365 days ago...I left LAX airport with a one way ticket and landed at Narita International Airport to start my new life in Japan.

That makes today my 1st official Japanniversary. wow.

This picture was taken over a year ago, at my going away party. 

A year? One entire calendar year? Through every holiday, season, and birthday...I have called Japan home. WHAT? That is crazy. What is even crazier is that I plan to stay. Two more years. 

Before I moved here I thought living abroad for one year was crazy. So three years seemed impossible. I had no grasp on how I would survive being so far away from my family and friends, and the time frame just seemed daunting. But now, here I am..and life has a funny way of working out because I love Japan more today than I did yesterday, and buckets more than I did a year ago. life. is. crazy.

I could go into detail about the things I've been learning, or all the little reasons why I love living here...but what I really just want to say is that I owe it all to Jesus. Because of Him I am here and thriving. He has given me a job I love, a church I can call home, friends and family to hang out with here, as well as the may friends and family that have visited. He has protected me everyday, provided for my every need, and comforted me through every moment of doubt. I have seen God in so many beautiful ways since moving here, and for that I am eternally grateful. 

I'll end with this...the greatest gift God has given me while being in Japan has been a heart for the Japanese. He has opened my eyes to the ways He loves these people and my heart now breaks for the Japanese people to know the love of God. This burden I have on my heart for the people I work with and the friends I have here has driven a passion in me and filled me with purpose every single day. Before I moved here I was so worried about being homesick, about doing things independently, or being lonely. I was worried about feeling the pain and sadness that would come from all of that, but let me just tell you this --> When you are filled with purpose you obliterate all of the pain. I am filled with purpose... and it is all from God, through God, because of God, and for God! Amen! 

^me talking with my hands, per usual. 

Thanks for all the love and support from afar! Cheers to two more years loving and serving God in Japan! 

*anyone who wants to visit, please feel free! I love sharing my love for this country with others.