I figured it was about time for another blog post, but as I’m sitting here thinking about all the things I want to say, all I can think about is how restless I currently feel. Restless to finish school. To leave Georgia. Restless for next summer. For the future to just come. So restless.

Yesterday I almost cried/did cry 6 times throughout the day thinking/talking about the Dominican Republic. Six. Times. About probably the thing that should be lowest on the list of things I could be crying about. And I don’t typically cry. But I miss it. More than words can express, I miss that country. I miss waking up in my awful bunk bed at SCORE, going down to the lobby half-asleep and getting asked “what’s wrong?” because it’s 8 am and I’m not a morning person; loading up the buses and heading out on a long drive to a village; sweating profusely all day and having eight thousand kids crawl all over me; being forced out of my comfort zone again and again; making new friends and seeing old friends; eating rice and beans for dinner and having devotional nights on the beach under the perfect palm tree circle and playing cards until the end of the night. I miss it in a way that only people who have been there can understand. To the point where I looked up plane ticket prices earlier to go down there in December, because I’m thinking, what’s holding me back? Why not just go when I have time off from class? Half of my heart is in the DR, and I am so ready to return to it.

After a change in events this past weekend that really sparked my desire to get back to the Dominican, I had a long conversation with a friend about just learning from it. He said to me, “well, Lauren, this is just another lesson learned.” And you know, sometimes I get really sick of learning lessons. But then he reminded me: We don’t get to choose the lessons life teaches us, but we do get to choose how we react to them. So I’m choosing my reaction. I’m choosing to believe that God’s plan is flawless, and greater than anything I could imagine. I’m choosing to believe that God has me where I am for a reason; that everything happens for a reason, even the bad stuff. I’m choosing happiness in spite of hardships, patience in spite of restlessness (though that’s a hard one), and to learn from everything life throws in my direction. And I’m learning that sometimes, it’s okay to be 100 percent transparent with people. Maybe everything would be a little easier for everyone if we all just laid everything out on the table all the time.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13,14


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