This is not the end

The thing about being in Ireland…is that it is a bit of a conundrum.
We are having an amazing time.
We are experiencing the firsts of our ministry here in Coleraine, N. Ireland.
We are seeing God move in big ways.
We’ve enjoyed the beautiful days of green grass and cheery sunshine mixed with the dreary days of clouds, drizzle, wind and rain. This is Ireland, after all 🙂

We are seeing the Holy Spirit at work…healing hearts and bodies.
We are living together as a squad for the first time.
We are coming to terms with the fact that these “firsts” are also beginning to be our “lasts” of the World Race.
Our time on this 11-month journey is coming to an end, and it feels weird, awful, scary, and amazing.

We all are going back and forth between being really excited to see our family and friends to feeling sad about having to leave each other.

We’ve gotten used to doing ministry together and fighting for one another.

From jesseischens.theworldrace.org

I love this community, because it is a community that prays and laughs and worships and works together.

Every single one of us is an essential part of the J Squad puzzle,
and just as we came together a year ago last year,
now it feels that just as we’ve finally been put together,
that we are going to be broken up and put back into the box again.

But here’s the thing that’s been goin’ through my brain lately.

This is not the end.

Yes, it’s going to be hard to leave each other.
Yes, I’ve made some incredible friendships and it’s going to be sad to say goodbye.

But honestly, goodbye is not goodbye. If we’ve learned anything this year,
it’s that goodbye really just means, “See you later.”

Yes, I’ve learned an entirely new way of life on the World Race.
Yes, it’s going to feel strange to no longer be in this type of community 24/7.
It’s amazing but true…I have gotten used to it and begun to love it. 🙂
Yes, I’ve seen each of us change and grow and step into the people God created us to be.

But there’s so much more for each of us.
This is not the end of J Squad. This is not the end of this type of community.
We get to go home and bring what we’ve learned to our families, our friends, our churches, our communities, and our workplaces.

We’re going to be entering into a new season of growth, whether that is learning how to incorporate what we’ve learned into life at home, getting married, getting more involved with The World Race and Adventures in Missions, heading overseas again, or whatever it may be.

This is not the end. I get to enter into this new season of life, with whatever it may hold, knowing I have 55 more people in my life to root me on. That’s an incredible gift, because I already have some pretty awesome people at home who I’m just waiting to throw my arms around once again 🙂

There’s a lot running through my head these days…but through it all, my main focus is on Jesus, because He’s doing some pretty amazing things here and around the world, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Your thoughts would look GOOD here :)

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