It has been an extremely full and absolutely wonderful 3 weeks since I last updated this account of my crazy life.
My absence is due to a schizophrenic computer and the fact Indonesia is apparently not a world leader in Mac repairing abilities. Such is life, though, and I’m doing my best to win the battle.*
I’m on my way back to Indonesia – on an unplanned route through the lovely land of Minnesota** – after a perfect three and a half days days at home to celebrate the marriage of my best friend and the incredible mother that I have been blessed with. If only I could regularly come home for the weekend! 🙂
I was simply overwhelmed this weekend by the amount of incredible people that I have in my life. It was so encouraging to be home and to see so many that have influenced me and shaped me into the better part of who I am today. A huge thank you to all of you!
There’s only one month left in this school year, and I am left to wonder where in the world the time has gone. It has definitely been a year of adventure, learning, and growth. I can’t wait to tell you everything that my students have been accomplishing recently and about the beauty of the ways I’ve seen them change this year, but this weekend I’ve realized just how much I’ve learned, too.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it really is ironic that I’ve learned more by teaching than by much else in my life.
Being back in my comfort zone, existing surrounded by my culture, language, and things familiar to me, contrasted so clearly with my life over the last 10 months. I landed at O’hare airport exactly 305 days after I left from Chicago last July, striding under the tunnel’s multi-colored lights with the same anticipatory excitement as I had when I first left for Indonesia.
I’ve always been ecstatic about the new, and for the first time in my life I was thrilled to be going back to the familiar.
This year has been an incredible adventure, which is exactly what I had hoped for. I’ve taught wonderful students, gone on to-die-for vacations, and been able to feed my insatiable need for adrenaline. I would be lying, though, if I pretended like every moment was perfect, a dream come true.
Don’t get me wrong – this year has been the trip of a lifetime, and I am absolutely sure that this is where I am supposed to be right now. That said, I have the tendency to gush about the “good”, and fail to recognize the hard things.
And the hard things can be just as good.
I have been pushed past what I thought was the end of my rope this year. In the past, I’ve considered myself to be a generally nice, happy, easy-going person. I realized this year that those things are (sometimes partially) true… when life is easy and I have nothing to complain about.
It’s hard to live in a place that has nothing familiar, nothing comfortable. It’s hard to be away from the people that I habitually run to when I need advice or a shoulder to cry on. It’s uncovered an uglier side of me, which is a whole new frustration. I’ve been forced to process that, though – to work through who I really am on that raw level. And that’s hard.
And that’s good.
It’s been a good reminder of my own weakness, of my need for Christ. A favorite verse of mine this semester has been John 3:30:
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.“
As I have seen my true self uncovered, I have realized the truth of this verse. It is so important that God become greater in me, and that I become less. I want it to be His love, His goodness, His wisdom that people see and hear when the look at me, but I am completely incapable of that on my own.
I’m a bit scared, but mostly excited, to see how this lesson works itself out throughout my second year in Indonesia and to discover what other lessons God has in store for me! Thank you so much to all of you that have kept me in prayer and been such an incredible blessing to me during this year abroad and during my weekend in Cleveland!
*I am currently losing. However, I am a strong believer in come-from-behind victories.
**Who would’ve known it is so difficult to get out of mainland America!?