Saturday, April 11, 2009

Our trip to AZ

by Val,
Well, we're back in cool, strangely cloudy San Diego. We've been back for almost a week but we were so tired from "break" that I think today is the first day I actually don't feel like huddling in the corner and pulling a blanket over my head when I think of doing any kind of work.

Arizona was refreshing but also very tiring.

It was so wonderful to stay with my parents. They are one of the most generous people I know. I can seriously say they would give you "the shirt off their back." It was also really good to hang out with my brothers at night just shooting the breeze. I forgot how much I miss that kind of community. My brothers are my closest friends hands down, outside of Ryan. I just love being with them. God is doing amazing things in their lives and it's way cool to see.

Also, we got some time with Ryan's folks and saw Robbie's AMAZING french horn recital. It's always so good to see Ryan in his "element." It brings me so much happiness to see him around his family. He knows he can just let loose and be "Ryan" when he's around them. His parents are amazing and so supportive. They did such a wonderful job raising him to love and fear God. They have such a deep love for all their children. I feel so blessed to be included in their family.

We were able to spend a good chunk of time with our close friend Matt. He's one of those special friends of Ryan's, that I actually feel almost as close to as Ryan does. For those of you married or in a relationship you know that I mean. It's a very special gift to have a close friend who is a genuine friend of both parties. It's also really comforting because you know you don't have to make small talk with this person. With matt I know the three of us can just hang, watch some shows, play some crazy games or talk about whatever is on our minds. Now that was a special treat. In so many ways he truly is like a brother to us.

We also hung out with the ASU Nav staff which is always good. We both feel so close to every member of that staff team. Their friendships are invalueable. It's also good to remember that we're not alone in this. Listening to the ASU staff I was reminded that our struggles are not new. Other people are going through the exact same things as Ryan and I. We are not alone. That was good to remember.

It was also really cool to catch up with some people I haven't seen since high school. That's was really sweet.

Ryan and I were also able to get some time with different students over at ASU. When I meet with girls I know that there is a purpose around it. That purpose is to help them love Jesus more. However, I always hope and pray that those relationships I have with girls will someday blossom into something more. Into a true friendship. When it does, it is such an amazing gift. I feel that God has done that with me over in AZ and I pray that he does the same in SD. Regardless, anytime I've ever invested in a girl in any capacity, God lays it on my heart to pray earnestly for them for the rest of their lives. So it's such a joy to hear from them how those prayers are being answered and to hear what God's been doing in their lives.

God gave us TEN meetings with people, to share are hearts with, regarding the work we are doing in San Diego. It was so great for me to hear what God's been in their lives. It was also an amazing encouragement for the both of us. Especially to hear from the Burtches, who have spent years trusting God and persevering in faith. What a special sight it was to see two people who have gone through so much still following God's leading. It was also so good to get some time with the Paasch's. God has been doing some amazing stuff in their lives, if you want, you should check it out ( ). Anyways, it's was great to hear their honesty, their struggles and their stories of how God provides.

One of the most encouraging things for Ryan and I at this stage is to hear those "war" stories. Those stories that remind that this world is not for us, yet we are compelled until our last dying breath to share our hope in Jesus with others because He's worth it. We are soldiers here, and yes, God promises his provision and demonstrates it regularly, yet he also promises suffering. He promises it. That's some deep stuff for me to think through.

Well, I think I tallied all the meetings we had with people this week, planned and spontanious, and I think it added up to 27. That's alot of people time for a self-proclaimed introvert. When we got back to San Diego I was SO exhausted! Thankfully we have a protective and wise campus leader. He's let us kinda take it easy this week. Which has been nice.

I feel pretty refreshed now and I am looking forward to celebrating Jesus with my husband tomorrow.

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