October 2, 2004
I have been home this past month, taking an unplanned vacation.
When I took the job in Guatemala at the beginning of the summer, I thought I'd be home for 2 weeks maximum in between ending my job in Texas and leaving for Guatemala. However, my support raising had a slow and discouraging beginning, and it soon became obvious that I was going to be home for at least 4-6 weeks.
In all honesty, it took me almost a month to be grateful for this "unplanned" vacation. Moving back home after a successful college career was not something I had ever planned on, nor expected. Sleeping in past 10 every day and reading myself to sleep every night soon lost its appeal. I was depressed and discouraged. I did not understand why God was putting this road block in my path on this journey to Guatemala. I was ready to go! I wanted to feel effective and useful.
I wanted a reason to get up before 10— besides watching TBS's Primetime in the Daytime and unloading the dishwasher to prove to my parents I wasn’t sleeping the day away.
It didn't really hit me until my one month anniversary of being home why I was here. I was reading Don Miller's book, Blue Like Jazz (which I highly recommend, by the way), in the rocking chair on my back porch when God smacked me over the head with a 2x4. I think God can speak to us in nudges and gentle whispers, but I definitely think I am more of a 2x4 kind of girl.
Victoria, he said, You are going to have needed this vacation. Be grateful that you have this place to come to and parents that allow you to crash at home when you need to. Be grateful that I'm going to use you. But, please, trust in my timing and in my plans. You are not wasting your time by being here. You are resting your mind, your body, and your spirit. This adventure you are so excited about is going to stretch you in ways you haven't even thought about yet, and I need you to be ready for that. So, for now, just RELAX and enjoy this time. Trust me on this. I know what I am doing.
Needless to say, I was a little stunned by the clarity of that moment. From that moment on, I have tried to leave my worrying at God's feet, and just take advantage of the time I have been given. And in all honesty, it was when I stopped stressing out over support-raising and money problems that God began to bless me in incredible ways. In a matter of weeks, I was given over half the money I needed. I have been, and continue to be, overwhelmed by the love and generosity that has been shown for me and for my mission. I will never have the words to express how grateful I am that I have been given the opportunity to make this dream a reality.
I was able to buy my plane ticket for October 9th. I will be returning for a couple of weeks at Christmas, so this first leg of my journey is only a couple of months long. However, I will be returning in January to stay until June, or until I run out of money.
I am excited about the challenges and adventures that God has planned for me, and I am eager to start this journey. However, I am thankful for this vacation, even if I haven't always had the best attitude about it.
I plan on writing an update/newsletter each month to keep you abreast of my work and experiences in Guatemala. If I have your address wrong or if you move, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that you can continue to receive one. Also, if you'd rather not receive the mailings, please just drop me a line and I promise to stop rambling in your general direction!
Just know that when I take those first steps off the plane in Guatemala…when I take that first gulp of Central American air...when I laugh a nervous giggle before I jump into this adventure with both feet...know that you are there with me. In my thoughts, in my prayers, in my heart. You are part of that voice that tells me I can do this. And I will never be able to thank you enough for that.
Let the adventure begin!
Grace and Peace,
PS This is the mailing I am sending to my support list. I know some things have been repeated from other posts, so just overlook those parts. I'm not advertising the blog for now, plus most of the people who gave me money are older and don't even understand weblogs. I will continue to post and mail out the newsletters as I go, but if you want to recieve mail from me, just drop me a line and I'll add you to the list! muchas gracias!