I was going to post my annual playlist this week, but the awesome adventures call for a more exciting update. You see, tonight I went to a Hillsong church with Jorie to worship Jesus with actual Hillsong people when to my great surprise the campus pastor announced worship would be led by Martin Smith visiting at the main campus.
Stunned, I grabbed Jorie's arm, "Do you know who that is?"
Seriously, my life has had dreams far too small for the experiences I've actually had. Sitting in that sacred space, I was instantly fourteen again worshipping with thousands of others at a Delirious? concert as Martin began the night with one of his most famous songs from the early 2000s. At the same time, I was still the much more mature woman who has encountered Jesus at worship services on three continents and six countries and understood that while I couldn't dance around like I did when I was a teenager, I could go up for prayer at the end of the service and be lifted up by the same Jesus.
I flew out of New Zealand on Thursday, and the final days in Christchurch were bittersweet as I said my goodbyes before Jorie and I boarded the plane to Australia. I already miss so much of RCC and the family I made there. My last coffee date with Jacqui was so hard, but we bought matching mugs for me to think of her when I have coffee with my students back in Germany.
Despite the hard part of goodbyes, I was looking forward to the next bit of adventure as I was going to see some former coworkers and a former student in Sydney. Part of the difficulty of being a teacher at an international school is that my students spread across the globe and don't often have a reason to come visit me. Fortunately, Autumn let me steal almost all of her Friday as we wandered around the central part of Sydney and enjoyed the lights of the Vivid art show illuminating the city after dark.
Yesterday Jorie and I spent a couple hours at the zoo because we are basically the same person and love zoos (and aquariums - we're going there tomorrow). After getting completely drenched while attempting to view the light show display at Darling Harbor, we dried off and laughed about how Mr. Bryan and I are not capable of being scary teachers. (I'm totally terrifying.)
Today we met up with the Scott family who moved back to Australia this year after spending four years investing in making BFA a better school. I'm crushed they won't be there when I get back, but what a joy to spend an afternoon sightseeing and hearing some of the history of Sydney and Australia from one of the smartest people I've ever met. Obviously, Jorie and I had looked up going to a Hillsong service, so that was the natural culmination of the night, and both of us were so excited to end the day with a huge room full of Jesus loving people (plus that Martin Smith of Delirious? bonus).
Through this past week, I've been so grateful to have Jorie help out as I journey along from Christchurch back to Kandern. This current stop is a total joy as I realize the dreams I had as a kid never included paralysis, but they also didn't include seeing one of my musical heroes after a picnic lunch on the beach in Sydney, Australia. They didn't include the potentially dangerous blisters on my feet (which I would seriously love your prayers about), but they certainly didn't include the chance to have the encouragement of Autumn who is a ray of sunshine who has decided to follow Jesus in whatever ends of the earth she lives in.
This week is more vacation than recovery work, but there are still prayer requests about the care of my body as I journey around Australia and back home. I did notice some not great spots on the bottom of my left foot which could be dangerous or could be harmless, but nerve damage is sometimes hard to read. I'm treating them carefully, but would love extra prayers especially as I want to work hard next week with the spinal cords specialists in Gold Coast. I'm delighted for the experiences I've had, and I'm deliriously happy with the God who gifted me with dancing to Martin Smith songs in middle school and singing loudly to Martin Smith songs the middle of my strange between home transition period as what Jorie calls a "Third Culture Adult" who feels strange as an American moving from home in New Zealand to home in Germany via this taste of my heavenly home in Australia. I'm dreaming big for this coming week because I've seen such amazing gifts when my dreams were too small.