I want to share with you someone that I have grown closer to in the last couple years. She is a cousin, a friend, and a sister in Christ. My cousin Carrie is quite a bit younger than me and for that reason, growing up we were never all that close. She was someone I would babysit from time to time and someone I saw at family functions. I remember going to her house a lot for lunch when I worked at a place close to my aunt and uncle's house. Since her mom likes to talk, her sisters like to talk, and I like to talk.....Carrie didn't get too many words in. Now that I know Carrie better, it's because she is more of a listener. Something I wish I was better at and that I love about her.
A couple years ago, I had the privilege of participating in a Bible study with some women from my church. One of those women was Carrie. If you want to get to know a woman better, get involved in a small group Bible Study with them. You often learn their weaknesses, their strengths, and you generally trust these women with your deepest thoughts, desires and pains. They tend to do the same. This is how I really got to know what a beautiful person my cousin is.
During this time she went through a very great trial in her life and the rest of us were there to listen, encourage her through God's word and pray with her. To make a long story short, it was a trial with her job. She didn't know what she was going to do and she truly sought God's will through it all. She stepped out of her box in an amazing way and followed where God led her.
Carrie is now a Missionary in the Dominican Republic. She moved there last January to teach English in a school there. The plan is to be there 18 months but she has now taken on new responsibilities that could keep her there longer. When she was home for a month this summer, I had the pleasure of being able to see her a few times and spend time with her. Can I just say, she is amazing! She truly has a heart for the Lord!
When she went back, she had made the decision to move into the poor section of town to live by the people she taught. This is just amazing to me, because she made the choice to give up hot water! Yes, that's right, cold showers! I would have a really hard time giving that up. Not that she didn't have a hard time, but she DID give it up.
Also, when she got back she shared her testimony on her blog about her first 6 months. It was beautiful and had me in tears. I ask that you pray for her and if you feel led, send her an email and let her know. She is far away from home and her family and would love the encouragement.
May you be as blessed by her story as I have been by knowing her.