You 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.