Saturday, April 04, 2009
I’ve been avoiding the obligatory “my whole life is changing” post for a while now, but with the one-month-left-in-Nicaragua marker having passed this week, I figure it’s time.
First, I have to say that the last 6-8 months of my life here have been amazing. Even in difficult or stressful work or cultural situations, I am truly happy here. I love my life. I love my roommates, the North American friends I have made, and my Nicaraguan friends in my office and in my church.
I love everything about this country—well, except for the recent oppressive heat, the dust, and the sketchy guys who made rude comments on my way to work—and I would come back in a heartbeat if God opened a door again down the road.
When I think about leaving, I get teary eyed. I think about all the amazing, faith-filled Nicaraguans I have met, people who have taught me so much with their love, their hospitality, their trust in a God who is bigger than the poverty that surrounds them. I think about the people who welcomed me into their homes and gave a bed and a meal without even really knowing me. I think about the breathtaking places I have gotten to see—volcanoes, beaches, mountains, rivers, colonial cities—and how sadly, so many Nicaraguans have never realized the beauty and richness of their own country.
I think about how my own faith has been challenged and stretched, strengthened and confirmed. I think about all the things I never thought I would ever do that God allowed me to do—from little things like ride a horse to bigger things like build trust-filled relationships with Nicaraguans. I think about the concrete things that maybe I am leaving behind just a little bit better than I found them, and the intangible things I may be leaving behind that I will never know about.
I think about how God has protected me—from serious illness, injury, crime and/or accidents. (Hmmm, except there was that one time with a motorcycle….). I think about how He has been faithful when I have been faithless.
And the most recent evidence of that faithfulness is the news two weeks ago that I was accepted to graduate school. For much of the last year, I wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing when I went back home, but now it’s settled. For those of you out there who didn’t see my Facebook message, I’ll be pursuing a Masters degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin beginning in August.
So, on May 1st, I will get on a plane back to Texas and begin a whole new chapter. And while the transition—which has already begun—will be hard, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and in all other ways—I am also happy as I prepare and look forward.
For I know in Whom I have believed, and I am confident that this story has a good, good end.