gratefulness.

there are lots of things i could write about, documenting the first week in birmingham:

hot weather.

homesickness and missing my family.

working a LOT, lot, lot at the elc due to sickness and the need for subs.

seeing precious frances and new baby law…i just love the taylors!

worshipping with my mbbc family.

learning that chuck hooten will in fact be back in school at beeson…yay!

but…i was just thinking of how incredibly BLESSED i am, especially with the people who are in birmingham. especially with the splawns.

three–almost four–years ago, i met the splawns. they came to south carolina to interview for the intern/semester missionary position. i knew they were quality immediately, for a number of reasons…but especially since they are from small towns near my hometown. they came at a pivotal point in our ministry–and they made all the difference for me.  i got to help plan a mission trip to boston with wayne and mary and they convinced me to fly for the very first time. convinced, forced…ehh, those details aren’t that important anymore, i guess.

two years ago, i was searching for schools. wayne said, “check out beeson.” so i requested information and did.  they left and came back to birmingham, and i made checklists, comparison lists, and visits to schools.  some i immediately marked off when i received pamphlets on glorified lessons for pastor’s wives. others were marked off because of cost and location. some were marked off because of theology. and…then there were two.

one was the school in north carolina, where i had always pictured myself living. and the other? it was in birmingham, alabama (and i had no familiarity with birmingham or alabama except for the songs “sweet home alabama” and of course, “paint me a birmingham.”) in fact, until i met wayne and mary, i had never even heard of beeson.

and yet…i loaded up my mom’s car, and over MLK weekend, i made the long drive down I-20 to birmingham. and even though it’s been a hard road, i don’t regret my decision.

i fell in love with beeson, and fell in like with birmingham. the splawns treated me like family. i applied, got accepted, and financial blessings came through to get me where i am today–in my second year of seminary.

i’ll never say it’s been easy–because it hasn’t. it’s been tough, and i’m poor, and i’m usually mentally and emotionally and physically exhausted…but i know it’s where God has brought me, and that He has a purpose for it all…

and not only a purpose, but a provision…

in a family. the splawns opened their church, and home, and…life to me, even in the chaos of their own lives. they are my birmingham family. mary calls me “ames” and wayne and i talk about the latest south carolina football player to be suspended for doing something stupid. i get to hang out with their youth group, and minister, and get to know their church…which is beginning to feel like my church. and i get to love on their precious kid, who is the most adorable baby on earth…at least, i’m convinced of it!

thankful. grateful. words can’t describe. God–and His people–are good.

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