Jumbled Thoughts from Guatemala
I returned from my eMi Guatemala trip over a week ago and I still haven’t been able to put into clear, blog-worthy words what that experience has meant to me. I spent most of my flight back rotating between (1) crying, looking out the tiny airplane window and (2) sporadically documenting every thought and feeling I was having while it was still fresh in my mind. (I raised some concern for the flight attendants, I’m sure.)
I had hoped to work through all of these feelings and come up with a tidy blog post that articulately shares my highs, lows, and key takeaways… but that’s just not possible for me right now. My friend Sam said it perfectly, “It’s like we’ve been drinking from a fire hose all week.” I feel as though I’m walking around wide-eyed. I’m still physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from the whole experience, and still processing everything.
I know it can be risky to let people in while things are still this fresh. I’m potentially opening myself up to criticisms. However, this has and always will be my little slice of the internet, and I owe it to myself to get these thoughts out now - as messy as they might be. So here we go, straight copy & paste from my airplane notes.
I will never be the same because of the people I met. I think it’s incredible how this team came together as a group of strangers and are leaving as friends. It just reinforces how having Jesus in common can deepen relationships in a short amount of time.
It was obvious that God handpicked every single person on this team, and we were all meant to be a part of each other’s story. I saw pieces of His character in every single person - all the fruits of the Spirit, plus lots and lots of humor! It’s experiences like this that really show me who God is.
My heart is so full, it actually kind of hurts.
I know that I have more than I need, and I should thank God for that more often than I do. I tend to think that I got to where I am because I worked really hard... and while that might be partly true, the bigger truth is that I was supported by my parents and given opportunities - two things that were handed to me.
This trip reminded me that everything I have is not mine, it belongs to God. He gave me gifts and talents to make a good living in this world. The fact that I'm a civil engineer is only possible through Him, and anything I have as a result of that is really His. This is why “giving back” is so important… but this is such an easy thing for me to forget.
I’m continually blown away by how God’s plan and vision are far better and greater than anything I could ever imagine. Whatever I think I know is still only a tiny piece of the big picture He has in mind. It’s just so clear to me that God had His hand in all of this. And I know that He will continue to have His hand in this even as we step away from the project.
I believe God puts specific things on our hearts that we cannot ignore. That looks different for every single person, but collectively, that's how we love and serve the world and ultimately glorify God.
As a second-timer, I went into this trip thinking I knew what I was getting myself into… but I think this trip actually hit me harder because my heart was so much more open for Jesus to work in and through me. This all made walking away really difficult.
I realize this is a list of incohesive thoughts. Like I said, I’m not able to comb through all of this and wrap a neat bow around it. I also realize that I mention God more than 10 times in this short post, which must be some sort of record.
I think I’ll still be sorting through this over the coming months. I hope that more blog posts will develop from some of the above bullet points, because I want to continue sharing how my heart is changing through this experience.
There’s at least two more Guatemala posts coming up! One with all of my favorite photos including more detail about our week, and another post with the final plan set after it’s been QA/QC’d by the eMi Nicaragua office.
For those of you that don't know, I did an Instagram takeover for eMi while in Guatemala - below are the posts directly from their feed. If you follow me on Instagram then you likely saw all of my Stories throughout the week. If not, below is the highlight reel!