God willing and if the creek don't rise, tomorrow morning I will leave Ecuador.
By the time I get home it will have been 116 days. Not a lifetime by any means, but definitely a season of life. A season with ups and downs, mountains and valleys. A season that refuses to be nicely packaged.
So how do you sum up such an experience? Can it be told in a hour over coffee or through a picture album on facebook? Surely a blog fails to do it justice. No, such a season of life is retold over the years. It is shared through the stories that burn to be told at the most random of times, the "this smell reminds me of..." moments that transport one to a forgotten place, and the shared struggle not to forget the people you came to love.
As a result, when someone asks me how was my time in Ecuador, I am prepared to answer Really good. This answer does not connote that I am forgetting the loneliness, frustrations, parasites, struggles, or hard times that arose during these 116 days. Really good communicates that I am defining this semester based on the singularly most important and influential factor of the last several months (and of entire my life): God's goodness.
How incredibly have I been blessed? In our culture, words were given meanings originally transcendent of the normal daily experiences, but these words have become watered down (eg. A sandwich is awesome. The new iPhone incredible and amazing.). As a result, my words fail to accurately describe how good God has been to me. He brought me to college. He enabled me to come down here to finish up, and then He carried me through the experience. Every accomplishment, every shred of grace in my life is just that, undeserved favor. I've got nothing, and I am not strong or good enough to produce something to change that reality. Just recognizing all this makes my time down here Really good. Were there disappointments during the last 113 days here? Honestly, yes, there were many. But that's okay. That's life. The storm blows over my lawn furniture and some tiles off the roof. A tree comes through a window, and it all might like a disaster, but my foundation is secure. Whether I rest in that fact or I allow the damages and the places to rebuild consume my days, my foundation is secure. Jesus is stronger than the storm, and He puts my feet on solid ground and holds me up.
I cannot afford to forget this reality, because tomorrow I leave this tempest in order to jump into the rest of my life (which I endearingly refer to as a huge chasm, the void replete of details). I have no clue what the future holds. I don't know what I'll be doing. I don't even really know what I want to be doing, and its okay. Chapters end, and new ones begin. And let's be honest, if we always knew or had a plan for the next chapter, there'd be less motivation to be excited for the author's creativity.
In conclusion of this blog post, I would like to thank anyone who has cared enough to read some or even all of these updates over the last couple of months. I think I know who most of you are, and I can honestly say that you warm my heart. There's no way I deserve to have such good friends and family.