About a week and a half ago now, I left Saraguro to head to Guamote for a medical brigade my whole team (or at least the majority of us) were participating in. After that I headed to Guayaquil for a few days and now I am in Cuenca with plans to head back to Saraguro tomorrow. While I truly enjoy living in the village I do, it has been so nice to experience something new, to be around new people, and for once to actually take a bit of vacation. I think a part of me forgot that the world of Ecuador included more than the two other people currently working with my part of our Ecuador team (plus those in our neighborhood) and I think that God knew I needed this moment of refreshing to get away with people from my own culture and just relax. It's been so nice.
It's also been a bit hard too...only in the sense that it's made me second guess some decisions I thought I had made up my mind about. This year has been hard. When I went home for Christmas, I didn't really feel like I got my fill of my friends and family....in fact in many ways I felt robbed of that time because I was more concerned about being a good hostess then really investing in being "home". Then when I returned back to Ecuador, to my small team in our small village, I immediately felt myself longing to be back with my amazing friends and family in the states. In a way, I think I left a part of my heart with them and I felt heartbroken.
Thankfully, I do actually enjoy the work we do...especially our children's ministry program in one of the local villages in our area... So it was pretty easy for me to jump back into ministry and push the homesickness away (at least a bit). But then, in March, my housemate left for Guayaquil in order to lead some other ministries for a couple of months, and the loneliness factor kicked into high gear. The truth of the matter is, While I am a bit of an introvert and I need some time alone, I really do enjoy being around people and doing things with them. Even though my housemate spends a lot of time in her room and doing things on her own, I really started to miss at least having that other body in the house with me. And while I do have two other teammates, they are married, which often leaves me feeling like the odd man out and not always completely understood.
Anyway, all of this and a rekindling of a dream God placed in my heart over 10 years ago, made it seem pretty obvious to me that what God called me to Ecuador for, was much different than what I thought and that at the end of my commitment, I should head back home...taking all I have learned from Him here....and step out into that dream. It will be hard, but I will have my friends and family around me supporting me, I will be in my own culture speaking my own language, and in many ways pieces of the "how do I actually do this God" puzzle seem to be coming together for this. I have even found myself getting more and more excited by it all and counting down the days until I would be launched into this new thing. Then I came to this medical brigade, and I saw God use me in ways I forgot He could. Plus I have gotten to spend quite a bit of time with my field leader and his wife and I've caught onto the vision they have for this Ecuador team ministry, and that excites me. How can I walk away from something like this, just as God is turning the ship to a new horizon?!?
So yeah, Now I am in a place of re-evaluation. I don't want to make the decision to go home based on loneliness and homesickness, but I certainly don't want to forget and give up on the vision/dream God has given me for when I return. I also don't want to make a decision to stay based on the emotional high I have gotten through the medical brigade and my vacation time with my field leaders. So I think what I am going to do is take a suggestion from my American Mom here (aka my field leaders wife) and put out a fleece for God. I need Him to be very clear, since no matter what decision I make, both will be hard (just in different ways). I am going to ask God to do something ridiculous...something a bit out of the ordinary....something that shows its only God who is speaking... And then I will go from there.
If there is anything in life that I am certain of in this moment, it is that God is in control and that my life is not my own. I want to live fully and completely for my God. I want everything I do, every decision I make, to be about Him and for Him. So it only makes sense that I wait on Him and trust Him with this decision. I don't like to go back on my word....I don't like to say one thing and then do another....but if God called me to it, I would change my mind on things and follow Him wherever He leads.....I just need to be clear of the direction. Pray with me to see it....I am trusting Him. amen