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Chase Park Warehouse
Athens, Ga


MEIRA Missions


Meredith Raiford

I am grateful for sautéed carrots and onions, mashed potatoes [with butter], and peppermint tea. Today on the drive back from the work site I giggled with delight, actually giggled, when the missionary I’m working with pulled out several packs of coconut cookies for us to eat on the long drive home. When I got home I savored every minute of my hot shower before putting on my favorite tank top and flannel pajama pants. Im listening to Housefires radio on iTunes and writing this post, because tonight I have wifi, and it is running as swiftly as a young Usain Bolt, on benedryl, with a slight limp.

How sad it is that it took God isolating me in the middle of a literal desert for me to feel genuine gratitude for the gifts he’s given me most days of my life.

One of my favorite sayings is that expectations are the thieves of joy. Well, I have very few expectations left, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the few that remain got lost in the dust and sand sometime very soon.

I am learning that there is only one thing I can count on, one thing I can expect every day when I wake up. With each new day that dawns Christ is excitedly waiting for me to wake up and spend time with him. Each time I open my Bible, He is ready to fill me with more of Him. The fruit of the Spirit is ripe for the taking. If I am empty when I go to bed there will always be more to fill me, if only I should ask.

He is a good father, and He loves me. He takes care of my needs day in and day out, whether I know how he’s going to accomplish that or not. Everything past that is just surplus. My joy does not come from the surplus, but from the one who gives it.


Oh perfect timing, and prophetic writings. As I was writing this post last night, Usain gave in to the Benadryl, tripped over his bum leg and crashed on me. At precisely 1:48 this morning the confused city rooster outside my window wrongly predicted that it was morning. He quit trying to guess around 4:30. When I forced myself out of bed at 7 this morning, Usain was still out like a rock. I went to the fridge to grab breakfast and remembered that I ran out of fruit yesterday, and could not go to the store by the time I got home last night.

But I opened up my Bible, and God was right there waiting for me. Between my 3 hour prayer session in the wee hours of the morning, and my normal time of devotions before I left for work, God opened my eyes to what I was already suspecting as the words poured out of me last night. I am in a season of pruning and rather extreme growth. Apparently Im not supposed to peak at 22 [go figure] so God is now taking this time to mold me and prepare me for more.

As crazy as it sounds, I am so very grateful for that. I am grateful that He believes me capable of more. I am grateful that He cares enough about who I am and who I am to become to push me past my breaking point day in and day out. I am grateful that He knows my limits and seems to believe that I can take far more than I thought I could. I am grateful that He never leaves my side even when He allows everything else to fall apart. I am grateful that if I can only have one guarantee in this life, that its Him. I would choose Him again and again. I choose Him. I choose Him.


After a very hard morning, God gave me a solid nap during my lunch break. When I went back to the dump in the afternoon, I was introduced to two litters of puppies. I bonded with one of the little guys and will love it with my whole heart for this next and final week of work at Elim.