Right Here, Right Now
Coming on this trip has been a roller coaster from the start. Even before I actually arrived, things were hectic. It was hard to know if this was where God truly intended me to be, but I honestly believe that this has all been a part of His plan. This experience has grown me personally so much, as well as helping me to build relationships with other believers. As a 17 year old, this was my first time out of the country by myself. I was very nervous at the beginning, especially since I am not the greatest at making new friends and getting along with people I do not know. Honestly, it was a big leap of faith to come on this trip and do something that I had never done before and had never really considered doing. But, I am proud to say that I am really glad that I actually came.
At the beginning of this trip, I always thought about what I wanted to do in the future. What my life would be like 5 or 10 years from now. I have learned something here though. That something is to live in the here and now. We should not wait for the future to happen. Yes, think about the future and what you will be doing, but dont let what you can do right now pass you by. Look around. Take in the sights. Love on the people. Take care of one another. Don’t focus on the things that are yet to come. God gave you this moment, right here, right now, for a very specific reason. Use it! Take advantage of every moment. Do what you can to impact the world you live in everyday. Love each other. Love on the people around you. Look for those in need and do not just feel pity on those people: Do something about it. You have no power over what other people do, but you have full control over what you do, and that is all you really need. We do not have to worry about the future because God already has it under control. Mark Batterson says in his book, Chase the Lion, “Whatever God is doing in us here and now, He’s doing for the third and fourth generation” also (195). What we do might not matter one hundred years from now, but some things might. That is why it is so important to live as and in the light of Jesus and to make that evident to the world around us.
Yes, you are going to mess up. You are going to make mistakes and have regrets, but the best way to learn is through personal experience. I have messed up literally dozens of times in the time that I have been here. But other people, trust me, other people mess up too. You never know what other people are going through. They have regrets too. Whether that is getting in a fight over the best way to cook a meal, or getting angry over someone dropping a block on your foot, those kinds of things are only temporary. Once something happens, it has already happened and now is the chance to react and show the love of God through your actions. Forget the problems of this world and look on to the new things. Genuinely forgive and forget (70×7) because the only one that holding a grudge truly affects is you. Living in a house with 11 other girls is kind of crazy sometimes. It can get pretty hectic sometimes, but it is also good to know that you have friends to support you and ask how you are doing or how they can help. At first, it was insane, but now, we are a family. I have learned that even if you do not exactly “click” with other people at first, that does not mean you can’t. Sometimes it just takes a little time.
That is only some of what I learned on this trip. Only a few pieces of the bigger picture. The main thing that I have finally learned to except on this trip is that we are all different. I have learned to be myself. Step out. Be bold, but be yourself. I have learned to quit apologizing for who I am because that is just the person God intended for me to be. You might not think you fit in, but maybe it’s better that you don’t. Afterall, if everyone was the same, the world would be really really boring. God has different plans for each and every person. We are all unique. We all have things about ourselves that we don’t like. Things that make us “not normal.” Coming to Guatemala is not normal! But the thing is, those are the parts of us that God loves the most. The parts that make us unique and special. The pieces that he made specifically for us as individuals. But, I have learned to dream bigger than myself. Because when I am at my weakest points, that is when God shows His greatest strengths in our lives. From this trip, that has been a really big take away for me personally.
“When you leave this place you don’t leave the presence of God. You take the presence of God with you wherever you go” – Mark Batterson.
2019 Para Servir Intern