Tag: journeys

Home Again

And so, after about five and one half months, I have returned home to the United States. This is going to be the last post in my “Journal From Honduras” series, even though it isn’t being written there. It feels strange to be back… good, but strange. I’m still working through my thoughts and feelings, and it may be awhile before I’m through with that, but as I doubt I’ll want to share all those things on a public blog, I shall go ahead and make this last post now.

 

….but it’s difficult to know what to say. How does one just sum up such an experience? I’m very glad that I went. There were certainly disappointments–one of them being that I didn’t get to do as much mission work as I had hoped. But on the other hand, some of the disappointments I learned from, and others worked out for good–if I had done as much mission work as I’d hoped to do, it’s doubtful that I would’ve had the time to think and pray that I so very much needed. So all in all, the trip was very good; I feel like a new person now. I’ve learned a lot of things about myself and about life, have found some much needed healing, have grown closer to God and gone much farther in my spiritual life. I’m not the same person that I was before I left. I still have a long way to go, but here I am, and life is open before me.

 

Some highlights: traveling about with my friend Rick to Copán, Utila, Costa Rica, and seeing all those beautiful places and going on those adventures; bringing food to the scavengers in the city dump; all the times I saw the ocean and heard the waves and smelled the salt; enjoying new foods I’d never tasted; getting to talk about Jesus and the Bible in a school. But the most enduring aspect of this trip, or at least, what seems so at this point in time, I think will be the way God spoke to me while I was there. It was a time that He used to minister to me far more than He used me to minister to others, which is not really in line with the way I would have planned it, but has proven to be precisely what I needed at this point in my life. I am so much more at peace than I was before I left. I feel stronger, calmer, more centered, and ready–because this was, I believe, a time of making ready. I don’t know what will happen next, but I am eager to see what awaits me.

 

And I would like to say thank you, very much, to everyone who prayed for me, provided for me, and talked to me while I went off on this adventure. I couldn’t have done it without your help. And an extra thanks to my lovely aunt and uncle, who so kindly gave me a place to stay and food to eat all the time I was there. I couldn’t have done it without them, either!

 

I feel like this is barely adequate to cover the experience. But ah well; these things are hard to describe. I hope that your lives may be joyful, dear friends. Be courageous. Take up adventures wherever they find you.

~ Jared

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Goodbyes

Well, it has come to that time in my life: it is now time for me to move out of my parents’ house and move away, to start a new life on my own. I’m moving to a place nine hours, by car, from where I live now. So while I’ll definitely come back to visit every now and then, I’ll be too far away to be much involved in this place anymore. It is strange and exciting to finally be moving on and stepping out on my own, and I’m very happy that it’s finally working for me to do this… but of course, it’s also sad to say goodbye.

 

I’ve never liked goodbyes. Well, I imagine most people aren’t terribly fond of them, but I’ve always had a pretty hard time saying goodbye. I don’t like to say it. It seems too final. I like to say “see you later.” And yet, sometimes, one must say goodbye. It brings closure for you and others, shows respect and love. Because why would you bother saying goodbye to someone you didn’t like? Unfortunately, I did not manage to say goodbye to everyone I wanted to here, most especially my karate teacher. I am sorry for anyone I missed.

 

Anyway, I’ve had to say several goodbyes over the last week or so. To friends, to places… to my home and life here. I always feel depressed after saying goodbye. But it strikes me that every goodbye is also a new beginning. Every time you bid farewell to something, you also open the way for something new. I’m leaving behind people and places that I love and like, and a life that has been at times quite lonely and depressing, even hopeless, but has nevertheless had many joys. I discovered my passion for writing here. Fell in love for real for the first time. Earned my black belts. Discovered my abiding love for mountains and forests. Become what I consider to be a true artist. A life gets attached to the place it’s been lived in. It’s like you’re leaving bits of your spirit behind, little ghosts of the things you do and the emotions you feel, all over the places you live. Even more, you leave bits of your heart with the people you care about.

 

Now, all that can be–is–very hard to leave behind. Sometimes you’re leaving it behind against your will. Other times, like now, for me, it’s by your own choice. But as hard as all that can be to leave… in a new place, you won’t have all those little bits of spirit tying you down. You’re free to make a new life, new choices. There’s no knowing what might happen in a new place. Adventure lies behind every corner, if you have the heart to see it. Goodbyes are not endings. They are places on the road where you must leave something behind before you can continue your journey. Someday you might pick that something back up, but the journey isn’t about recovering what you leave behind… it’s not about taking everything with you… it’s about going on, finding new things, adventuring, loving, losing, breaking, healing, searching. So don’t look back. Who can say what mysterious and delightful twists the road will take?

 

~ Jared