I am realizing lately how quickly God changes our plans. Two months ago, I was geared up and ready to head to El Paso right after graduation to start teaching English or do something crazy. I emailed a couple teachers, a couple orphanages, and none got back to me. I emailed some missionaries. Never got back to me. I started to get frustrated, but then I was like, "I'll just go and see what happens." Most of you who know me know that Mexico holds a large part of my heart. And I know that it will until my life ends and I get to walk into heaven and see all of my precious Mexican/El Paso-an friends, the people who became my family over the course of my short three months there.
But you see, God has captured my heart for something totally new, and that is my high school students. I was afraid of student teaching before I started. I have heard nightmarish stories from friends who student taught and hated it. But I am LOVING it. I love my teacher, I love the school, and I love those kids.
See, even though I thought my eyes were opened in Mexico (which in a sense, they were) I was totally blind to something else. I was blind to the fact that students in a high-income, "well-off" district need Jesus too. They need love. They need someone to talk to. And as they have started to open up to me, my heart is being filled to the brim. I can't even begin to explain the pain that goes on in a regular day for some of these kids. I believe this is my mission right now. I never thought my "dream" would change.
Honestly, part of me feels guilty. I see images in my mind of those beautiful children in Juarez in the slums, of Carmen and her husband asking me not to forget them, of the old man asking me when his house was coming, and I want to go back. I miss blisters and dirt and sweat. But for some reason, staying in Kansas (as much as I was against it before) feels right, at least for now. And I know I'll never forget. And I know I will forever be part of Casas teams, at least until I am physically unable to build. Right now I want so badly to instill in my high school kids a love for the broken and the unloved and the forgotten.
Another curveball that God has thrown in my life is that I went from being the person who said, "Single fo' life" to being back in a relationship with the best guy I know. We kinda started dating way back at the beginning of my senior year of high school, dated for like three years, and then went different ways for two years. I couldn't be more excited about us being back together. It's so right. We are best friends. We laugh about stupid things like the hatred of TempurPedic beds and how I about broke a hip the first time I took a running leap into my parents new TP bed.
I think I knew I was meant to be with him when we went to Lawrence together back in October for Heather and Shawn's engagement party. See, I was trying to make cake balls. And while the cake balls themselves turned out okay, the chocolate for dipping definitely did not. I wanted to cry because I spent a lot of time on the cake part. And then Andrew came in and started making me crack up about these stupid cake balls by plopping a glob of accidentally-caramelized white chocolate on top of each one. (They actually tasted pretty good!) I figure as long as he can make me laugh about my bad cooking, then we'll be okay. Ha.
When I look back on our two years apart, I am amazed at the things God has done in both of our lives. We've both grown, matured, and learned so much. I think even though it sucked, we needed this time apart. I am so proud of the man Andrew has become. I wouldn't want to serve God alongside anyone else. (He's going to read this - maybe? - and be like, "What the heck? Why are you writing about me?")
Anyways, life's crazy. God is good. Bottom line.
*I have interviews at four high schools in the Wichita area next week. Prayer would definitely be appreciated! I'd love to have a job right off the bat!*
And then with the cheesiness - this picture made me laugh.