The other day, my friend Peter wrote a blog post called “Digressions Captured in One Sitting” and it was so thought provoking yet fun to read that I was inspired to do a similar sort of thing. I gave myself 20 minutes to write down all that came to mind while I thought about my trip so far. Also, Peter’s post was really fantastic, so here is a link to enjoy his words too: https://peterbattlewriting.blogspot.com/2018/06/digressions-of-linear-sort.html?spref=fb
I have been here for over three weeks now! If 21 days is what’s required to make a habit, then I’m now used to sleeping in a big house all alone and not being able to see a weather forecast. I have read books that I will cling to forever. I’ve been wading through the Gospels and soaking in everything that I can from the way of Jesus. I have gotten to use my voice and sing and it has felt so good and whole. On Thursday night I laughed for what felt like two hours straight and my cheeks hurt so bad but my heart was so at rest. I love having a friend that will sing along to a live cover band with as much giddiness as me. I’ve learned to let go of being stiff about doing things my way. I’ve sat with the frustrations of wondering why people don’t encourage me more. I’ve let myself get disappointed by people who don’t reply to Instagram direct messages that are, in reality, the least direct kind of messages. I have learned to let go of lots of things like this because they only stir negative emotions in me and the love and peace of Jesus Christ are too powerful to let them stay. I am recognizing what it means to truly be confident. I have experienced how laughter connects people when language cannot. I have stepped into a new level of independence that I’ve quite honestly been afraid of. I have experienced my identity 100% outside of Noah, and our love is stronger because of it. I have eaten over a dozen meals alone. I have learned to put down my phone and just sit still and listen to insects and the trees and village drums. I have marveled at changing skies. I have met people who I am going to miss dearly. I have met people whose names I have embarrassingly forgotten. I have wondered and wondered about culture and globalism and poverty and privilege and how the hell am I going to understand all these complex things! Did you know that how much money I make in one month of nannying part time is how much the average person out here makes in a whole year? I have taken things for granted and I have hidden myself away at the wrong times. I have witnessed the miracle of how the love of Jesus transforms the lonely and disheartened. I have grown in love for my family and in appreciation for the life my parents provided for me. I have eaten so many preservatives and so much gluten that my stomach hurts but I’ve reconciled it with myself because if I was raised out here, I wouldn’t even give a rip about what it means to be “tighter”. God is healing my perspective of my church back at home. I came here with bitterness and questions and misunderstandings but now I have come to have gratitude and a desire to be selfless towards it all. I had a really huge moment with the Lord where it finally became so real to me that if He delights in showing mercy, then I should too. I’ve just gotten past the halfway point of this trip and there are so many things that matter to me and a whole lot of things I’m realizing there is no need to be so consumed by. Two weeks ago I was so discouraged and alone that I wanted to change my ticket and return home early, but now I am so glad I didn’t. I’m on the edge of my seat for all of the things, here to follow through for the long haul.