It’s official!

Wowzers! Deadlines. Due dates. The beginning of all of my “lasts.” It’s all becoming so REAL!

My last day as a fully-employed writer is Wednesday, August 15.

Thus afterwards begins my new career as traveler/blogger/missionary extraordinaire. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha. Well…maybe. ๐Ÿ˜› We’ll see how the “extraordinaire” works out.

On Tuesday, September 4, I will fly to Chicago, where I will arrive a day ahead of many of my teammates to receive a little training. I have been selected to be my team’s treasurer, which means I get the money, haha! It also means I need to keep track of exchange rates and rely on my “writer-brain” to do the math. Please pray for me, I will need it!

God is stretching me already! ๐Ÿ˜›

On September 5, everyone else on my squad and the other September squads will arrive, and we’ll begin our pre-launch country/culture training in earnest. Then, Lord willing, J Squad will fly to Thailand.

Other than that, I know no details.
It’s forcing me to be flexible and to focus on God and not on me.
This month is going to fly by FAST.
And I don’t like it.
But I can’t focus on that.

Thanks to this past weekend, I’ve had some good time with God and my family camping in my most favorite place ever, the North Shore on Lake Superior. Seriously, it’s my happy place, and I really needed to get away from everything and just be able to sit. And listen. And soak in the sweet, calming presence of Jesus that is so evident there.
ย From jesseischens.theworldrace.org

My parents listened and gently gave me advice. They are the most amazing people I know and I can’t even begin to understand how blessed I am to have them in my life. Thank you, God! I can’t imagine life without them or where I’d be without their incredible encouragement and support.

God knew what I needed when He made me their daughter!

One thing I know in this time, my big thing is trust. Learning what it really means to trust and have joy even when I don’t feel it and can’t exactly understand or comprehend everything that’s going on.

This is what leaving is. It’s a process, and I really struggle with it, because I’ll emotionally push it away, ignore things, and in the processing moments, not really process and work through things, leaving me empty and frustrated.

And that’s not okay. It’s not good. It’s a place that I’m getting out of.

I want my joy back.
I want my excitement back.
I want that passion that I had for missions back.
I can’t wait to meet the people God has lined up for me to meet in each country.
I need to refocus on “why” I’m going…how God has called me and gently led me to this point.

So if you see me soon and you ask me how I’m doing, and I say, “I’m good, but processing,” that’s ok. And I hope you understand. I am still processing, and probably will be for the next year. I won’t always be able to communicate to you how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking, because most of the time I won’t know it myself.

The deadlines are approaching.
God has confirmed this path in so many ways.
He is GOOD. He has PROVIDED. He will continue to be my Rock, and He has AMAZING, INCREDIBLE things in store for me and my team and J Squad, far above what we could ever hope, dream, or imagine.

I have $10,521 raised so far.
$4,979 to go to be fully funded.
29 days until I leave.

Would you consider supporting me financially?
Would you please cover me and my team in prayer?

I need your help. I can’t do this without you.

Please follow me and receive email updates every time I post a blog.
Please comment and leave me notes of encouragement, they lift me up more than you could ever know.

Also, if you’d like a coffee date or ice cream date or to see me before I leave, let me know soon, because my schedule is filling up fast.

I’ll also keep you posted about a going away party that is TBA.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!

<3,
Jess

Your thoughts would look GOOD here :)