drum roll please . . . i have my departure date!

While I still have a $350 of monthly support need, I have been cleared to purchase my plane ticket to Vienna, Austria. So when I found a great deal for a one-way ticket I snagged it! My departure date is January 27 and arriving in Austria on January 28. I didn’t know whether to cry or cheer the moment I purchased that ticket. I’ve done a little of both! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is another faith jump, believing that God will provide and bring the rest of this monthly financial support in. Continue to pray with me about this!

Here are two photos I merged together because they were taken in the same Vienna location. The one on the left is from December 2006 and the one on the right is from November 2010. Yet, through that time a lot has happened, changed and now I go to Austria with a different perspective!

ending 2010 with a not-so-good, kinda bang
That’s not all that happened last week! On Wednesday, my dad and I were in a car accident. We had to stop by the post office on the way to Dad’s school. After dropping off the mail we were at a four-way stop. I stopped and slowly began to proceed into the intersection, when a large truck ran the stop sign and hit the front of our car, pulling the entire front bumper off and bending the frame.

There had to have been angels around us because if I had been any farther into the intersection the truck would’ve hit the driver’s side door with me driving inside. Dad and I both walked away from the accident, a little sore and quite shaken up, but perfectly fine! Praise Jesus! However, our car is totaled. Yuck! But it’s just a car and we’re figuring things out.

Initially after it happened I just sat in the car and cried. Life is so precious and I am so not in control! This has been such a crazy, adventurous year and I’ve been reminded of those truths throughout it.

o-come, o-come
Doesn’t it feel like this tension of yuck and absolutely amazing is more noticed this time of year? I know we live in this tension all the time, but at Christmastime the yuck (sickness, injury, death, job loss, relationship struggles, etc.) seems to scream! It’s difficult to sing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” with a screaming Yuck in your ear!

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world,” (1 John 4:4).

“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God,” (1 John 5:4-5).

” ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world‘ ” (John 16:33).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (John 1:1-5).

“Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death โ€” even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8)

Christ clearly said that we would have trouble (screaming Yucks) but because of Him we can take heart, for He has overcome! The story of Jesus’ birth is about God coming to overcome. He came so that through His death: He would overcome broken hearts; overcome the darkness; overcome what has fallen apart; overcome our selfishness, guilt and shame; overcome so that those who believe in Him, recognize they are nothing without Him and give Him control of their lives will never have to be separated from the presence of God and His unconditional love. What an amazing gift!

Then why do we still hear the screaming Yucks?! A huge chapter (Christ’s birth) of God’s story about overcoming, love, redemption and His ultimate glory is told at Christmastime, but the story isn’t finished. We’re living in the story. And someday the Yucks will be gone forever. But until then, God’s heart breaks at the screaming Yucks in our lives. And while we still deal with the Yucks, through Christ we don’t have to deal with them alone or even with the same mindset. It’s through these times that He desires for us to become close to Him, to depend on Him, to become desperate for Him, to understand on a deeper level who He is and His heart for this world.

I don’t know what Yucks are screaming in your ear today, but please let me know how I can come alongside you during this time. I hope you can take a moment to pause and listen to this instrumental piece by Casting Crowns. It touched my heart and felt like a good representation of this tension we live in and the desperation for Emmanuel who Overcomes!

O Come, O Come Emmanuel by Casting Crowns

Have a blessed Christmas!!

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