriously praying about financially supporting me. They reminded me that it is God who provides - however and through whomever He chooses. Who am I to limit God. For the record, this is not to say that I now expect all of my college friends to scrounge up some support.
There have been moments where doubts flood my thoughts: where will I live? how am I going to be able to afford an apartment? will I be able to get a part-time job? will I be able to afford to go to that missions conference? what about your student debt? The worst doubt is questioning whether coming to India was a good idea - after all most Missions Apprentices use the summer months to raise support, not go overseas. Suddenly the phrase "drowning in a sea of doubt" does not seem so melodramatic.
It is in those moments of doubt-drowning that I need to remind myself that God is bigger than all of that. Just as my friend reminded me, He is in control. Sometimes I hear "God will provide" so often that I allow it to become cliche, but there is solid truth in that saying. God is not a jerk and I believe that obedience will never lead to regret. So it is in those moments that I am reassured by the fact that God is not going to call me to a task just to abandon me as soon as I obey. I also take a moment to survey the lives of the Christians around me - I am quickly reminded of how blessed I already am.
Will October and the months and years to follow be challenging? Probably. Will I still wrestle with doubt? Certainly. Will I listen to the song "His Eye is on the Sparrow" on repeat for hours? Most definitely. Will I be amazed time after time as I watch God provide for me however He sees fit? Undoubtedly.