Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Late Beginning of a Quickly Approaching End

I maintain that there's a difference between being bad at blogging and being bad at having time to blog. I suffer severely from the second. And I suppose the first is debatable.

Alas, I have given many of you the link to my blog and I cringe to think that you checked it out only to find posts from last year. I was hoping to bury them in daily updates from Ecuador.... but again, in case you missed the memo, I'm bad at having time sit down and write something that I'm okay to share with the world. Well, let's blame 30% on my perfectionist tendencies ("If I can't blog every night and/or say exactly what I want to say... why even try, right?!") and 50% on my lack of time and the last 20% on the fact that I work at my computer all day, so the very last thing I want to do when I get home is turn my computer back on and type some more.

And yet, as my semester here is quickly coming to an end, I'd really like to be able to express some of what has gone on here. For a number of both work-related and personal reasons, these past couple of months have been some of the hardest that I've experienced in my life. Even if that weren't the case, I am aware that it is always difficult to transition back into student life with friends and family that don't fully understand the things I experienced living here and they ways they have changed me.

And so I hope to be able to provide some insight into my "Ecuador life". I fear I cannot do it full justice, but I think it will be worthwhile to make an effort to offer a glimpse of the places and people that take up so much space in my heart. I want to share about the community I have here, my work, the kids at the orphanage, my struggles and my [small] victories, my fears, the heartache and the joy of being here, and especially the way that Jesus has been so present in the midst of it all.

Know that it's taking everything in me to share this.

I used to be pretty bad at really sharing about my experiences here, because sometimes it gets messy when worlds collide. But the truth was, if I wanted to maintain even a small amount of consistency and coherence in my life, then things were going to need to get messy. God's been teaching me a lot about the beauty and power of authenticity, so I decided to take the chance, (to inevitably make mistakes), and to get messy. I spent a lot of time in the fall trying to include my community in the ways that God was working to bring me back to Ecuador. At first it was kind of painful and it required a frustrating amount of intentionality, but the end result was worth it: I had a good experience in having people "send me" and God used my vulnerability to spark a lot of cool conversations that are still bearing fruit.

Having experienced the rewards of authenticity and intentional inclusion, my hope is that these stories will:
(1) give you some understanding of the way that my heart has been both broken and restored here,
(2) help you ask the right questions when you want to hear about "my trip" (P.S. It's really not a trip. I live here. Out of a closet, not a suitcase. This is just as much home as some places in Canada now.),
(3) remind you to be gracious in the difficulties of transitioning back into life in Canada,
(4) help me process and clarify some of my experiences as I write about them
(5) give you insight into the way that I have experienced the person of Jesus, the heart of the Father and the way he is bringing his Kingdom here and making all things new, so you can experience it for yourself

I will be honest in this space, but will also use discretion. For a variety of reasons, some stories are better served with tea than over the Internet. Ask me to tell you these stories when we have tea.

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