By Rachel Jones, FC 19 Costa Rica
For me, change is hard. I mean I love trying new things, learning a new language, traveling to new places, meeting new people, and starting new adventures, but looking forward to these things and then actually doing them is always so different for me. Sometimes I ask myself why in the world I do stuff like this and leave my whole family, my closet friends, my fiancé, the beautiful state of Colorado, the town and streets I know and have grown up in, and all things I love and feel comfortable in. It really is kind of crazy, ya know? But then, I try to think back and remember the other times I have done things that scared the heck out of me and always ended up to be some of the most rewarding and joyous times of my life. As the great Pope Benedict XVI says, “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness.”
But still, change is hard. Yet, here I am again. Throwing myself into a year full of huge changes. But I truly believe that generally, the first step is the hardest, and then things gradually unfold into lots of great memories. So, I did take that first step at least, and now I am here! I know there is so much for me to learn and grow from here with all these new people in my new community. That is one of the keys for me, and also a very difficult part at times: community. It is hard to create this. How does one even begin to feel comfortable around so many new people and places? Well, again, I have to re-learn over and over and over again to be vulnerable and let people into my world and reach out to be a part of others worlds’ as well. Isn’t it amazing that we all live a life that is so different, yet the same and so full of different experiences, and the only way anyone can share in this is to sit down and spend time with one another getting to truly know the depths of each other! But hey, now is just the beginning of the whole year, so little by little, poco a poco, I hope to keep learning to appreciate the change as a gift and opportunity and learn to be more authentic and vulnerable with each person I encounter.
God keeps humbling me and teaching me to trust him. My recent devotional was a little God-send as it said, “As I embarked on the adventure of surrender, I discovered the wildly beautiful way God acts.” I have discovered this so often that I have grown to expect it: Our Lord always gives back one-hundredfold. It may not be exactly what I was expecting, but it has always been the abundant fulfillment of my heart’s most authentic desire. God not only purified and strengthened my understanding of friendships, but He also gave me strong friendships I would have never dreamed were possible. The key was I had to give Him the permission to mold and heal my heart.
It is not easy, but He is so faithful.