"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
Isaiah 43: 1-3
Where do I even start? I have been thinking about this post in my head the last few days just trying to figure out where to start and what to actually write about. Two things come to mind, the first being that this has been a very emotional week. One moment I am doing okay and the next, I'm very homesick,overwhelmed and wondering what in the world I have gotten myself into. Friends, this move is terrifying. Everything is new. A new city, new apartment, new job, new grocery store, Church's, etc. You get the picture... it's all new and with that comes a lot of emotions. One moment I feel brave and the next wondering what in the world I was thinking moving here. But the other thing that comes to mind is that the Lord has shown up in such amazing ways this past week. My faith has been in a little bit of a "slump" the last few months but starting this journey in Tulsa? Oh my.... I have been holding onto Him like I never have before and He is revealing Himself to me in a new way. For whatever reason, and maybe some of you know, but this move has been much scarier than China.
After two days and 1,097 miles of travel, my mom, dad, Kiah and I arrived at out hotel in Tulsa on December 3rd. The next morning was a VERY long day. I signed my life away on paperwork (at least it appeared that way!) for my apartment, moved me in (as in: brought my stuff in and dumped it wherever there was room), made several trips to Walmart for supplies, spent a few hours at the car dealership leasing my car (that is another long story), and finally crashing for the night, exhausted and emotional. Friday, my parents and I visited Dillon International where I was able to see my work environment, meet several of my co-workers and my parents had a chance to see where I'd be working and what I'd be doing. Oh my, I could just feel the presence of God in that place. He truly places the lonely in families and Dillon plays such a huge role in helping to make that a reality. I am so excited to be a part of it!
Last Saturday was a very difficult day, saying goodbye to my family as they departed to head back to NY. I'll spare you the details but last Saturday was hard. There were lots of tears shed and a lot of questions and confusion going through my mind. Sunday I visited a new Church and it was good but very different than what I'm used too. Even though last weekend was super hard, God showed up in a huge way. I was able to connect with friends of a friend of mine and they met up with me Sunday afternoon and showed me around Tulsa before we had dinner together. Then last Sunday evening, sweet blogger/Facebook friends of mine, "just happened" to be driving through Tulsa where they were spending the night and would I be anywhere near them? Why yes, I was only 3 miles from their hotel! They stopped by my apartment where we had a chance to chat and they prayed over me for this next journey I'm on. They were such an encouragement to me, more than they'll ever know. They kept reminding me to take just one day at a time and that is what I have continued to tell myself over and over again this past week as I began my work at Dillon. One. Day. At. A. Time. I will get it. I will learn what I need to learn, I will find a Church, I will make new friends, I will feel at home here eventually even though right now, I do not.
I have survived my first full week of work. Last Monday was overwhelming (seems to be the theme, doesn't it?). It was so much information and I feared I would never get it, but each days has gotten better and better. Once again, I am taking one day at a time. Not looking at the big picture and the future, but just trying to make it through each day. So far, that mindset has been working. The people I work with are great and have been so welcoming and helpful. I have had a chance to look through files and I am starting to get the hang of it. I am excited to begin another week tomorrow!
Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers, emails, texts, phone calls, Christmas cards, and notes of encouragement. You have no idea how much they have meant to me.
I have yet to bring out my "big camera," but thought I'd share a few iPhone pictures from the week:
We found this cute restaurant for lunch last week.
My living room.
My new friends took me to a local Church which has quite the light show each December!
Apparently Sonic is a big deal down here.
A few (as in these are only 4!) files I looked through this past week. Have I mentioned how much paperwork I'll be doing for this job?
Survived my first week!
Last evening I went to the Tulsa Christmas parade downtown with a few of my co-workers.
Look! There really are hills in Oklahoma!
There you have it, my first week in Tulsa. This weekend I have ventured out and learned my way around a little more and was able to get a little Christmas shopping done in the process.
Many of you have asked, and yes, I will be home for Christmas. Dillon has been so wonderful in giving me all of next week off for Christmas so I can be home with my family. I will be flying back next Sunday afternoon for the week. Pray for good travel weather and no delays!