Well, Finals week is well underway and after a three hour study session, I just helped myself to a nice break consisting of Bon Iver intertwined with the sound of pounding rain, a new book, two chocolate hazelnut cookies and a cappuccino brought to me by one of my best friends in this world, Emily. Delightful.
With the closing of this chapter of my time here, I cannot help but reflect on the last 6 weeks I have just persevered through. To call it a sprint would be an understatement. Not only have I been pushed academically, but emotionally and spiritually, in truly profound ways. There is pragmatic knowledge, and there is soul knowledge. The education I have received over the last six weeks encompasses both of these wholly. Not only can I say a feel comfortable living day to day life in a third world country, but I also know how to measure pollution levels in a river, how to write a twelve page paper on 3 little bible verses, how to listen to friends better, and how to discern the spirit quietly prompting me into action.
Slowly, my presuppositions about life and God, and how the two work together are being striped away and replaced with an invigorating demand to be changed for the better. Humility and acceptance of the life story I have been given are becoming increasingly important, as I realize if I do not value who God as made me to be for my brief time on his earth, my existence will have been in vain. It is a concept much easier spoken than carried out though. How easily and often do i find myself coveting aspects of others lives? It may be just me, but I like to believe that the grass is greener on the other side. Envy and jealousy can easily become my best friends if I do not constantly invite Jesus to be the doorman to my soul.
Looking back I am also recognizing how deeply my capacity to feel is becoming. Yes there are lows, but the beauty of those lows is that it allows you to feel the highs that much more richly. Feeling is not something to be scared of, but to embrace.
Lastly, of the things I am most thankful for is my support system of friends and family, both here and back at home. I cherish the times spend talking loved ones back home, reminding me of the net of safety that is around me, even ten thousand miles away. I know without a doubt that there are so many people daily praying for me, and I can honestly tell. So if you are one of them, please don’t stop! My time here is about to get harder, and I will need all the spiritual backing I can get.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me, get away with me and you’ll recover life. I’ll show you how to have a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” –Jesus