I remember several times in my life thinking in the beginning of a big change or a big opportunity that whatever the change was, it was NEVER going to end. When I started middle school, I thought I would never get to high school. Once I got to high school, I thought that I would never make it to graduation. When I started college I thought that I would never graduate with my Bachelors degree. But I have accomplished all of those things.
At the beginning of my year in Honduras, I thought that this year was never going to come to an end. But in 21 days I will be saying goodbye to a town, people, students, customs, a culture that has become who I am. I am so ready to be done, but at the same time I am equally not ready to be done.
Just as we have those feelings of eternity in the beginning, when we near the end we start to second guess everything. Did we do all we could? Did we make the right choices? Is this really the right path? But most prominently we ask ourselves, are we ready for this next chapter?
For every beginning, there is an end. Most beginnings and most endings are emotional and difficult. This is no exception. Everybody handles the grief of an ending differently. BUT the important thing is that you allow yourself to grieve whatever it is that has ended or has been lost.
Not only am I going to be saying goodbye to my life in Honduras, but as I return to my passport country I will have to go through an expedited process of grieving the loss of my childhood home, Iowa, and unfortunately even some of my family members.
You see, I had this notion that life in the States would just freeze while I was away. I would go back at the end of my year in Honduras and everything and everyone would be just the same as it was when I left. But that is not how life works! Friends have moved away, families have been torn apart, babies have been born, houses have been sold, friends have gotten married, kids have grown, etc. Things have changed, people have changed, I have changed. When I return, I will have to figure out how I fit into all of that change. I know I have a place, that place just may look different than I remember.
In the end of every season I have reflected and asked if I took full advantage of the season and if I was content with what I did with that season God presented me with. As I sit here reflecting on this season God and I have made it through, I can honestly say for the first time in my life that I have no regrets or remorse. I have lived this year out to its fullest, I have made some sort of impact (although maybe not as big of one as I originally thought). I have fallen in love with my students, I have made great friends, I have successfully lived independently far away from my family, I have accomplished much more than I ever believed I could or would. But we did it.
Beginnings and endings are always rough, but the in between is when you truly have the chance to either live to the fullest or just make it by. I am more than content with my in between from this season. So here is my question for all of you, are you content with how you are living out where you are in your season of life right now? If you said yes, that’s great! If you said no, YOU have the power to change that.
Every morning during devotional I ask my kids why today is special, and I have taught them that every day is special because we have another chance to make a difference in not only our lives but the lives of those around us. So let that be a reminder to you today. Every day is a special occasion, so celebrate every day!