I know I haven't blogged for a while - wasn't really up to it. More about that in a moment.
It's already mid-December and we haven't had any minus degrees yet (I'm talking about 32 F or lower). In fact, November was said to be the warmest one since the beginning of weather recordings. However, it has been raining a lot lately, and these dark clouds tend to really annoy me. As a surprise, it suddenly started snowing last night. The first snow this winter! However, in the morning, rain fell on top of it, and by now almost everything is gone. At any rate, I've been trying to catch every ray of sunlight possible - which can get rather tricky here!
The last few days at work are coming up (in fact, for some of my colleagues the end-of-the year break has already begun), and I'm going to leave for Germany on Thursday morning. I really look forward to this time off. I'm going to spend the Christmas days with my family, and for New Year's I'm going to attend a retreat in a German spa called Bad Kissingen. It's a very nice area in northern Bavaria, and this retreat is organized by a group of young adults of different churches. I just received the list of participants and figured out that I'm going to see some old acquaintances there. People I have gotten to know at seminars or other meetings in Germany at some point, some of which I have only recently seen on Facebook; so it will be neat to see them again in person.
I haven't mentioned yet the health talk on the frontal lobe of the brain that I gave at my work place. It took place on Tuesday at lunchtime. Unfortunately, December is a very busy time in our offices. So many things still need to be finished before year-end, and also many Christmas lunches are taking place. So I had about nine people attending, however two of them left even before I finished the talk (the only two male attendees - maybe they didn't like what I shared about coffee or alcohol). Anyway, the toughest part is always the Q&A at the end, and so one of the colleagues asked me a question related to evolution. I couldn't give her a satisfying answer other then saying that I didn't believe in evolution, and that science is split here. I really felt a bit clumsy and awkward. Other than that, the presentation went pretty well. Of course there is always room for improvement. However, right after I was not encouraged at all. I thought that I had completely messed up. I also started doubting and getting anxious about our planned health work in Brussels and about many other things. The exceptionally ugly weather did the rest.
On Wednesday night however, I went to church for prayer meeting. I had been wanting to attend for a while, but I would always find a reason not to go. However, this time I had promised to meet our first Elder there to give him a hand-out on health work that he wanted to copy. We were only six people, but it was really blessed. Somehow, this cloud lifted, and ever since I've been feeling so much better - although the circumstances haven't changed at all. I cannot express how relieved, happy and encouraged I am. These are the kind of experiences that really strengthen my faith.
So if you feel down or discouraged for any reason - just hold on a little longer - there is light at the end of the tunnel!
This morning at church was also very blessed - but this may become another rambling...
"To all who are reaching out to feel the guiding hand of God, the moment of greatest discouragement is the time when divine help is nearest. They will look back with thankfulness upon the darkest part of their way.. From every temptation and every trial he will bring them forth with firmer faith and a richer experience." The Desire of Ages, p. 528