I briefly mentioned at the end of my last post that I’ve been having a difficult week here. While I have gotten accustomed to a lot of things, not everything is fun and games down here and I hope I’m not painting it like it is. I always want to be authentic, and there are things here that I hate. I’m being eaten alive by mosquitos, I get woken up every day at 4 am by roosters, and I’ve had to embrace cold showers. But more than those little things that I can deal with, the beginning of this week I was filled with this overwhelming amount of dread and anxiety that I could not shake. It started when I found out I’d be starting teaching in a new school this week and just kind of escalated into my feeling ill-equipped and underprepared to do anything all week. Pretty much in every moment of the past four days, I’ve had a giant pit in my stomach and all I could think about was, “Only three more weeks and then I’ll be going home anyway.” Today changed all of that.
I’ve been praying and praying this week for the Lord to relieve me of this crazy anxiety that I’ve had. In little ways, I could see Him providing for me, or at least getting me through my daily tasks, but I was still so focused on the dread that I couldn’t see Him fully. Yesterday I found out that Tierra Alta and Sueños de Vivir were doing an event at the high school I’m teaching at. It was supposed to be on Friday, but last night they had to move it to today — so in about the span of an hour, I found out I’d be sharing my testimony in Spanish with a high school in a couple days to, “oh, you’ll be doing it tomorrow instead.” Yikes. God, I thought I was praying for you to relieve my stress, not add more?
This morning I arrived at Bethesda (the school) at 7 to teach for a couple hours. The past few days of teaching there have been really hard for me, so I was pleasantly surprised when this morning went well and time passed quickly. After my class, the people from Tierra Alta and Sueños de Vivir showed up to get ready for our program, and I spent the next hour practicing my testimony with anyone who would listen to me (which thankfully was everyone I asked haha). When the time finally came for me to share, it wasn’t perfect (aka I forgot a chunk of what I intended to share), but I did it and it was through the power of the Holy Spirit. I’m so thankful for a Lord who provides in every situation.
I don’t know if it sounds stupid, but sometimes I think the Lord makes His presence known to me through familiarity. For example, my second day in Colombia I was at a morning devotional meeting with the Tierra Alta staff and feeling super out of place. The first song we sang, though, was How Great Is Our God, which I know in Spanish from my summer in the Dominican Republic. Having something so familiar for me right then was like God saying to me, hey I’m here. Just like I was in the DR and always am. Again this morning it happened. In the midst of my jumble of emotions, a couple of the girls from Sueños de Vivir were singing none other than Perfume a Tus Pies, a song I’m in love with that I learned in the Dominican. Having that familiarity yet again made the Lord so present to me. The rest of the day was so, so good. The performance by my students from Sueños was awesome and I was filled with immense joy watching them. My heart is happy and I am so grateful that the Lord calms me when I need it, even in unexpected ways.
Today, I’ve teared up a few times thinking about saying goodbye to Colombia in three weeks. The time spent with my Sueños students this morning reminded me once again how much I love them. I don’t mean to gush here, but they are truly some of the most wonderful people I’ve met, and thinking about saying bye to them soon…it’s going to be hard. Luckily I have three more weeks with them, and tomorrow our class is learning about animals. Still laughing that when I met these people, I was so intimidated by them, and now our times together are my favorite parts of the week. I see you, God :)