Almost one year ago I put my life on pause to come to Colombia. After going straight from college to seminary I decided I needed to step away from everything. I needed time to figure out who I was and what God was calling me to do. I came here with a million questions and, despite answering a few, I’m leaving with a million more. This past year was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, but I wouldn’t change any part of it. Although no part of it went how I imagined it (as much as I tried to avoid having expectations before I arrived), it was exactly what I needed. I’ve learned more about God, the church, Colombia, the US, and myself than I ever hoped to. Part of me feels guilty for thinking so much about what I’m taking away, because I know that I’ve gained far more than I was able to offer to the people I met. But it’s as they told us at orientation, all those months ago. No one here ever needed me, but they were happy to share with me their knowledge, wisdom, experiences, and more, and accept what little I had to offer in return.
As I think about going home in a week, I have to admit I’m a bit scared. I put my life on pause. Leaving the US in the summer, spending a year in a place where it never gets cold, and returning once again in the summer, it almost feels like time has stood still. I stepped out of my life, and found an entirely new one here. New friends, new job, new church, new home, new experiences, new adventures. But time didn’t stop. Life has continued both for my family in Michigan, and my friends in Kentucky. Home is not the same. The United States is not the same. Moreover I’m not the same. And somehow I have to figure out how I fit into that and move forward from here.
One more week, and then it’s time to press play.