Jet lag has been with me the last few days. I’ve been trying to force myself to stay up as late as I normally would stay awake but last night my body was punishing my efforts. Before I knew it I was getting ready for bed at the scandalous hour of 8:00! I think I’m in the final recovery stage. Jet lag is a fair price to pay for the great time I had in Istanbul.

I had been to Istanbul a few years ago with a group of students to take a class on Islam and learn about the Turkish culture. I had an amazing time but I don’t think I appreciated the beauty of Istanbul. In all honesty, it being my first time out of North America, I thought Istanbul was dirty and underdeveloped. I’m glad I was able to live in Delhi, India for a few months to see the difference between “clean”, “dirty”, “developed”, “developing”, “underdeveloped”. In my second time in Istanbul I couldn’t get over the beauty of the historical city. The buildings, the cafes, the water, the ferry, the culture, the language, the food, I feel like I saw these things with new eyes the second time around. To top it off, I had such a great time with all of my friends! Ally and I had some good laughs on the bus rides. Derek cooked not one, but two, incredible dinners to bless his friends. Elif invited Ally and I along to break the Ramadan fast with her family at Sultanahmet. Steven and Andrew messed with Daisy. Scott spoke in a funny French accent and was nice enough to hang out with me when I had nothing to do. Bailey was cute.

As fun as my time in Istanbul was it was equally refreshing and productive. I’ve been thinking and praying so much about my future, wondering where I will end up, what I’ll be doing, etc. During my time there I was given some good words of encouragement and wisdom both through my friends and through the Word. I had been thinking about applying to be in the Peace Corps, but during my time there I realized I didn’t really want to but had made that the only option in my mind. I know that I want to spend a lot, if not all of my life, living out of United States so I thought “I’ll do the Peace Corps. I’ll get great benefits and will be able to go overseas that way.” Well, I’m not going into the Peace Corps. I am going to stay in America until I pay off my student loans, which shouldn’t take more than a couple years if I’m good with my money. During that time I will be studying for the GRE in hopes of getting my Master’s degree within the next few years.

God is so faithful. He remains faithful and gently calls me back to repent of my fears and doubts to worship Him in the truth of who He is: the God who is all-knowing, trustworthy, caring, holy.