Friday, December 12, 2014

A Dose of Vitamin D-R

I took a quick trip to the DR.  Only 4 full days.  I went at Carlos' encouragement.  I really think you need to spend time in Mata de Platano.  You can visit our family and see friends and rest where you feel the most relaxed.  He was excited for me.

Me?  It may sound crazy, but I wasn't sure I wanted to go.  I know, right?  Sunshine and warm weather when we'd had snow and cold?  What was my problem? 

The truth is, I was worried.  Worried that after four months I wouldn't be able to communicate, or drive, and worse, that I would realize this place that had been home was now just a place I had spent some time a while back. 

El Buen Samaritano

Happily, using Spanish each day at the Free Clinic has helped me maintain, and I had (nearly) no trouble communicating.  Being able to worship again with our El Buen Samaritano family and sing praise in Spanish was awesome.

Driving is definitely not one of my favorite parts of there, but it was okay.

Time reconnecting with friends and family was incredible.  Even though time has passed, we were able to pick right back up.  It was wonderful to encourage and be encouraged.  To hear - and see! - how God is working in their lives.  
Are you drooling?  So, so good!!

There's something about being in the same space that feeds the soul.  Being physically present with loved ones who love Jesus.  After all, He came to be God-with-us.  And in that, was healing I needed. 

Through no one's fault, my final weeks in the DR had been frenzied, and I slammed back into the US still careening.  I kept going because that's how I cope. 

I accepted the feeling of having left part of me behind.  That as I went, all of my heart did not.  I always thought of it as a necessary, well maybe not evil, but a necessity.  Just a part of moving from here to there, especially cross-culturally.  That somehow I was never fully whole anywhere.

Some of our family
What God lovingly showed me on this trip was that I am not walking around with only a tiny part of my heart, the rest of it stranded in the various places I've passed time.  Instead, I am blessed to carry along with me parts of many places. 

God invited me to see my heart as larger, not smaller.  That I don't need to carefully guard the sliver left, but instead can love more deeply because it has been stretched.
The guys playing Dominos, of course!

I'm sure there will still be times that it hurts.  Missing people I love is a reality.  But, it's a blessing to have people to miss.  To have women in my life who speak different languages and live in different places and yet bless me by calling me sister.  I'm so thankful the Holy Spirit prompted Carlos. 
With my sister Margot and Mami

Even though I didn't get to see everyone I might have wanted, I now look forward to whenever the next time comes.  And, I look forward to continuing to learn how to love well here in Harrisonburg.

Oh, and the most fun?  Bringing Carlos some of the locrio (yummy Dominican chicken and rice dish) that Margot made.  Including the 'patas' (feet) which are his favorite part.  I was thrilled that it made it all the way home and still tasted delicious!
Carlos & a Pata

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