Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The end.....

Hola!  So wow.  I can not believe that this journey is coming to a close.  And to be honest, I have no idea where in the world my thoughts are.  So I am just gonna start throwing them out there.  Good luck.  Haha

Oh wait!  I forgot to tell you all….i don’t have a song of the post this time.  My emotions are all too over the place to figure out which one it should be……sorry! 

Ok, so I just found out today that 3 of my very close friends are probably going to be leaving the country this year, 2 through REACH.  And my mind is kind of going crazy.  First of all, I am already praying for you guys… know who you are.  I know that REACH is a great program.  I believe in it.  This has stretched and grown me so much.  I have learned things that I would have never learned without REACH.  And my eyes have been opened to so many things.  Its been incredible, and at the same time the most difficult thing of my life.  Honestly, it is NOT easy.  But I know that if they do this, they will be going through the same things.  And I am so excited for them!  Also, the thought that at least someone I know might be coming back to Chile is so exciting for me.  I would love it!  So cool.  And it would be especially cool to be able to keep up with the family here through that person…you know?  But on the other side of my excitement, I am selfishly saddened that they would be leaving my life for another year almost.  Just a long gap of not being with friends.  But then, I am filled with excitement again because I know that God is bigger than distance gaps and will continue to be faithful in all of our lives.  Basically, my conclusion is that until I know for sure that these people are leaving for something like this, I don’t know what to think and am just going to pray.  So yeah.  One thing on my mind that probably just got very confusing for you all.  My apologies. 

Also, HOW THE HECK AM I GOING TO LEAVE THESE PEOPLE?!?  Thought number 2.  I just really don’t know.  A few weeks ago, I really didn’t think it was going to be too difficult.  Like, I knew I would miss them, but I really didn’t think it would be too hard.  But now, I am going crazy at the thought.  I am SO STOKED to go home.  I really am…..more on that later.  But, for real.  It is gonna be so hard.  And like, I know that more teams are going to come to Chile through E and his family.  And this is so exciting, but I mean already it is hard not for me to be protective and jealous.  You know?  Like, they are my family, and I don’t want them forgetting about me when I know that I definitely wont be forgetting about them.  But it is bound to happen.  So yeah.  I am sad that I might not ever see them again and be forgotten when there is no way I could ever forget them.  And, I mean.  I wanna see them again!   They are so…..I don’t even know.  It is just going to be so hard to say goodbye and not be able to communicate with them very well.  I love so many people here, especially the family.   And Nacho is literally like my little brother.  I am going to miss him the most, I have to admit.  I just don’t want to lose touch with them.   This thought also makes me want to take all the Spanish classes I can to remember all that I have learned and learn more. 

Geez la weez.  This is so confusing.  I am sorry guys.  But my brain is just too full and these things are just spilling out of my heart.

Speaking of Spanish classes, I have made a decision concerning my future plans.  As some of you know, I was asked to be on the REACH staff team for 2013.  This was a very difficult decision for me to make.  First of all, I know I would learn SO much and grow a lot more if I did staff.  And, after I found out some of the other people that got asked to do staff as well, it was an even harder decision to make.  My mind and heart were back and forth on the issue several times.  It has been between doing staff and attending OSU for some time now.  At first, I really did not want to do staff for very selfish reasons.  But as I prayed and had some time to think everything through, I realized how great of an opportunity it would be for me.  But at the same time, OSU was a great option.  And there is a pretty big opportunity for me to serve at my church and really get involved this next year.  And through all of this, I just really didn’t know what God wanted me to do.  I was praying and praying, but I didn’t really feel His call on me either way.  They are both REALLY great options.  So yeah.  I was going crazy for a few days, trying to figure out what He was telling me.  I finally came to the conclusion that maybe He was just letting me choose.  You know?  I don’t know if this is necessarily the right thing or conclusion.  But, if I am going into either decision with the intent to glorify God and learn and grow more, I feel like He would honor that too, you know?  (I say that a lot, don’t I?....heehee)   Also, during my time of decision making, in the span of 2 weeks, I saw 4 random strangers wearing OSU apparel.  Since being here, we haven’t seen like ANY stuff like that here, much less OSU.  I just took that as another sign :]  it was pretty crazy tho.  So I ended up saying no to staff, and I am officially going to OSU next year, living at home, and getting involved in the ministry with my church.  I am very excited about this, but it was a very hard decision, especially when finding out who else had been asked to be on staff.  All in all, I think this was a good choice for me. 

