I have phenomenal friends. But one is exceptionally good. She's smart. She's talented. She's funny. She was my roommate at camp this summer. My partner in crime. We confided in each other through all our counseling stresses, and all other issues that arise in our lives. We’ve seen each other at our worst. I can tell her anything and she doesn’t think differently of me. I can tell her some of the most shameful secrets, and instead of her respect for me plummeting, it skyrockets. She inspires me. She surprises me. She’s teaching me. I am SO thankful for our friendship. We have dips and curves like every relationship, but one of us is always willing to bend and take the blame, or fess up and apologize. We laugh together –every time we’re together. We "cry" together. She is an encourager, a deep thinker, and a loyal, trustworthy friend. She continues to teach me so much every day. In all honesty, I think she might be the hardest to leave this year.
My last night in Walla Walla this week, Tuesday night, she came over to my Grandma’s to hot tub. We laughed and chatted about lots of things, just catching up on life apart. Somewhere in our mix of jokes and seriousness, I asked her for an honest opinion about all the set backs that have come with planning for this trip to Costa Rica.
1. 1. The SDA School in Monteverde, Costa Rica told me they would not accept me, because I was not baptized (but being the stubborn person that I am, I did not like this, and I would not take “no” for an answer).
2. 2. The principal speaks only a little English, and there had been some confusion. Before confirming my ticket a few weeks ago, we checked with her to make sure she was ready and expecting me, and she thought I was coming NEXT year.
3. 3. There was an earthquake last week, on the day I was planning on buying my ticket.
4. 4. After immediately confirming that no detrimental harm had been done during the earthquake and I could still come, the date I had picked, the 15th, this coming Sunday, was apparently a horrible day to come. No one would be able to pick me up at the airport, everyone in the school would be gone for a field trip they had been planning for quite a while.
5. 5.Flying in on the next day, the 16th would not work because it was Costa Rica’s independence day, and the roads would be blocked. The principal recommended that I come at the end of the month… and I wondered if I should even come at all.
6. 6.The days I asked Lianne if I could come and stay with her in L.A. before taking off to Costa Rica, were the EXACT days her friend from Singapore would be coming to stay at her house for a visit.
7. 7.This morning I found out that all 8 reference forms that Jeanne sent to the principal, Rachel, and Bianca had not gone through, and no one had received them –not one. The principal needed the reference before I came so she could give them to the board to “officially hire” me.
Nothing was working out, and I told Elise all of this. I shared with her my concerns, doubts, fears and frustrations. Is this all just coincidence? What if this is a big sign? What if I’m not suppose to go? What if God is telling me “no” and I’m just too stubborn to listen? But Elise calmed my raging nerves.
She looked at me and said with sincerity, “Karalee, I can’t tell you what to do. I can’t tell you if this is God trying to keep you from going. I think leaving has been on your heart for a long time, and you know you need to go somewhere. Yeah, a lot of things have been going wrong, and it’s a little weird. I don’t know if it’s just coincidence, but you can choose to look at all the bad things that have been happening, or you can choose to look at the good things. Think about it, there are good things! They’re expecting you at the school, they have a place for you to stay. You just heard from them today, and they have lots of things for you to do, there IS a big need for you. You have so many options once you get there, so many places you can go and help. So maybe it’s not God trying to keep you from going at all. Maybe it’s completely the opposite. Maybe Satan knows something really awesome is going to happen for you. Follow your heart.”
I felt like I could breathe again after she said that. Maybe I am doing the right thing. Maybe she’s right. I hope she’s right. I had never thought about it from that perspective before. How could that have slipped my mind? I really needed that. But how do you distinguish between the two? The “right” and the “wrong” of the supernatural world. That’s the real question. “Follow your heart” so many people have been telling me that lately…
So I bought my ticket today. I’m headed to Costa Rica in a week. I’ve got high expectations but none at all –all at the same time. I’ve got excitement, and anxiety, and uncertainty about it all –all at the same time. I don’t want to go, but I really do. I’m not sure where I’ll end up, or what’s “right” and what’s “wrong”. My clarity is a blur. But I’m heading out into the unknown quickly –taking a dive into deep waters that I hope will be refreshing and revive me back to life. But risks are what life is all about, and I guess this is one big risk I’ve decided to take. So one foot in front of the other, and I'm off, taking one giant step into the unknown. I’m going out on a limb, because after all, that’s where the fruit is produced.
Replace your Fear of the unknown with Curiosity.