One year ago, I would’ve considered my life to be perfect. I had a well paying job, had an extremely firm grasp on my faith journey, attended a wonderful community of a high school, and was constantly surrounded by some of the most loving friends possible. Though, as we all know, within 90 short days that was all taken out from under me as I flew off to Kentucky. I’m a stranger here: my activism confuses citizens, my vulnerability is seen as a threat to emotions, and my worldly thinking cannot seem to connect with the apathetic conversations I often find myself a part of. Please don’t misinterpret my words: Kentucky is a wonderful place filled to the brim with people that strive to be the best they can. I've spent more than several nights in tears leading up to and following my first move ever. Thoughts of all of the things I'd expected to participate in that I now know have no chance of ever happening. The unknowns of who, what, when, where, or how I will ever see some of my favorite people again. The cycles continue viciously.
You see, I think I found the overall purpose a midst this chaos. I can now look back and see how disgustingly comfortable I was in my cushy big city lifestyle. I rarely struggled. I rarely had a reason to be upset. I rarely stopped to think about how blessed I was. The Kentucky move was brought about to challenge me, to the deepest core of my being. With that knowledge, I must pursue the unknown. Explore. Wander. And so on.
For the past four years, I have embarked on an awe-inspiring mission trip down to the breath-taking countryside of Tijuana, Mexico for my spring break. My youth group spends a week with more than deserving families, building them sustainable homes, which in turn construct a concrete sense of hope within each of us. Beginning this school year, I expected to once again fly back to the west coast and repeat my tradition. That was, until I heard about the Dominican Republic. GO Ministry sponsors group trips to Santiago, D.R. several times throughout the course of the year - one of these including a group taking off from the church across the street from my neighborhood. It absolutely breaks my heart to not return to Mexico this Spring in search of the pieces of my heart which were left there… but if I am going to ever proclaim myself an open-minded activist, I mustn’t segregate the countries of which I send aid.
Therefore, Spring break 2014 I am blasting off on a week long mission trip to the Dominican Republic: a country which I know nothing about, have never directly aided, and never thought much of. It hurts not to be within my comfort zone, yet thrilling to surpass what I believed were my limits. I have no expectations, no images running through my head, nothing: just anticipation and eagerness to see what awaits me.
I am here and I am blessed.
Jump first, fear later; I suppose.