When I was in the fifth grade my family moved from Gahanna, Ohio to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I was eleven years old. Moving across the world placed me in a melting pot of many different cultures. Americans were but just one of the many countries that were represented there and I was exposed very early to different ideas, traditions, foods and peoples. I LOVED it. I was fascinated by the different ways that people live and their varied beliefs. Part of the rules for working in that country was that your family was required to leave the country for a bit of time to help you overcome some of the overwhelming immersion into a different country. I was very blessed to be able to travel with my family to even more countries and broaden my original small town Ohio point of view.
Schooling offered to Americans doesn’t go past the ninth grade in the country so if your family opted to stay you had to attend boarding school. My sophomore year while my family lived in Saudi, I travelled back to Lake Forest, Illinois to school. It was a very hard time for me and I experienced depression for the first time in my life, even contemplating suicide. I went through peaks and valleys in my life up through college.
When I was very young my best friend asked me to go to church with her. I clearly remember sitting with the kids and the teacher talking about Jesus and how I knew that He was real. He wasn’t just some story she was telling us. It is interesting because my family didn’t attend church and we weren’t a believing family. But it wasn’t until after those college years that I entered into a relationship with Him. My life went from darkness and hopelessness and a yearning for something I couldn’t identify to pure light and truth and making sense.
As I look at where I am in my life I can see how God has moved every part of it to prepare me for where I am at any given moment. For right now, I am at The Timothy House. I am enjoying getting to know the people He has placed in my path and hearing their stories.
Much like when I was little in Saudi Arabia. And I have a heart for those we are serving in the house wanting to share in their hurts and pains and hope that I get a chance to tell them about the hope I found when I was in those dark moments in my life as well.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up… 1 Thessalonians 5:11