Back to more feelings.  So, this week has made it especially difficult for me to leave.  Things are just going so well, and I feel like I have gotten even closer with some people here in the past week or so.  I just don’t know how I am going to leave.  On Sunday, they threw us a going away party outing thing that was SO fun.  And it was just……hard.  I seriously almost cried at one part.  And I am not a cryer!  Then tonight, we made an American meal for our family and Anita and Roberto’s family.  They are definitely the people we are the closest to.  And it was so fun.  How can we leave?  I mean, I want to come home, but at the same time, I don’t want to leave these people.  It makes me sad.  But, I do have plans….ideas really…..of coming back and visiting pretty soon.  So that makes leaving a little easier, knowing I will hopefully see them again, if God allows.  Still.  Just very hard. 

I am so stoked to come home tho!  I cant believe I have lived in Chile this long!!  6 months!  I mean, I missed 9 months of normal life.  This is CRAZY!  I am SO EXCITED to see my family!!  May 25th is going to be the most emotional day of my life.  lol being so happy to see my family, and at the same time being so sad to leave my team and other friends at the RIC for an undetermined amount of time.  GAH.  Gonna be so crazy, so if you guys could keep us all in your prayers, that would be GREAT! 

I feel like…..going back to the States is going to be pretty hard.  Like, readjusting.  My eyes have been opened to a lot of things here.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  The culture shock coming here was not too terrible.  Their way of life is not much different than ours.  But, at the same time, it is.  One of our best friends here, Anita, said something, and it really hit me hard.  She said something to the affect of, “I have known North Americans before, and even missionaries.  And they never really spent time with us.  I always thought they were busy people with a lot of money.”  That is what people see us North Americans as!  Busy people with money.  WHY!?  We are such a selfish nation!  We have SO MUCH and how much do we give?  How many purchases do we make that only profit ourselves?  Its ridiculous!  I don’t want to go back to my old way of living.  I want to make a change in this area of my life especially.  Things have changed in me.  I want to keep those good changes.  Its gonna be hard, but I am gonna fight to keep them.  And I want to keep them with the right attitude.  I want to make a difference. 

On Sunday, we each got an envelope and were told not to open it yet.  I guess we were supposed to wait to open them until we were on the plane, but I didn’t know that and some of us opened them early.  Anywho.  Inside was a little notebook full of notes from some of our best friends here.  It was awesome!  So sweet.  Really, I am probably going to cry on the plane rereading them.  Anywho.  Something from one of the notes really stuck out to me.  Robert told me to, “Rompe la forma cultura de los Americanos.”  Wow.  That means, “Break the cultural form of Americans.”  LETS DO IT.

My head is pretty much swimming with lots of jumbled thoughts right now.  Our home has turned into just another house as all of our pictures and memories are being packed, clothes are being left here and burned, and everything is being returned to the kind owners that lent them to us.  Time is dwindling.  Last minute visits are taking place, and final pranks are taking effect.  I cant believe that THIS WEEKEND I will be attending RBC grad and hanging out with all my friends from all over the world.  I am stoked and depressed all in one.  And I just don’t think that you can understand me fully unless you have been through a similar experience.  Saying goodbye to people that have impacted you so much and that you might not be able to see again is SUCKY.  Let’s just put it at that.  And to make it worse, I cant speak good enough Spanish to fully express to them how much their friendship has meant to me.  Its just hard.  So, in closing, I would just really appreciate prayers for our team here.  Pray that our relationships with these people could continue.  Pray for the people themselves here, that they could continue to find their strength in the Lord and that the church here would GROW.  And pray for the other teams that are leaving as well.  Transitioning is gonna be hard, and I am a little nervous to see how “normal” life looks again. 

So, as I wrap up this FINAL post from Chile, feeling overwhelmed and….just confused…., I want to tell you all how much you have meant to me.  Seriously.  Thank you all SO MUCH for all of your support and love.  I have been spoiled so much by you all.  I love you all SO SO MUCH.  THANK YOU!  You guys are truly the best.  I have learned so much about true friendship from you guys.  Thanks for the encouragement, emails, pictures, letters, packages, and videos.  Trust me, its not normal what you guys have done for me.  You have gone above and beyond.  I am so blessed.  And I pray that I can be half as big of a blessing to you all as you have been to me.  May God bless you all and keep you safe.  Cant wait to see you all VERY soon and catch up and swap stories.  Praying for you guys.  Keep looking up and seeking more of Him DAILY.  He is the only thing that matters.  SEEK HIM! 

Love you all so much.  I really do.  Be blessed.  

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