The above is one of the favorite sayings of this beautiful young lady...along with "Get outta here and never come back!" followed by a loud laugh. This lady is always there for a smile which is great when life in Nica gets a little rough. Last week was one of those weeks for me...along with this week. Just part of the process I guess. Settling into life here...the business of hosting teams that come and tending to the women and girls who live here on a daily basis. The work is not for the fait of heart. It's amazing to me how tired I can feel at the end of a day that all I did is hang out with 24 girls. One of the girls called me grandmother the other day...mainly due to my age as in comparison to the other interns...but I think it was partly because I was super tired.
These past couple of weeks have been busy on so many levels. Teams from all four corners of the States were here at any given day...girls needing to get off to school...jewelry production in full swing on Tuesdays...the list goes on.
We welcomed a few more residents into the program at HOH which is super exciting! We currently now have 12 women living in the residential program with their children and 24 girls living in the dorm. Now..just like in the States..if you have 12 women coming from rough backgrounds living together(ish) there will be drama. I wish I could report that it is different in Nica..but people are people..and we are all broken. It makes it a little entertaining though..for the women at least..for me to step in and try to "help" sort through the problem. Which I guess humor is better than fighting.
These past two weeks have also been hard for me personally. I wish I had a solid clear cut answer for you as to why..but I don't sadly. Believe me I would like to know why I am feeling the way I am. After all of my thinking and sorting it through with God my only conclusion is spiritual. With that said I'm not going to go off of the deep end guys so don't get all up in arms.
I just feel weary spiritually.
It's a weariness that sleep or a good nap or even a bubble bath can't take away. (Although sleep and a bubble bath sure do sound amazing right about now.)
It's the kind of weariness where you don't feel like yourself and you don't want to do the things that you love. You just want to hide and disappear for a little while. I've def felt this way many times before and have just given into the desires of hiding...or more recently..I've fought through those feelings. Pushed through until it lifted. Pushing through for me in the States looked like getting in the Word...not ditching on coffee dates to talk about Jesus...not skipping on CRASH...etc.
But what does it look like to push through in Nica?
I wasn't sure until this past week when I had to figure that out.
It looks a lot like pushing through in the states...but without my people. It looks like getting up at 4:30am with the girls and engaging with them...not just saying "I'm tired". It looks like sharing my heart with the other interns who I don't fully know just yet. It looks like getting in the Word and sticking there until I feel God shift my heart. It looks like doing the stuff I don't want to do until God moves and changes my heart and my thinking to WANT to do them. The reality of it is that I do want to do the things I know God is wanting me to move towards but it's like there is this wall that is stopping me. Spiritual battle. I can feel it deeply that it's just an inner battle that will just change and shift through the days and months here in Nica and the years to come wherever I am.
These past two weeks have been hard but have also been a huge learning curve of God's protection and how he has called each and every one of his children to protect their personal relationship with Himself. In my small group at Blueridge one of the core values is "protect God's character". This has been my mantra for the past two weeks. To protect in my mind who God really is. To focus on what is TRUTH and not the falseness that is everywhere. To protect how we...the other interns...talk about God and how we help each other protect our relationships with God.
It's looked a lot different over these couple of weeks but has brought tears to my eyes or brought me to my knees as I can feel the importance of God's protection over us, his children, or us protecting or guarding God's spot in our lives. Seeing our...my...relationship with God as ultimate and supremely important. Not just in the "I'll read my Bible and pray everyday" kind of way...but I will be soft and ready to move towards God at each moment of the day...no matter what the outside circumstances may be.
I know...trust me...easier said than done.
But..He is worth it. I say this all the time..those closest to me will vouch for me..God is so very worth our sacrifice...the giving of ourselves so He can be glorified. It's a dying to myself on a whole new level. I was listening to a podcast the other night and the pastor said "if you have surrendered your life to Christ your life is no longer your life." This is SO true for me right now. Thinking back to a few months ago when I felt so strongly that I needed to come to Nica not really knowing why but knowing it was a must...my life is not my own. I am here...and living here...and loving it here because of God. So that HE can be glorified...and so that much can be made about him.
My prayer has been "God teach me...show me...where and how I can die to myself more. Shine your light on places I've tried to keep dark and keep for myself. Open me up and move into where I don't belong."
Here's to dying to myself more each day.
P.S. I am super excited for the Blueridge teams that are coming in tonight and over the next weeks. I have been praying for you all! That God would move in your hearts. That you would be moved closer in a HUGE way in your relationship with Him!