This is Nora writing today, and for those of you who don’t really know me, I am Jed’s teenage bride of one year! We have now been in Guatemala without a mission team, and I just wanted to share a little bit about this “nesting” stage.
On Saturday, as we returned from Guatemala City, I didn’t think I could be any happier to explore this new world I was going to live in. Four days later, I am bitterly homesick.
I miss my house, and I miss my church. I miss always being a part of every conversation. I miss being able to make biscuits in my cast iron. I miss having a toaster. I miss my couch, the one that sinks down and envelopes you when you sit in it. I miss knowing exactly where I fit and my role is. I miss my yogurt, granola, and chia for breakfast. I miss singing in church. I miss the sounds of crickets and frogs at night. I miss my clothes. I miss my tea kettle. I miss my electric stovetop that would heat up whenever I wanted it to.
My coffee never tastes like I want it to. Every morning, a gun goes off somewhere and reverberates through this valley and scares the living daylights out of me. Every. Time. I can hardly cook because everything is so different! I cannot think of a single one of my “usual” dinners that I could cook here; there are different foods, different spices, and different condiments. Jed makes me order my own McDonald’s, but how do you order a hamburger when you don’t know how to say, “No onions, no mayo, no cheese, and extra pickles please,”?
All of the things I did on a daily basis – crochet, watch Gilmore Girls, read, and bake goodies – are nonexistent. No more random moments of, “How about I make some rosemary shortbread with that Vietnamese cinnamon?” No longer can I run to Hobby Lobby when an artsy whim overtakes me. I can’t sit on my grandpa’s porch and drink coffee even though it’s two o’clock in July. No more crawfish boils, no more swim parties. No more rifle range with my dad. No more Tuesday nights with my house full of guys – all of who would call out, “Hey babe!” just to annoy me. No more movies in English. No more . . . anything.
And it just seems like I don’t fit here. Jed just clicks with everyone he sees – of course! He can speak Spanish! He can communicate, talk, and really get to know people, where as I can say hello, hug, and tell everyone I will see them later. It’s too difficult being in a place where I can’t just hug my best friend all the time, where I can’t find Italian Sweet Cream for my coffee. It’s tiring not being able to go anywhere or do anything because I can’t drive a standard, and I have no idea which road takes me to the mall.
But my God is a great God. I may not speak Spanish, but I know other languages: languages of the heart and soul and angels that can reach much farther than my feeble words can ever reach. I know how to love people, and I am doing it as best as I can. I have been playing a lot of volleyball with athletic Latins who are still cheering me on when I can’t get the ball over the net. I visited one of the staff members who speaks English, and although our conversation was not long or deep, the fact that I came and knocked on her door to see her brought tears to her eyes. I have accepted every invitation to dinner, and I have hugged the neck and kissed the cheek of every Don and Doña that I do not know.
The simple fact of the matter is this: being in such a place of vulnerability makes more room for God to move. To do great things. It gives all the glory to Him, for my human attempts are surely failing me. I am having to learn how to trust more in my God, leaning not on my knowledge or understanding or abilities. I am having to get rid of Nora so that God can move in. And isn’t that what this life is all about?