It must number in the thousands, now — the number of times I’ve wished I could toss a piece of a song out into the air just to express how I feel. This is one of those times.

I’d like to cry for forgiveness and repentance, laugh for the purity of joy, and make music for the sake of the beauty of the Lord. I’m not really sure how to express myself, so once again I’m attempting with words.

A few of you are probably reading this and saying “Get some sleep Emily…we’ve seen you in college during finals week & we know this is the result of sleeping 3 hours a week. You get mopey & weepy & crazy.” That’s true…but this time you’re wrong.

This month I’ve learned how God can use people in my life. I made a new friend! Well really, she made me her friend. Emily Smith is an OMS missionary in Japan and she wrote to me a few weeks ago to say she wanted to get to know me & become a part of my support team. I’ve never met her. I’ve seen her name in OMS related things, but I’ve never talked to her in person. But God moved her in this way. Anyway, we began writing back & forth and already she has blessed me in the extreme! God is using you more than you know, Emily Smith.

God has worked in her life tremendously and she’s opened her heart to Him. The story of her work in Japan has simultaneously been the encouragement and nudge forward that I needed. It is more of a wonder than I can say to read of miracles. It is more of a wonder than I can draw, paint, or write to feel the Holy Spirit move your heart and even rebuke you a little.

I became a Christian when I was 4. I’m only 21 now, but not so long ago I chose a selfish life. Yes, it was out of desperation and I felt overcome by darkness, and alone, but still — I chose selfishness. God saved me from my own heart. He broke it! He smoothed it over new. And a few years later, when He told me He loves me and asked me to be a missionary, I felt like I met Him all over again.

There is so much hard work from here, from this point in my room at 2:43 AM. There are so many times I’m going to need corrected, so many times I’m going to ask forgiveness, so many times I’m going to remember my own weakness.

And, Joy! — that means there are that many more times when I’m going to surrender, so many times I’m going to be forgiven, and so many times I’m going to remember the strength of Christ.

Six years ago I couldn’t have told you all this with the passion I have now. I loved Jesus, but the love is greater now than before. And for all of this encouragement & reminding this final month of 2011, I must thank God for using my newest friend, Emily Smith. May God keep blessing you, Emily #1!


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