The funny thing about calling me Jonah is, people actually used to call me that. I don't think there is enough space on the computer to tell you all the many interesting enunciations of my first name Ladye I heard growing up by substitutes calling roll, receptionists needing info, etc. However, it was only my closest friends that called me Jonah and to me, it was an affectionate and endearing nickname.
As I write this entry, the sad thing is at this moment...it isn't an affectionate nickname. It should be instead, my actual name. Because, sadly, I am learning some Jonah type lessons. As God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, Andy and I are feeling a bit like Starkville may be our Nineveh. There are loads of wonderful things to do here, precious people that we have met and people we will meet, and many, many other amazing things. So this is not a bashing of Starkville at all. We LOVE it here and that is why this analogy is only partially valid. Still, Andy and I have grown up in the Bible Belt. We have been surrounded by many different people who love the Lord and also love Him in their own ways. What I mean to say is, we have met and befriended so many different kinds of Christians. I have had the privilege to spend hours with many wonderful women and men who have guided me, comforted me, encouraged me, and listened to me. In addition to our parents, we have always had very influential and approachable Godly examples around us.
I say all this with a true knowledge that there are new people for us to learn from and grow with here in Starkville. I am so thankful that God will never leave us on our own. I am so thankful that He is always with us. I certainly need his own Son as my dearest example to follow. Because at this moment, I feel a bit like Jonah. Here in this new land, there are new lessons for me to learn, new friendships to make, and a new sort of life to live. Granted many things look the same. My home appears to be "Joanna-styled." My self looks the same in the mirror. The people that live with me are the same. But around me, conversations with people are new, peripheral, and guarded. Relationships are different because they are in early stages.
Despite the excitement of the things to come, I must be honest. There are many moments as I have been unpacking my boat(if you will), that I have thought about jumping overboard. I am a little scared of the days ahead. A little nervous that friends may be harder to make. But I must cling to the truth that Jesus loves me with a "Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love."(Sally-Lloyd Jones) God has called us to a new life......to a new land(in a dry and weary land where there's no water).......to be the hands and feet of Jesus.