In a post I swear I shared yesterday, I wrote about my decision to follow the call to Guatemala with a group of thirty-nine other kids (kids is a relative term, after all). And now, we are home.
I’ve spent the past several days attempting to process and figure out how to communicate what happened in Guatemala. I’m also trying to process the 700 photos I took. That’s the fun part, though, because I get to re-live the daily events every time I look at
Caleb’s photo-bombing face them.
I wondered at first if I was dealing with something akin to reverse culture shock. I mean, I’ve definitely seen poverty like I did throughout our travels in Guatemala. It forced me to question some of my own values here in the States, but I also anticipated that level of poverty and didn’t set expectations for myself going in about how I would respond upon my return. I just allowed it to surround me and I, quite honestly, saw it as a beautiful reality. Just as in my experience in Jamaica as a teen, the people we encountered in Guatemala were so grateful for whatever they did have, but most notably the time we spent just getting to know their story.
No, what I’ve been feeling is a different type of culture shock because of how we experienced the Holy Spirit in action last week. I know that some of my readers just cringed reading that. I guess that’s why I’ve been working so hard to process it all.
I am not a zealot. I don’t push my faith on people and I typically avoid debates on Christianity and how evil ‘we all are.’ I try to roll with the punches when I’m teased about the reason why a group of 40 people would jump ship to visit an impoverished country to tell people how much God loves them and yet, He’s allowed them to be dirt poor and in need of running water and clean food.
I was sharing with a friend last night that I can’t wrap my head around some of the things that transpired last week. I mean, some of what we experienced actually does make me sound a little crazy. But, like she said, those who have experienced the same will be able to totally relate (and appreciate those moments) and maybe some of those who haven’t, might want to dig deeper so they could experience the same. Actually, that would be amazing, wouldn’t it? Because seriously, what I felt last week was not like anything I have but one other time in my life (for one short hour) when it comes to feeling completely connected with Him.
While I’m transitioning back into the reality that is home, it is my hope that I can be just a little reflection of God’s light and love in this sometimes overwhelmingly dark world. That, in my opinion, is the stuff that’s going to save others; to allow the broken to be restored; those with questions to find answers; and still those with chains, to be freed. It’s really quite simple, yet so difficult for us all to really understand until we’ve had the opportunity to experience it ourselves. A good friend just sent me a message last night about her girls accepting Christ. The idea of child-like faith is something I try to remind myself of often.
There is so little asked of us, really. It’s about belief and hope and feeling outrageously loved. And that freedom when you do? It’s indescribable. And it’s something you want to be able to share. I guess I’m just cautious about it because I want others to be clear that it’s from a place of absolute authenticity so that when people start to assume that I’m crazy, it’s from the good side of crazy and not like the ‘she-should-be-committed’ crazy. We had a saying when we came back from Jamaica … ‘we are not whacko, we are sheep people.’ Get it?
Now I wish I had a photo to share so I could make my rambling all a little less awkward. And a hug. I would share a hug, too.