2014 has been generous to me. Or rather, I must say that God has been exceedingly generous to me. 🙂 As I type this post while waiting to board the plane to go to San Francisco where I will spend my winter break, I am looking back on the whole year. I am overcome with emotion as I reflect upon how this year has panned out. God has given me far more than I have asked for and answered my prayers in ways that I did not expect. Everything just fell nicely into place. He has also sent all the right people into my life in a timely manner and I am continually amazed at who He puts in my path. I recall reading a quote somewhere that said: “Where God guides, He provides”. 🙂
When I count my blessings, I can find many things to give thanks for. Here, I have decided to select 10 things about 2014 which I am extremely thankful for.
I am thankful for:
- Being able to work almost full-time as a Casual Relief Teacher (CRT) for the first half of this year in Melbourne, without the actual responsibilities of a full-time Teacher of the Deaf. It freed me up to do other things while enabling me to save a tidy sum of money.
- Having the opportunity to develop a language program for a Deaf refugee student in one of the schools I did CRT in. It was awesome watching her grow over the full school term.
- Friends in Australia who took time to listen to me as I was pondering over my options of going to the States and for encouraging me to go. Each of them helped in some way as I was preparing for the big move and I have nothing but gratitude for their efforts. I treasure those friendships and I hope our paths will cross again in the future, God willing.
- The opportunity to make new friends in the Singapore Deaf community and to catch up with old friends. I am so glad that I managed to catch up with a Deaf Singaporean friend I had not seen for 5 years when I went back to Singapore for 7 weeks in the middle of the year. She had just returned to Singapore for good after living in the States for 5 years. When we met, we had an 8-hour long chat sharing our journeys living abroad in a different country. At the end of it, we both left feeling like there was still more to talk about. It felt so good to catch up after so long!
- Uncle Edwin and Aunty Lydia who put me up at their lovely abode in Maryland for a week when I arrived in the States in August. At the end of that week, they helped me with moving into Carlin Hall at Gallaudet University. I was extremely touched by their generosity and hospitality especially since I had only just met them for the first time during my 7-week stay in Singapore. It was a wonderful time getting to know them. I hope to be able to extend the same measure of hospitality and blessings to other international students at Gallaudet in the future.
- My parents who always have my back wherever I go and whatever I do.
- The opportunity to be at Gallaudet University. This place has shown me a different side of things and opened up a world of possibilities. Just 4 months of being here, has completely revolutionized my thinking. There is acceptance of different world views. It is here that I find freedom to simply be who I am. And that freedom, is incredible. 🙂
- Being able to land a job in the first week of the Fall semester and a second one in the middle of the semester. I nearly fell out of my chair when I was offered the second job. It provides a wonderful opportunity for me to develop a variety of skills and I look forward to learning even more in the spring semester.
- A wide network of new friends and professional contacts at Gallaudet. I was surprised at how quickly the bonds formed. I have really enjoyed getting to know my classmates gradually on a deeper level over the semester as well as meeting a variety of people studying other disciplines. I discovered the real joy of networking – sharing information with people especially if it is beneficial to them and introducing people to each other. I am also blessed to have friends who do the same for me, and who encourage me to achieve my dreams.
- The challenges I have encountered because they offered opportunities for growth. I discovered that Gallaudet has a culture of its own. And being in a new place, I expected to make some gaffes and I did make them. I had to unlearn certain ways of doing things that I had gotten accustomed to in Australia simply because they are not culturally acceptable here in America. I am glad to have a heightened awareness of this. Also, if anyone were to ask me what the biggest challenge for me this year was, I would say that it was waiting to hear if I got into Gallaudet and trusting that things would unfold according to His plan. I wanted to come to America more than anything else. This year was really about simply learning to be patient and waiting on God’s timing because He knows best.
That’s it for now! 🙂