Thursday, August 27, 2009

Restless as the Wind, Routine as the Ocean

A year ago, I sat in this very same spot. A year ago, my room was in this same state of chaos. A year ago, my belly was filled with a nervous fear of beginning my first year of college. This year, I have new fears. This year, the confusion of clothing and necessities are trying to compact themselves into one large suitcase. Yes, it does seem strange that I would be trying to fit all of my clothing for three months in one suitcase. You see, instead of returning to a regular first semester of a sophomore student at Bethel College, I am packing my bags and heading to the Republicana Domincana. I am doing a semester abroad.

First of all, let’s go in depth to my fears. Last year, I was experiencing the normal anxieties of a first year college student. This year, I am experiencing the same stresses that first time travelers experience. Of course, this is not my first time to travel out of the country. This is, in fact, my sixth time to travel out of the country. Yet, it is the first time that I go as an adult. It is the first time that I live in this other country for more than two weeks. It is the first time that I will have to depend on my ability to communicate in another language. Are you seeing reasons for possible fears? Good, I am.

The summer has flown by in a whirring of insect wings and the hum of air conditioners. Throughout the summer, I have done the normal things of seeing friends, working a job, and taking a summer course at the community college. It has been a restful time. I would describe this time at home as a summer nap where the sunshine warms your skin but does not fry it.

Although the surface of summer has been calm, I have had a time of learning currents underneath that ocean calm. Steadily, God has drawn me closer to himself using many different circumstances in my life. There were times this summer where I bemoaned the fact that I had been caught in the monotony of life and the stagnancy of staying still. This was never the case. The spiritual growth that occurred throughout the summer has been like the growth of a flower. Gradual. It has been so gradual that a person might see the growth right before them but not really see it at all until the rose blooms.

In two days, I leave for Bethel College. I will be there for about a week. Then soon after in September, I and my team will be boarding an airplane that will eventually carry us to the Island of the Dominican Republic. I am not sure how often I will send my chronicles out nor am I certain on how much internet connection I will have. Yet, I do know that I will desperately need your prayer. I also know that I will try to send out a chronicle once a month at least.