Thursday, December 6, 2012

Looking back on the past year...

Even though it's not quite the end of the year yet--so it may seem a little early to reflect on the events of 2012--I realized today that it's been a whole year since I last wrote in this blog!

Wow.  That's hard to believe, actually.

But when I think back on what has happened in the past year, a good word to describe it is actually "Wow."

Because within a year, I met the love of my life, moved to Florida, got engaged, started teaching middle school English, and am now only 25 days away from our wedding!  It's kind of surreal.

On January first, I'll literally ring (as in wedding ring) in the New Year with family and friends here in Sarasota when I become Mrs. Lawson! Some of my students at Tabernacle Christian School are already calling me Mrs. Lawson "for practice." :)

I met Johnny in January when I was visiting my grandparents.  He was the handsome stranger sitting directly across from me at the Japanese hibachi restaurant.  I knew immediately that Johnny was someone very special, and I know with certainty that God brought us together that night at the restaurant.

One of the things I love most about Johnny is his strong faith and his ability to be a spiritual leader.  Like me, he was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and was raised by absolutely wonderful parents.

Johnny's mom, Kathy, told me that last fall--when she witnessed Johnny going through a rough time--she prayed that Johnny would meet "the one" sometime before his birthday.

Johnny and I met just two days before his birthday.

Meanwhile, last fall I was seriously praying every single day for God's direction in my life.  I was looking for a full-time job (while working two part-time jobs) and wondering what to do/where to go next.  To be honest, it was very unsettling.

Little did I know that God would soon make the path clear--in a way I couldn't have imagined.

He really does know the desires of our hearts, and He's faithful to fulfill them.

I still definitely have the desire to be a "girl on a mission."  I want to take mission trips all around the world!  My heart constantly goes out to people in third world countries, and it's my dream to go to those places 
and help out in a hands-on way.

I'm not sure about the logistics of how that dream is going to become a reality.  But that's OK.  Because I know for sure that I can trust God with the future.  He has proven that.

In the mean time, I know I have to "bloom where I'm planted." :)  For now, that is Sarasota, Florida, where God has led me.

I'll always be a "girl on a mission."  After all, my mission as a Christian is to love like Christ--no matter what.  And that's our mission no matter where we are or what we're doing.

So I want to just encourage you this busy Christmas season.  (I know what it's like to be busy!  I'm currently teaching, getting an apartment ready to move into next month, furniture shopping and getting ready for Christmas, a wedding, and a honeymoon!)  Anyway...I want to encourage you to keep your focus on Christ during all the craziness.  After all, he's who Christmas is all about!

Merry Christmas, friends. :)