Being back at school has made me miss Kenya more than ever. I knew I would have a difficult time adjusting, but I never expected such a whirlwind of emotions. Yesterday was my first day of classes and most of my day was consumed with thoughts about Sharon. I'm not sure what triggered it - but I missed her more than I have so far. I'm taking a developmental psychology class on childbirth through adolescence and my teacher talked about playing peekaboo with kids and all I could think about was playing "Where's Sharon??" in Kenya. During worship in chapel, I think back to the joyous praises of those at church in Kenya and I remember holding Sharon while Margaret sat next to me. At one of the chapel services this week, someone talked about how we have a jealous God and how amazing that is, and I thought back to the moment where I first understood that concept because of my love for Sharon. Most of my room this year is filled with memories from Kenya - my Africa map, clothes, bags, and of course, pictures. I probably have more pictures with Sharon posted around my room than any other person. Yesterday, I just really wanted to hold her. I wanted to hold her and tickle her and play games. I wanted to hear her laugh, see her smile, and get goodnight kisses. I ended up having a breakdown in my room and started crying and Sara gave me such a good reminder. I am so thankful to have her in my life - she truly is a blessing. 

This reminder: God has me where He needs me right now. This is exactly what God has been challenging me with since my return home from Kenya. I have to recognize that yes, it is good to go to IAA and show love to the kids, but it is so much more beneficial for me to get my degree and then be able to go back and not only love the kids, but be able to teach them. I know God has me at Point Loma for a reason right now, whether or not I choose to accept that. I am studying to get my education degree with a concentration in human development. This will allow me to go back to Kenya and teach there. The human development concentration will help me with the psychological/emotional aspect of teaching. It will allow me to better understand the kids and why they are the way they are and how to best help them. I know I want to be in Kenya right now, but I need to focus on getting my degree. I need to work the hardest that I can so I can be prepared to be the best teacher possible in Kenya. After I finish school, I can go and teach in Kenya for as long as God allows. I miss you, Sharon, but I
will be back soon.

I'm praying God will continue to challenge me this year at Point Loma. I know I'm going to learn so much in my education classes and I can't wait to go back to Kenya in the summer and apply what I have learned in the nursery. 

God is already stretching me as I'm leading a tutoring ministry this year on campus, Kids of the Kingdom. I'm learning to let God have control... because why would I want to have control when He can do such a greater job? I'm struggling to find a driver and members for this ministry but I am remembering that this is NOT my ministry, it is HIS. God already knows who is going to join and all of the amazing things that are going to happen this year. I made amazing friends at student ministry retreat this past weekend and know that this year is going to be filled with awesome fellowship. And I had lunch with some of the staff at Southeast Church of the Nazarene (where my tutoring ministry is) and they told me how so many kids have started coming to the church this summer. This is such exciting news! I can't wait to meet all of the kids and reunite with the ones I have missed dearly all summer. This will be a great year of growth for the ministry. I can't wait to help Karla with her homework again and sing Hannah Montana songs with her.

Whatever stresses I face this semester, whether it is missing Kenya, struggling to have the tutoring ministry run smoothly, or doing well in my classes, I am going to remember I have the peace of Christ. At "Time Out", a Wednesday night chapel service on campus, we always pass the peace of Christ to each other. This is such a great reminder for me. No matter what I am going through, I can choose to recognize the fact that I have the peace of Christ with me at ALL times. I am not going to let my circumstances define me. The peace of Christ is PRESENT.

Philippians 4:7
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Colossians 3:15
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."

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