Terima Kasih

I lived in Indonesia for 10 months, and although I’ve lived in a foreign country for longer than 10 months before now, it was my first time in a totally different hemisphere and culture.  When I left Jamaica, my intention was to be in Indonesia for 12 months.  I didn’t finish my 12 months but I know that I would not have made it as long as I did without the various types of support that I received from several people.  Some of these people perhaps don’t even know what their support has meant to me, but I know.  And I need to say terima kasih, or thanks.

First, I have to say thanks to my sister.  If not for her, I couldn’t be jetting off around the world with no worries about my parents.  Last year, after God saved my life and I was trying to find my way to the new thing He had for me, I told her about the travelling path I thought He was taking my life down and she didn’t hesitate to say to me, “Go.  And don’t worry about a thing here, I’ve got it.”  She said that and she meant it.  Besides sending me on my way with a clear conscience, she’s been very supportive at home, running errands for me when I’ve needed it and dealing with things that I couldn’t do online.  She’s done so much when she didn’t have to; she chose to.  And I appreciate that more than words can say. Sister, I also love you more than words can say.

Next up is my anam cara.  I’m pretty sure I can say that God blessed me with the best anam cara in the history of ever.  This woman is my emotional rock.  I depend on her good advice and wisdom always.  If I’m confused about anything, she helps me talk it through and clear it up.  She’s always quick with her concern.  And she’s one of the most discerning people I know – she can read between the lines or extrapolate like nobody’s business.  So many times this year she’s helped me to see snares.  She loves me with her whole heart – I can see it in her eyes when I’m with her and I can feel it emanating from her even across thousands of miles.  Anam cara, I love you with all my heart and then some, simply for who you are – 1 of the most beautiful people I have the privilege of knowing.

Remember A, who I met in Aceh, who arranged my 1 bike riding lesson, with whom I moved to Jakarta?  A has become a part of my heart, not just from the shared experiences that we had and the shenanigans (real and imagined) that we got up to in Banda Aceh and in Jakarta, but from who we are.  We lived and worked together for a total of 3 and a half months, and in that time we established a bond that has grown since she left Jakarta over 6 months ago.  She’s been such great emotional support to me from afar, helping me stay positive in some of my more aggravated, frustrated or depressed moments.  She’s been an invaluable sounding board for some of the things that only someone who has been in the same trenches can understand.  She’s been a constant laugh riot, wittingly and unwittingly.  And she’s become my great friend.  A, there are countless shenanigans ahead of us and I can’t wait to wreak a little havoc with you.

I have a spiritual mentor whose advice helped me through these months.  She knows who she is.  I went to her for advice when I needed the God-perspective and I just didn’t think I was hearing from Him.  Or if I was hearing from Him but He wasn’t saying what I wanted to hear.  She was always honest with me,  she always gave me food for thought that I never considered, and she always brought me back to God’s word. Thank you so much for your honesty and insight.

My parents, especially my mom, have become technological geniuses for my sake…well, relative to when I left Jamaica almost 1 year ago.  They’re Skyping, Whatsapp messaging and Whatsapp calling with me like nobody’s business.  And I know that I made it through some of the rougher times because they never fail to bear me up in prayer.  My parents pray for me unceasingly and those prayers have protected me when I didn’t even know I needed protection and strengthened me when they didn’t even know I needed strength.  My parents are my own personal prayer warriors and they have eased my way through this year in ways that I think I don’t even know about.

My New York contingent, both upstairs and downstairs – they know what I mean.  You are both more precious to me than you know.  Your words of wisdom, encouragement and prophecy have shored me up many times over these past months, and even before.  Your concern, your love, your support have meant the world to me, and I can only hope that I can return all those things to you when you need it.

My Canadian heart – you know who you are.  How much it means to me that you’ve kept abreast of all the happenings with me.  You’ve given me hard truth when I needed it and you’ve given me soft love when I needed that too.  Twelve years on in our friendship, I cannot imagine my life without you in it, even when we’re apart.  The more difficult parts of the last two years of my life have been easier to get through because of your never-ending encouragement to follow my heart and my dreams and God’s call on my life, and the visions you see for me too.  You’re the sister of my heart, so precious to me.

My friend over there in your office high above the corner of Trafalgar and Ruthven Roads.  Who knew that we would go from colleagues to friends in such a short time?  I guess kindred spirits recognise each other.  You knew of my inner struggles before I even acknowledged them as such and you set the example for how to be a strong, confident woman who knows her own worth and commands the respect she so rightly deserves.  You are 1 of the most supportive, upright, right-thinking people I have the pleasure of knowing and I love you, girl.  Your encouragement over the past several months has been unfailing and I appreciate you so very much.

The Portmore contingent deserves a special shout-out for their support and constant readership of this blog.  Woot-woot!  Thank you, guys!  And to all my other Jamaicans out there, some of whom I don’t know and some of whom I know, thank you for being my cheering section, even when I didn’t know I had one.

Thank you all for bearing with me when I was baring my soul and showing the ugly parts of me.  Thanks for sticking with me when I was standing on my soap box, when I was whining, and when I was struggling.  This has been an amazing year of growth for me, and I’m glad you all came along for the ride.

Now, even though I love you all, most of my thanks have to go to God.

So Lord, thank You for taking me through this intense, scary, exciting, exhilarating experience that has been 2016.  I wouldn’t have made it one step without You.

To God be the glory forever!  Amen.  Romans 4:36b (GNT)

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