This is part of a series of posts about my move from the States to Ireland. If you would like to read about my arrival, you can click here, or if you are curious about why I moved to Ireland in the first place, check out this post.
I am so overcome by the kindness I have been shown recently. Between the hospitality I received at a dear friend’s over the summer, and the incredible welcome here in Ireland, I’ve no idea how to respond except to praise God joyfully for the many blessings he has bestowed through these creations of his. Your plan is perfect, oh Lord, and I thank you. You are so, so good to your children, and oh God I deserve nothing from your hand! It is only by your grace. Cause me to have a servant’s heart like these people, to be generous like they are.
Such generosity came in the form of a lift from the airport, time to rest at the home of my pastor and his family for a little while, tea and chocolate with some friends of my pastor’s, dinner with the family, a pillow, comforter, bed sheet, mug, container of yogurt, and some hangers from the same family, a rugby match on Saturday with my pastor, his son, and a few friends, and lifts to and from church both in the morning and the evening on Sunday. Such abundance! My cup overflows!
I honestly don’t know what to do about this joy! It is just so clear that God intended for me to be here, an odd realization given that, even though living in Ireland was always a dream of mine, I NEVER imagined it would actually happen, and certainly not in this way. If I had had my way, if God had answered my prayers of the autumn of 2017, I would be in Nashville working right now. It was so painful at the time not to have the answers I wanted, but looking back, I am unbelievably grateful that God had something else in mind.
Some other, more concrete observations from my first few days here.
The fresh Irish air — oh it’s so wonderful! I was made for this climate!
The Chocolate — I forgot how good the chocolate is here!
The grass — so lush and verdant. I really do think it’s nicer than American grass.
Rugby is intense — I loved going to a game with my new friends, and receiving a play by play from my pastor and his son. I had no idea rugby was quite as… brutal as it is. Definitely a cool experience.
It gets hot here? — The sun was so hot during part of the rugby match I thought I was going to melt. Granted, I wasn’t wearing the sort of clothes I would wear in American summers, but I was pretty shocked that I was actually hot to the point of being uncomfortable.
I tried to drive — the passenger’s side is on the opposite side of the car, of course, since they drive on the opposite side the road. Naturally, I remember this well from Scotland, but when I am tired or not thinking I do have a tendency to head to the driver’s side by accident… I’m sure this will become second nature in a week or two, but, I mean, I don’t mind driving. Hahaha.
Church family — love them all. I certainly couldn’t tell you most of the names I learned today, but I’m looking forward to getting to know them over the weeks, months, wait, years? to come. The thing that struck me most today about the church was the worship. People were singing, and singing with joy to GOd. It was committed, truth-filled, congregational, and thus, beautiful.
Jet lag — TBH, pretty bad. I’m tired, but know the Lord will sustain me as we head toward orientation week and the beginning of classes, and soon our biological clocks will be back to normal. We’ve just got to keep trucking.