As I sat in the Detroit airport on 8 March, 2010, I wrote in my journal one last time before departing for France: “I know that after this, there will be the Kelly before France and the Kelly after France. How strange to be at the beginning and to know that everything is about to change.”
One year ago today I stepped off of the plane and into a new life.
How can I put it into words? The last year has been many things. It has been the most challenging year of my life, I am sure. I think it has been the loneliest year in some ways. I have learned to live my life according to what I need rather than what I want. I have made the most amazing friends. I have learned how much I love and miss “mes proches,” those who are close to my heart in the states.
I realised that I am not, in fact, that big of a deal. I realised that I have so much more to learn than I have to teach.
A large part of me believed (and maybe was taught) that I was never good enough in ministry, that my dreams were second-rate, my talent was useless, and my drive was questionable. I was always fighting for the approval and the thumbs up of those in leadership above me, praying they would notice my effort and would allow me to help build something. Many parts of my heart were healed here, full faith was put in my ability, and it was made publicly known that I was capable of doing a variety of things. I find myself no longer walking in fear and insecurity, simply because someone took the time to believe in me and include me on things.
There are so many people who are now woven into my life that I had never even met a year ago today. I think back to the fear that surrounded all of this – the fear of raising support, of moving away, of giving up my life at home…and I can honestly say that none of it did any justice to the adventure this has turned out to be.