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Feedback…

Well… here I go.

Think of any feeling you could possibly have and I've probably experienced that this week… Happiness, frustration, hurt, eye-opening clarity, but I'm pretty sure you get the picture by now.

Last week, I had gotten feedback from Ms. Hailey Jackson, but all she told me was we need to have a conversation about it later. That's it. No clues, no hints, nothing except "we need to have a conversation soon." *BACKGROUND STORY TIME* Over the past year, I felt God telling me I had to cut a certain person out of my life and I pretty much told God to shove it. I didn't want to, so I wasn't going to. *THE END* Now fastforward to this Sunday when Hailey and I finally got to talk. Wouldn't you know it, she felt God calling me to do the exact same thing I had been resisting the past year. She sat me down and told me with true, God-given boldness and told it to me straight up. I need to save myself and I need to save my flourishing relationship with God, and that can't happen with this person in my life. Alright God, I get it now. That just shows how much He cares, doesn't it? Even after an entire year of me resisting, God brought me half-way around the world, got my attention, and never gave up because He wants a relationship with me… little Jessi from Redwood City, CA. ME! Here's some cool news: GOD DOES NOT GIVE UP ON US! He doesn't see that it's getting hard and forget about us, NO! He even says in Isaiah (chapter 49, verses 14 and 15 to be exact…), "Yet, Jerusalem says, 'The Lord has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.' Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she had borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!"

And as if that weren't enough this week, the next day was my one-on-one with Kendall and Elle. Let me tell you, God wasn't joking around when He sent me here… He sent me here with the knowledge the women on this team were going to change my life and my walk. I was just getting through saying how I usually enjoy being by myself, and Elle took this opportunity to speak words directly from the Big Man upstairs. She looked directly into my eyes and told me, "I don't think you acctually like being alone. I think you do it to survive. I think you do it so you won't get hurt, but guess what? That's not how God designed us. I think you are living a role placed on you." Take a second and ponder the magnitude of her words… Keep thinking. Okay. Done? Good. If she had not been bold in her faith to recognize God speaking to her in that moment, I could had never heard those words. Words I didn't even consider until they were spoken out loud. I could have gone through the rest of this trip, even the rest of my life never hearing that. I could have gone home, continued to walk with God, and never even realized the true potential God has for our relationship! Why did God create Eve? Because Adam needed companionship. It all goes back to the beginning… Adam needed community, companionship. And now it's time for me to realize God is my forever companion, my forever community. Even with this, God has started to show me the necessity of surrounding myself with a community that will build me up in my faith in the mindset of "iron sharpens iron." I'm learning to make God my number one community, but now I'm also learning how absolutely essential God-centered relationships are, and I could not ask for a better team to "practice" with.

Please continue the prayers. Pray that I would be able to look to God in every situation and know He has not forgotten His children. Pray that I would be able to be vulnerable and open to the community that so tightly surrounds me with God-like love and wisdom (while you're at it, praise God for them as well). Lastly, pray that our work here would be completely focused and centered on the Lord because it's really His work, He has just chosen us to do it. And because our work here is centered around the Lord, please pray that it is lasting and doesn't leave just because we do.

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