It has been a bit since I've updated this ... largely because I really didn't like my previous template, so I didn't feel very inspired to write anything in it. I'm feeling more inspired.
Life has been a little out of control since summer came to a close: At the beginning of August I came back from 2 weeks in Guatemala City where I had the opportunity to do some small group therapy with children living in a ghetto (La Limonada). The first week I was with an amazing team from our church, and the second week my wonderful friends, Kevie & Kayla, and I were left with a delightful Guatemalan couple (Enrique & Ceci) who fed us as much as they possibly could and drove us everywhere we needed to go. Kevie and Kayla were both in the cell group that I led for most of college & grad school, so it was very special to get to experience a trip with them as peers. Most of the children we spent time with have had either a parent or a sibling murdered in the gang violence that is prevalent in La Limonada. It was heartbreaking to hear their stories, but incredible to get to teach them that they are not alone and that there is One who can heal even the deepest hurts.
A sweet group of girls who learned they are princesses
La Limonada - reminded me of a modern day version of the leper colony in Ben Hur
You can read about the events directly after returning from Guatemala in my previous post, but several of the changes that had occurred at that time have changed once again. The last time I wrote I was very excited to report that I would be starting to work as a contract therapist at the Children's Advocacy Center. I have enjoyed this job immensely for the past 2 months, and I was thrilled when, last Tuesday, the director offered me a position as a full-time therapist with the organization. This is an incredible opportunity, not only because it is wonderful to get to do something I love, but mostly because it is such a clear picture of God's faithfulness to continue His work in our lives. Ever since I was a very little girl, one of my heroes has been a missionary named Amy Carmichael. Several things about her have always impressed me, but what captured my imagination the most was her work in rescuing girls from a life of temple prostitution and giving them the opportunity to live noble lives. Her life was part of what inspired a goal that I have tried to keep in front of me for the past decade or so: to treat the downtrodden in such a way that they experience more of the dignity that God intends for them. So, fast-forward to my college years ... falling in love with International Justice Mission and growing fiercely indignant over the plight of women and children in sex slavery all over the world. The combination of these and other experiences and passions led to a desire, by the time I started grad school, to gain a counseling degree that I could use to help victims, both at home and abroad.
So, that brings me to the past couple of months: I've had the opportunity to do a little counseling in another country and now I'm a new employee at an organization that exists to assist families who are suffering from dignity-shattering trauma. Talk about being blown away by God's plans! Of course these facts do not mean that everything has been smooth sailing, or that it is now. I have spent the last 10 months commuting 112 miles one way between 2 and 3 times a week to a job with sweet people but a very depressing atmosphere, I rarely cook because I'm working so much, and I stress over my lack of gym time due to all the commuting and working. You know, normal life stuff. I think that a lot of life is spent wondering what to do with the desires that God gives us, and waiting for Him to show us how to apply them. I certainly don't pretend to believe that I'll always feel as purposeful and on mission as I do at the moment, but I think the seasons of excitement and clarity provide hope for later.
p.s. Josh and I have opted not to purchase the dream lot I wrote about in my last post ... going to try to take advantage of the crappy housing market instead. Also, our sweet friends, Matt & Ginny, were blessed yesterday with the birth of a healthy baby girl, Hazel. You should check out their blogs from my list (Eliot & SV) and be blessed by their story.