I’m typing this out on my phone since my laptop is being a jerk. Also I don’t have wifi yet, so using phone data to post this will make due for now. It’s my third night in my apartment (wow, I sound like such an adult!), playing For All Seasons on Spotify, and actually feeling like myself for once. It’s a feeling that I haven’t felt for some time due to basically being a sickling this past month. The fact that I can almost breathe through my nose is a victory in itself. But the biggest thing that is pretty great about tonight?
That’s right folks, I cooked!
Okay, I just may have cooked things that were in my pantry (a can of tuna, a can of Goya kidney beans & 2 Knorr packets of Spanish rice, all mixed up into one nice little rice dinner), but it was actually good. My apartment feels hot, but that’s because I used the stove and my apartment smells like Spanish rice. Not a bad smell. It’s definitely better than mold. Plus it reminds me of home, something that I’m glad that I can have this apartment experience.
Now all joking aside, the best thing about tonight was the view of the end of tonight’s sunset from the balcony outside my room.
Incredible, isn’t it? You probably would have never guessed that there was a category 5 typhoon that passed by not even 48 hours ago. A typhoon that, if it had not moved westward from the main island of Okinawa, would have caused serious damage. I’m so thankful for God’s protection over us here, but my heart also aches at the destruction that one of the smaller Okinawan islands, Kume-jima, experienced from an almost direct hit. Please keep them in your prayers as they address the destruction they experienced under Typhoon Chaba.
Seeing that sunset made me stop and just stand & marvel at the changing colors in the sky as the sun sank lower. This same sun is going towards you all in the States who are greeting the day I’m saying goodbye to — Tuesday, October 4th.
This is after the sun pretty much set, and you could see the brightness of the moon through the clouds passing by. (Side note: the clouds pass by fast here. It’s crazy!)
I couldn’t help but just take that moment to realize my present. I’m in Okinawa. I’m living in an apartment I’m paying for through my full-time teaching job. This is my life as I know it now.
I definitely won’t deny that I’ve had my ups & downs this past month and half. And if I am honest, I would describe the perspective I had of my time here as more negative than positive. And to be even more honest, I will continue to struggle with keeping positive and relying on the One who brought me to this place. Yet through it all, God remains constant, unchanging, and faithful. Thankfully my life is anchored to Him and not myself, otherwise I wouldn’t have made it this far on my own. All credit goes to Him and His depiction of love & mercy in my life through the church family He surrounded me with in Okinawa, and family & friends who are back in the States.
For those who have been faithful in your prayers for me, something I cannot begin to say how grateful I am for, please pray for me to have wisdom over my apartment. Just like everyone, this is going to be a “first apartment” kind of experience while I’m here. I’m asking for peace and patience as issues are being addressed. Secondly, please pray for God to move through me as I continue to teach.
Thirdly, transportation. I’m looking into having to take the bus to school while I figure out other transportation methods, that I have options that are doable. Fourthly, my health. I don’t get sick often enough to be considered a sickling, but this past month and a half have made me feel otherwise. My physical strength has been beaten at and drained to the minimum. I’m not sure if it’s my body’s reaction to getting acclimated to the environment, there’s just a constant sickness going around, or I’m allergic to something here in Okinawa.
And lastly, now that I’m living in a new place with new neighbors (some of them are teachers from the school too!), pray that God fills me with His love as I take opportunities to create relationships with them and not just hide away in my room like I’m used to doing.
I still miss California like crazy, specifically the people I hold near & dear to my heart. Yet now that I’ve moved into my own space, the burden seems easier to handle now. I have an outlet to express that homesickness, an outlet of creating my own little home for the rest of my time here. I can’t wait until I have wifi in my place (might be another week unfortunately…) so that I can show off the place during my next live stream after putting work into it. Until then, it’s just Facebook status updates, Instagram pictures, and Snapchats.
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” — James 2:17-24