Did you know that I serve a God who is absolutely phenomenal!!! I have always been told that He loves me and set me apart and is crazy in love with me and adores me and enjoys nothing better than playing with me... but I didn't really know that... feel it... believe it fully. But I feel that tonight. I feel that with this trip and with everything that God has brought me through to get me here. Mainly tonight I feel this incredible sense that I am EXACTLY where I need to be. I have prayed for this trip that I would not feel doubt or fear or pain or like I wasn't in the right place... I have a real problem with doubt and second guessing decisions I made... and so I prayed, along with my mom, that God would continually affirm that I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be, not a moment of doubt. And I can honestly say that I have never once doubted or feared or felt uneasy being here. Not even with my 104 degree temperature last week and feeling so sick and weak. Even then, I knew this was where God wanted me. Even when I have hated the food, or smelled home in the package from my parents, or been frustrated with uni life (like people stealing my food from the fridge)... even then, I knew that this was part of the journey and as my wise friend Teresa reminds me, "it's all about the journey." I love the adventure I am on, and I may complain along the way that it is uncomfortable or less than perfect, but at the same time I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
I also feel blessed that God has made Himself so audible here. I feel like I understand His voice and feel His guiding hand unlike I have had the privilege of before. I can already look back on the events within the month that I have been here, and I see that God was leading and orchestrating amazing things. The people I have met and the crazy things that have happened were pulled together perfectly to happen in the perfect time.
So why the revelation of God's love for me? Well, mainly because it's Valentine's Day. And because it's valentine's day, my cell group and I went to a valentine's dinner hosted by another small group on campus. I met more really cool people who LOVE God and also make really good food :) Two of the girls at the party are the daughter's of the pastor at Hope Christian Centre, a church in a near by town, and their parents came to the dinner to field questions about dating and sex and love. It was so affirming and awesome to hear the reminder that God is passionate about us... that God has designed in His timing a love story for us that is perfect... that someone else will NEVER answer the questions of my heart and that ONLY my Savior can fulfill me and complete my life! It was like God was standing whispering in my ear, "I need you to hear this beloved. I need you to know these things right now. I want you to understand the deep, wild, consuming, eternal, everlasting love I have for you, dear one." So romantic...
So that is where I am at emotionally. Pretty sweet place to be.
In other news, Phoebe and I went to Staines yesterday... great town. To give some of you perspective... If Egham were Apache Junction (which it kind of is), then Staines would be Awatukee... it's not quite as big as London, but it has actual real stores there. It also has a movie theater, which was the focus of our journey. We walked around the High Street... can I tell you I love "high streets." I love that in a town you always know EXACTLY where the best place to shop is, because it's all concentrated on one street literally called High Street. This High Street had some street vendors... one guy was selling containers of really good candy for only a pound. It was in tupperware and everything!! I bought a container of those sour apple sugar covered chewy candy... delicious! They also have a small mall there with some cool clothing stores in it. Phoebe and I were again in search of a really GOOD meal and we decided to try out this place called Que Pasa... just "Que Pasa" though... there were no question marks - odd. It was decorated very spanish style, so I assumed it was a mexican food restaurant. But by the looks of what was on the menu, it was more like an Applebees... it had fajitas, but also burgers and italian pasta. This was JUST what I was looking for. I had the Fajitas and Phoebe ordered a pasta. It took a LONG time for them to bring out the food, but then it arrived it was WELL worth the wait. I loved every bite. I also enjoyed the Justin Timberlake music videos playing on the TVs around the restaurant. Then after lunch we walked around a little bit more find ourselves in a toy store and then eventually made it to the cinema. We saw "He's Just Not That Into You." If you have seen it, I would love to hear your take on it... I have my opinion, but I don't want to ruin anyone's perception of it if you haven't seen it. After the movie Phoebe and I wandered into a book store and I found an entire display devoted to TWILIGHT!!!! I also found this book - yes it's a whole book - devoted JUST to Rob Pattinson. I had to thumb through it... why, you ask? Because deep inside I am still the little 4th grader who wishes she could have bought the Tiger Beat with Jonathan Taylor Thomas on the cover... that's why. So Phoebe discovered me curled up on the couch in the book store reading about Rob... shameless.
Then Phoebe and I hopped back onto the train with a strawberries and creme frap from Starbucks and a banana (we ran into friends of ours in starbucks and they had an extra banana that they got from the street market). On the way to the train there was a drunk man singing "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" at the top of my lungs, so the whole way home I had the soundtrack to Oklahoma in my head. I will definitely be back to Staines.
... also back at RH Founder's Hall there is a doorway that is WAY TOO SMALL and Phoebe and I took pictures.
Oh, today I also wrote 2 paragraphs for one of my papers... VERY productive. I'll be back to the library tomorrow also.