It’s been quite a busy week!
Last weekend we attended the kindergarten graduation and performed our duties as official diploma assistants (we passed the diplomas to our boss, who passed them to the children!). This week was filled with finishing term reports and attendance logs, cleaning and packing, and of course regular classes to teach.
But now it’s Sunday, and I can finally say…
This week I’m coming home!
It still doesn’t feel real to know that next weekend at this time I will be back in America, sitting at my parents’ counter, eating my dad’s world-class pancakes and bacon. I have so many mixed emotions. I am thrilled to be going home, yet unsettled wondering what this new chapter of my life will hold. And yet, more than anything, I trust that God is leading me and will continue to lead me, and because of Him I have nothing to worry about.
Today we’re headed off to an onsen hotel for an official farewell party with our employers. We’ll have a fancy meal, exchange farewell gifts, and hopefully I’ll have one more chance for a soak in an authentic Japanese hot tub. Then it will be off to the races with three more days of classes to teach, plus trying to do all the last-minute packing and moving details before getting ready to fly out at the end of the week!
This time in Japan has been absolutely amazing, and I’m so thankful that I’ve had this opportunity. Of course there have been many difficult times and drab days, just as there would be if I’d been anywhere else in the world. But one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that I can’t expect to find perfect happiness anywhere, even in my “dream” location doing my “dream” job. Life is life and it’s often hard, and the way to joy is not to search for happiness but to search for God. He is the only source of true happiness, the only thing that can really satisfy our hearts and souls. And the most amazing thing is that no matter where in the world I go, I have this Source to draw from, I have His guidance and peace and joy available to me. What a treasure!
I don’t really know what the next steps of my life hold, but I’m so thankful that for now I’m headed home, where I get to spend time with my beloved family and friends again, and where I get to enjoy the familiarity of my own culture. Thank you so much, readers, for all your support and encouragement while I’ve been gone. I’m so looking forward to seeing you all again when I have the opportunity.
Until next time!