this morning the dreaded day arrived. back to the cold closet, back to the yelling lady, back with my fingers crossed and my breath held that THIS time everything would meet with her approval. i'd woken up early and read some psalms, and prayed that things would go well. i also prayed that God would help me not to be angry with this woman i have to deal with, and to remember that she's His creation, too, and i should love her and be longsuffering with her rudeness.
it was too early to leave, but the antsiness was driving me crazy and i figured i could wait at home, or wait there in line. waiting in line made more sense. i took the bus to petergoff, got off, and crunched my way through the recently fallen snow. it was cold outside but refreshing and i was trying to dispell my nervousness with a little singing. i'm sure people think i'm nuts with all the random singing i do, but oh well. i arrived at the building at nine--the doors were still locked but several people were already waiting. fortunately, my mother-in-law had been there early before work and wrote my name down on a piece of paper so everyone would know i was first. as soon as it opened at ten i rushed in. art's mom was supposed to meet me there when it opened, but i didn't wait for her. honestly i was a little relieved she wasn't there; she can be really pushy and i had the sneaking suspicion that all my problems with the visa lady were due to her rubbing everyone the wrong way. i sat down with all my papers in hand, said good morning as politely as possible, and prayed. she rifled through the stack of papers, went to make a few photocopies (at which point art's mom arrived, but i violently waved for her to wait outside), came back and handed me back my passport, and said my visa would be ready on friday.
ah, the relief i feel is sweet indeed. even though the 31st feels like an eon away, just knowing that i don't have any more annoying stuff to deal with (God willing) is so very, very nice. this whole time coming home has felt like a far-off goal: it was there, hovering in the distance, but all i could see were the obstacles nearest me. now i can ponder my return with ease and gladness. thanks again for all of you who prayed for me--i hope that God's answer to your prayers is as much an encouragement to you as it is to me.