My fingers hover over my laptop keyboard. I switch songs, I flick between Notes and Evernote, I settle back to typing on my phone- mainly because it’s my only device with Wifi at the moment. Everything seems quite normal. It’s a Monday night, I am slouched on the living room couch after playing card games with good friends. Everything’s normal, right? Nothing momentous or out of my ordinary, right? That’s when I glance out the living room window- it stuns me yet again.  I’m in Amsterdam.

A girl growing up on Pacific islands does not dream of the tropics. Yes, I think Hawaii and New Zealand are two of the prettiest places on the planet, and I do not take lightly the great privilege it is to hold passports to there. However, growing up there, what geographic location furnished my dreams? Europe. The quaint, vintage buildings piled together with bakeries’ aromas drifting throughout the narrow streets, parks nestled in city scapes, all making a home I could only imagine. This year, I stopped lamenting, “Oh, Europe!” every time someone mentioned going there, and instead started proclaiming “One day!” Little did I know that one day would be today.
So it’s a little bit of shell shocker to have such dreams fulfilled while on my DTS outreach. I always thought outreach was something I would have to spill out my guts for, and that heart would have no say in where I went. However, Europe was the first place I said I wanted to go (I had been in third world countries before, stepping through the muds of slums and having damp children snuggle on my lap). The Netherlands just happened to be one of our locations. I just about cried. God is in the business of fulfilling our hearts’ desires. 
Yet as I have been learning during this whole “What do you want?” journey with God, getting my heart’s desires isn’t always easy. Moving to New Zealand was painful, becoming a primary teacher difficult, and doing my DTS in Newcastle, gut-wrenching. So neither do I expect outreach in Amsterdam to be a proverbial walk in the park (even though I already have done that and it was beautiful- I just about cry every stroll around the city, wondering if it is for real). What I do expect is Jesus is here with me. 
I expect that Jesus is with me, when I am choking on the stench of weed from the coffeeshops in those stray alleyways. I expect that Jesus is with me, when I see the cartoon of a prostitute as a “normal” icon on a tshirt in a souveneir store. I expect that He is with me, oh yes, when I am just about crying as I gaze up at a cathedrals constructed in the seventeenth century. And I know He is with me, when I lean on a bridge over a quintessant Amsterdam canal, telling stories to strangers about how He is my home despite my many houses spread out in the world. 
Oh, it’s real. And Europe furnished my dreams as a child, teenager, and now on to my twenties. But none of it really matters unless I have someone to share it with. My outreach team is incredible, and in all of their hearts is Jesus. He made this all possible, and carried me here. And He’s the one who just longs to see my giddy excitement  because He loves me, all the way to Europe and back.
Everything’s normal, right? Nothing momentous or out of my ordinary, right? That’s when I glance out the living room window- it stuns me for the hundredth time this week.  I’m living life with Jesus, the furnisher of dreams-turned-reality.