For the last few weeks I've really been struggling with what to do with my Christmas break. It has become a much more difficult decision since I have about a week and a half instead of a month. For the last two years, I've spent the week after Christmas working in Juarez. And even though I've been asked by several people if I'm going back this year, I just don't think I can.
It is very strange for me to think that God would call me to stay home...because I've been in Mexico at least once a year since 2007...and it hasn't happened yet this year. I've noticed this trend with most of my friends, especially interns, who have some sort of transition in life and they hardly ever get to go back and build.
You see, I thought my purpose was to move back to Mexico and teach English and build when I could. But God has obviously had different plans and he has blessed those so much. Since the last time I was in Juarez (last December), I have gotten back together with an amazing guy, got engaged, got married, spent time with my new, awesome best friend/husband, and started my first year of teaching. And it has been amazing, but exhausting.
I am realizing that it is more than likely that my life has more than just one purpose (not sure why I never thought this before...), the main one being to glorify God in anything that I do.
2. Loving my husband and learning to serve him (Not to be sappy, but he is pretty AMAZING!)
3. Teaching (and loving) my students
A large piece of my heart has always belonged to Mexico, and I believe it always will...but my heart is being captured more and more by my students every day. They make me crazy. I have students from both ends of the spectrum, the disrespectful, I-don't-like-Spanish-class (and I've been told that to my face...gracias!) to the hard-working, respectful students... and I love all of them. God has taught me an immense amount through them over the last three months (has it only been that long?).
I love my job, even though I stress out over it way too much! But God has shown me something....I knew before I came in to teaching that I would encounter kids in need of Christ, in need of love. The hardest thing about teaching that I'm learning is that I can strive to show them Christ, to love them when they are making me insane...but many of them just don't care. Some of them hate me some days, or at least act like it. (Most high school teachers know what it feels like to walk into a room and have at least one person giving you the death glare.) And I think through this God is saying, "You do this to me all the time. You hate me, you turn your back on me, you disrespect me. And I still love you and pursue you."
Props, God. Props. Because I can't do it all the time. I can't. And sometimes I don't know why he doesn't just squash me, but I'm so thankful that he is gracious and doesn't. Obviously I realize I'm not God, and I can't unconditionally and perfectly love all my students...but I try. I really, really do. And it has become one of my purposes for this stage in my life. It's so hard for me to accept because I'm thinking, "Okay, God...I could be with my husband, teaching English somewhere where students love to come to school and are excited when I walk in the door. And here I am working my tail off for kids who hate me some days!"
But I love it. And I complain, and whine, and say that I'm going insane (which is true)....but God is building me up.
I hope all this rambling makes sense. I hope it shows no disrespect to my students, because I mean none. If anything, they are teaching me more than I'm teaching them (and I teach a lot...the groans coming from my classroom of, "Awww man, we're working today?" could tell you that much.)
Anyways, I am quite literally heartbroken that I can't go work with Casas this Christmas. However I am SO pumped to hang out with my husband and grow our relationship, because we hardly see each other. I am excited to rejuvenate and get ready for spring semester.
I know that Casas is in need of help this winter, so if you're interested, please let me know. You don't need a team, just a willing heart! And a passport! :) Thanks for reading and have an awesome Thanksgiving!