Yo soy una montana rusa!

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roller coasterYou might be wondering what the subject of this post means, right?  Let me tell you.  It means, “I am a roller coaster!”  I say this because I feel that over the past few months, my emotions have been quite similar to a roller coaster.  Yikes!  At some points, I have absolutely loved Ecuador.  But at other points, I felt like I was done and wanted to go back to the U.S.

And now . . . the good news!  While many tears were shed during those months, now I feel like my heart is peaceful and Ecuador is where I am supposed to live right now.  I feel like I am over the hump and am pleased to be here until July.  Yay!  If you knew where I came from recently, you would know that this truly deserves a celebration.  Seriously.

During the difficult times the past few months, I have to honestly tell you that I continued to experience God’s faithfulness.  Even when I didn’t feel like looking for God’s presence and was starting to give up on everything related to Ecuador, He was still with me.  Amazing . . . but not surprising.  Here are two situations where God continued to be by my side.  First, during the beginning of this teaching cycle when I was contemplating whether to return to the U.S. early because I felt horribly out of place and sad, God gave me a beautiful gift of security and predictability.  He secured a position for me to return to the same elementary school to teach this fall – Robinson.  This was an incredible comfort for me and settled my heart in amazing ways.  Next,  I received my two favorite groups of students this teaching cycle.  These students and I have connected and have fun and learn together – simultaneously.  There is a comfort with these students that I have not experienced with other students thus far in Ecuador.  And again, I believe this is another example of God’s faithfulness that has comforted my soul.

As I was reflecting the other day, I realized what a weird feeling it is to enjoy where I am living, while simultaneously craving another place too.  It’s hard to be caught in a place of tension between Ecuador and the U.S., but it is thought-provoking too.  I think I find it fascinating because each culture is very distinct and I am in awe that I can feel comfort in both locations.  I have a feeling that the tension between living comfortably in one place while desiring another is going to travel with me when I return to the U.S. in July.  I am going to miss Ecuador and that is difficult for me to digest.   So I begin to wonder, is there a way to combat this?  Unfortunately, I think that this tension is simply a part of the process when one lives in another country for an extended period of time and while it will fade over time, it will always be a part of who I am.

So, now what?  I soak in as much Ecuador as possible, right now, and happily anticipate the familiarity of the U.S. in a few, short months.  I work on “being present” and not rushing through my days, like I so often do.  I live . . . moment by moment, and do not worry about trivial things that can so often snowball into anxiety and worry for me.  I trust in my God and know that He has everything taken care of for me and know that He will continue to be faithful in everything Ecuador and everything U.S.

This morning, as I was walking to my Spanish class, I was thinking about how when I return to the U.S. I will (surprisingly) miss the blasting, dance music that shouts out of appliance store entrances . . . our stores in the U.S. just aren’t that hip. 🙂

As always, thanks for traveling on this journey with me.

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13 responses »

  1. I’ve noticed a similar “tension” (for lack of a better way of putting it) in different relationships &/or friendships as they fade into and out of my life. There just seems to be seasons or moments in my life where I really connect with certain friends or groups of friends and then “in the blink of an eye” life, circumstances and those friendships change. Either friends start dating, or get married, or have kids, or move, or get a different job, or move to another church, or whatever-it-is and before you know it, the friendship/relationship has significantly changed. Or at least the rhythm that used to be present in our friendship. I too have learned to “live in the moment” with friendships and familyships and try to appreciate those people the best that I can because things can change quickly. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Rob . . . hi my friend. Thanks for your thoughts . . . I know we have talked about that a little bit before and it is hard when things change. So, the best thing is to enjoy today – right now – and soak in the many blessings we have, right? Keep in touch Rob . . . and have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Such good news! I’m so proud to have been on this journey with you and wish you the best and PEACE as you finish your time in Ecuador! Praise the Lord!!!!!

  3. We are so, so, so happy that you are returning to Robinson! It too, has changed since you were last here. Nothing ever stays the same and we change and grow with it! We cannot wait to, once again, be a part of your everyday journey 🙂

    • Mary . . . thank you for your comment! I am always happy to hear from you because I know you are one of my faithful blog followers. 🙂 As I mentioned in the post, I am definitely excited to be back at Robinson – even though it will definitely be a learning curve! And, I am excited to see and experience the changes too . . . everything is always evolving, right? Have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend!

  4. Rachael!! 🙂 I completely understand what you mean… I’ve also been there, not in Ecuador but in different countries… I’m glad that you are enjoying every moment now.
    I really admire you for taking the risk and facing the challenge of living in a different country. It can be hard at first, but certainly is a priceless experience.
    Un fuerte abrazo mi amiga!

    • Thank you for your hug my friend! Maybe one day we can see one another again for a real hug! I hope you are doing well in your new country too! I would love to hear how you are adjusting and what life is like in your frigid northern home. 🙂 Take care Beatriz! Love Rachael

  5. Glad to hear you are in a much better place and hope your last few months in Ecuador are wonderful! Definitely relate to the tension of being between places. Been missing Ecuador a lot lately and thinking of you, nice to hear good news! Best wishes!
    Rachel

    • Hello Rachel. It’s so great to hear from you! Guess what? I visited Quito this weekend to spend time with Susy and the rest of the family. We talked about you often and how we miss you. It was wonderful to see them and spend time together. I hope you are doing well adjusting to your new adventure. And, I think that you are only in Georgia for a short time more, right? If you’d like to chat on Skype sometime, just let me know and we can definitely arrange that. Have a wonderful day my friend! Love Rachael

      • Hi Rachael,
        I’m so glad you were able to spend some quality time with nuestra familia! I have been missing them desperately the last few weeks, for some reason, it seems like absolutely everything reminds me of Ecuador. But this place is amazing, every day I am so grateful and blessed to be here. Just two and a half more weeks, and then…??? I should hopefully hear back from a couple jobs I applied for in the next week or so, but at the moment I really have no idea what’s next.

        I would love to talk to you more, I always love to hear your honest, humble perspective and the wonderful things you are up to. I don’t have skype though, unfortunately (or much internet access at the moment.) Hmm…

        In any case, sending my love and best wishes! Have a wonderful time in the Galapagos!
        Rachel

      • Hello there Rachel! Thanks for your reply. It’s so nice to hear from you.

        Isn’t it interesting how our emotions wax and wane from moment to moment when we are doing different things than the “usual.” (What is the usual anyway?) But, I do think it will make us stronger at the same time, right?

        I am interested to hear in your potential job prospects . . . does this mean you are headed back to California? Maybe when you are there we can email more and possibly talk on the phone sometime soon. That would be nice.

        Have a wonderful day . . . be present and soak in the blessings you have. Take care.

        Love Rachael

  6. Hi Rachael,
    I’m so glad you were able to spend some quality time with nuestra familia! I have been missing them desperately the last few weeks, for some reason, it seems like absolutely everything reminds me of Ecuador. But this place is amazing, every day I am so grateful and blessed to be here. Just two and a half more weeks, and then…??? I should hopefully hear back from a couple jobs I applied for in the next week or so, but at the moment I really have no idea what’s next.

    I would love to talk to you more, I always love to hear your honest, humble perspective and the wonderful things you are up to. I don’t have skype though, unfortunately (or much internet access at the moment.) Hmm…

    In any case, sending my love and best wishes! Have a wonderful time in the Galapagos!
    Rachel

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