Saturday, November 21, 2009

Have a little faith in me...(lalala)

Written August 30, 2009:

I’m back in Honduras. Yes, it’s true. Not entirely expected, but true. And it’s been quite the internal journey to get here and it’s probably not over…

Honestly, I assimilated back to the States extremely well these last few months and truly enjoyed the time I was able to spend with my family and friends. I’m really grateful for that time and it has helped give me a renewed sense of identity and gain perspective on where I come from and where I’m going. Yet despite feeling that way, I still found it extremely difficult to make the decision to come back to Honduras. I was caught in indecision and insecurity. I was job searching and got a great offer in the States, but for a job that my heart wasn’t really in. Sure, I would be able to make money, live the comfortable cosmopolitan life, and stay “on schedule” for grad school. But deep inside my heart and mind, I knew the chapter of my life living and working in Latin America wasn’t over. Sure, it may never feel “over” after however much time I would spend, but I don’t want to look back on my young adult life and regret not knowing whether I could have or regret not taking the risk—the leap of faith—for an experience that could be so incredible, certainly memorable, and shape me both personally and professionally.

In my process of making this decision, after I had chosen, it seemed like everything I depended on back in Honduras was vanishing before me. Perhaps the political uprising in Honduras set the tone, as everything I found myself depending on started slipping away. The security of working part-time with my previous organization in order to make some extra income was later denied/postponed. Friendships and relationships that were important in my life here were now either no longer here (moved back to the North American world) or were here but on ambiguous terms, and I was distancing myself even more by moving to Tegucigalpa. These things were significant factors in my decision to return and provided me with some security in my decision-making; however they are no longer things I can fully depend on. That said, I’ve come to choose to understand that even if it were these things that were used to form my decision, and even though they may no longer be my securities or my stability…that’s okay. They got me here, and now, I am here. So I’ll be here, living for the present, to pursue my vocation and contribute my abilities to the door that has been opened for me and that I have chosen to walk through.

One anecdote to end this entry recaps a moment I had on the plane ride here to Honduras this last weekend. As we were seated in the plane, and getting ready for take-off, a huge storm came out of nowhere minutes before we started down the runway. I mean lightning, thunder, typhoon-like rain and winds. Incredible, really. As it happened to be, I was seated next to 2 older Honduran men who looked to me and asked, “Are you scared? Are you nervous?” “Well, yes,” I said, “I certainly don’t want to be putting my life at risk.” The older man to my left replied, “No, don’t be afraid, you have to…” “Have faith?” I chimed in. “Yes, exactly, you have to have faith” he said back to me giving the most emphatic fist pump motion I’ve seen in years. I agreed returning the fist pump. Then we both fist pumped together...haha. He continued, reminding me that whatever storms have come or are to come that lead me to doubt or indecision, or that will threaten my ability to take off on the runway, I will be able to navigate through them in faith…for peace and serenity are to come.

Some quotes I’d like to share from my new journal entitled “Serenity”

“There’s a serene and quiet confidence in knowing that all things do not stand or fall according to one’s own achievements or the correctness of every decision one makes.” –Joseph Sittler

“No matter how long we are on this Earth, the more we have to realize that life finds us living every day with the unanswered and the unresolved. Faith helps us to live with the unanswered. Hope helps us to live the unresolved. Trust helps us to accept…and go on with the work of living.” –Mark Connolly

7 comments:

Parker said...

Good to hear from you, Jo. I've been praying for you.

"The LORD has His way
In the whirlwind and in the storm,
And the clouds are the dust of His feet."
-Nahum 1:3

timntoni said...

rieger@bright.netDear Johanna,
We're so proud of the courage you have to travel so far to fulfill your vocation. You are such a mover and a shaker! Stay out of traffic on those jogs-ha! We think of you often. Your Honduran pottery is in our foyer. Thanks!
God bless you girl.
Love,
Your Rieger cousins

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