Monday, January 25, 2016

Weeks 16, 17, 18, 19: Where have I been?

It's hard to see your friends posting pictures and sharing with you what they’re doing in the DR while you’re not there. It’s hard living in one place, but having your heart be in another. It’s easy for me to think that I’ve missed too much in the DR for me to be able to go back, that people have already forgotten about me. It’s hard when you’re asking God why He wants you to miss out serving and learning in the place you seem to love the most.

Because of medical reasons, I’ve been in the States for the past month. Let me tell you how hard it is for an extrovert to be home-bound for three or so weeks! My biggest adventures included going to church (which I probably shouldn’t have done, medically-speaking) and to doctor’s appointments in Philly. It was definitely a hard time for me. Something my very wise roommate reminded me of, is that wherever I am, I should be all there. That became my theme for this month. Knowing that I could not do much, all I really could do was recover and just grow. Here are some things that I learned during this time.

1.      Spanish soap operas are super addictive: I know how easy it is to forget what you’ve learned, and because of that, I wanted to make sure to keep up on my Spanish. The longer I’m away from the language, the more I miss it. I tell my family that I have to have at least an hour and a half of Spanish TV a day as a part of my studiesJ. A huge praise is that I don’t need the subtitles anymore to know what the people are saying! In addition to that, I’ve also been messaging multiple Spanish friends and have been doing some homework online with one of my Spanish teachers to keep up.

2.      I’ve learned how to appreciate the little things in life: Because of medical reasons, I was prohibited from doing things like driving, bending over, and sitting. I did not realize how much we take sitting for granted! And who knew that such a thing as being able to tie your own shoes at eighteen years old could be a reason to celebrate? I definitely have gained a lot in that regard, and it’s just another reason to be grateful for all that I have.

3.      I have fantastic friends: The support I’ve gotten, whether it be online, Skype calls, surprise gifts, and visits have been overwhelming. The excitement I’ve seen from my friends, either wondering why I’m still in the States, or excited that I’m coming back to the DR has been fantastic as well. Everyone who has randomly checked up on me and asked how they can pray for me… thank you. You have no idea how much you mean to me.

4.      God can use you wherever you are: I always knew that intellectually, but not by heart. Through being at home, I’ve been able to do things and be there for people that I wouldn’t have originally been able to be there for. I’ve been able to pray for people without a time limit and restore some relationships.  Being able to help my family and get to know them better has been hard, yet fulfilling. Thank God for all that He has done in my life, and all that He lets me do for His kingdom!

Wherever you are, be all there. That’s definitely a new favorite phrase.

-        - I will be able to return to the Dominican this Monday, February 1st! Praise God!
-        -  I just finished my Bible reading challenge. I challenged myself to read the Bible all the way through by the end of the GAP year. I started September 9th and finished January 20th. I had a couple of weeks where I was struggling, so I am thankful to God that He gave me the strength to endure! I definitely learned a lot!
-          -I can now drive, sit, bend, and exercise!

Prayer Requests:
-          -Please pray for safety for me as I fly out to the DR on Monday and that I won’t miss my layover!
-        -  Pray for my transition back to the DR. During my recovery, things like filing papers for an hour or so got me exhausted for the rest of the day. Now I’ll have to get used to 6 hours of classes a day, ministry time, and being on the go both mentally and physically. I’ll definitely need to rely on Him for strength, so prayers would be much appreciated.

-        - Please pray for the rest of the GAP family and all of their individual journeys!