As of the publication of this post (5:50am Atlantic Time), I am getting aboard my first flight of four to Japan for the next school year. I’ll have plenty of updates over these 7 months or so, but today I want to talk about the question that I have received the most in the weeks leading up to this trip:
Are you excited?
Most people would automatically respond with a simple yes, but I am not most people.
In a word, I suppose, that yes, I am excited. However, I have a much more complex response. This trip doesn’t just bring a single emotion to the surface, it brings a wild assortment of many that keep on changing as the days and moments go by. There has been a process through which I have gone to get me to today, and each stage brought a new reaction.
At first, upon hearing of this opportunity, I was apprehensive. I didn’t have an interest in Japan, I didn’t know how I would fit into that culture, or what I would be involved in doing. It didn’t seem at first that it work for me.
However, as time went on and I got some more information on this placement, I warmed to it, enticing my curiosity. I prayed several times, looking for guidance, and I learned to have faith and let God steer me instead of withdrawing from the risk of another letdown. I researched extensively and found more answers that quelled my concerns. It looked more and more like it would work out.
Then came the beginning of the preparation stage. I had to purchase tickets for my flights, figure out Visas and other paperwork, and make lots of calls (something a bit daunting for an introvert). This part made me anxious as I waited for paperwork and scrambled to meet deadlines, but through prayer and being over-prepared for every possibility, all of my papers came through smoothly.
Now, in the past couple weeks have been the final preparations. I’ve collected everything to take, looked at my itinerary a thousand different ways, pre-planned when I should sleep so as to lessen the jet lag a 12-hour time difference will inflict, and done a myriad of other little jobs in order to be ready for this day. In the days leading up to now, my mind has been in all different directions, trying to remember what last little details I need to take care of.
And now I am in the air, likely stressing out over my connections ahead, but ultimately thankful that everything has worked out for me to have this experience.
Am I excited? Well, once I arrive, I will be, ready to tackle whatever God has for me in this stretching year ahead. I am eager to experience a new culture and want to learn all I can in the time I have there. I am looking forward to all that God will teach me as I complete my Bible-based correspondence courses. I am hopeful to see what God has me do, and how I will be used in Japan this year, working alongside my mentors. Finally, I will miss definitely miss my home, family, church, friends, and everything that is familiar, but I welcome this new opportunity with open arms.