My New Most Favorite Word


a gerund or present participle: girding

1- encircle (a person or part of the body) with a belt or band.
“a young man was to be girded with the belt of knighthood”

2- secure (a garment or sword) on the body with a belt or band.
“a white robe girded with a magenta sash”

3- surround; encircle.
“steel rings that gird the elongated, tubular building”

This word precisely states how I feel after what we experienced these past few days,  and I think the 3rd definition (giving credit to my google search) provides the best visual.

Yesterday, we went to our friend’s home thinking it would be one last “hang out” time to finding around 80 people waiting for us.  We’ve been blessed for the past 8 years to be serving/teaching students and families at Nashua Christian Academy.    Our girls have attended there since kindergarten and we’ve loved every minute it.  It makes the leaving that much more difficult.  Seeing all the people clapping for us and shedding tears (seeing me becoming a blubbery mess) was just so overwhelming.

In an instant this word came to my heart.  This school and these people we’ve lived life with (either just becoming friends with or knowing for years) have “girded” us with strength and are sending us forth.  Their love and prayers are more than mere bricks and mortar, but strong refined steel.  Without it, we will not make it.  Having experienced living overseas and navigating life in a new country and language already, we know there will be dark days and it’s in those dark days we will be reminded of all these people gathering together to celebrate what He is doing in us and what plans He has in using us to impact His Kingdom in a different land.

This is truly a moment in my life that I am welled up with so much sadness and gratefulness at the same time.  I don’t have a snapshot of everyone (although it’s forever etched in my mind), but I do have this photo of the four ladies who orchestrated it all.



Two days before this all happened, there was another surprise party thrown for me on Thursday after school.  I thought a small group of colleagues and myself were going to hang out at my para’s house.  Nope, it was a big crew with all kinds of goodies. They have surrounded me with so much love and encouragement as well. This is a picture of my para who has become more like a sister I never had. We’ve worked so closely together these last 8 years that it’s so hard to say goodbye.  My days are incredibly brighter because she’s right there with me.  She hosted it and my thanks for all her hard work was swiping red frosting from the cake on to her nose! For some reason I can’t persuade her to leave and come with me. 🙂


Needless to say, “gird” is now my new favorite word because these people in our lives are such a source of strength for us and we truly are humbled and thankful for God placing them there.  We couldn’t imagine going forth without them.

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