I don’t listen to country music. In fact, aside from Taylor Swift (I know, I’m embarrassing), I really can’t stand country music. But ever since I first heard “Springsteen” by Eric Church, I’ve loved the lyrics at the chorus—not the song, so much, but the line “Funny how a melody sounds like a memory.” I’m able to identify with that so much—I really think we all are, right? We can hear a song we used to listen to on repeat, and suddenly we’re plummeting back through time to those car rides to high school football games on Fridays, or to that weekend trip with friends, or to wallowing in our dorm room because life just won’t get better (or is that one only me?).
I know I’ve only been home for 10 days now, but already I have a song that as soon as I press play, I’m plunged back to the Dominican Republic and SCORE. Creeré by Tercer Cielo is a song that my friend Erick played a few times during my first week in the DR, and then I heard it a few more times during my last week there. But it’s so strange—a melody that so easily can bring you back to when you first heard the song; to those memories of bus rides to villages, waiting for SCORE night to start in the Juan Dolio church, going to pick up empanadas in San Pedro. I press play and I’m back there. And if I could capture all those feelings and bottle them up, I would. The Dominican Republic is home to me in a way that my own home isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, and I missed certain things about the United States. But the memories made in the DR are sweeter than all other memories. It’s the place that shaped me and changed me so much over the past few years. And if home is where the heart is, then the Dominican Republic is definitely home.
Reading through my journals from my past trips to the Dominican earlier made me realize how much I’ve changed in the past couple years—something affirmed by my friend Catherine at breakfast yesterday morning. I was catching her up on the past six weeks of my life, and she was kind of blown away at the calmness I have about everything that’s going on. There are so many things up in the air about my life right now, and where I would normally be freaking out and trying to gain control over all of it, now I am completely at peace. I feel a contentedness and trust in God’s plan like I’ve never felt before.
I’ve been asked a few times since being home what’s next for me. I’ve been praying about it a lot, and I know part of my next step is to get my parents used to the idea of me leaving again eventually (something I know my dad will not be fond of). But it’s funny, because I’m a planner and I’ve always been a planner. For the past three years, I’ve known what I was going to be doing and where I was going to be almost a year in advance, and I loved that. And this year, I have no idea. I know I start school on Monday, and I know there are a lot of pieces to this puzzle being put together, and I am so excited about what’s coming…but I have no idea what that is, or where that is, which might be the better question. The weirdest part about it all is that I’m 100 percent okay with that for the first time in my life.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8