“We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and the task he placed closest to us, he begins to fill our lives with surprises.” -Oswald Chambers
I found this quote at a particularly poignant moment in life. I had just left my boyfriend behind Bolivia and couldn’t get a visa to go back, so I was living on Long Island helping my little cousins pick up the broken pieces of their life after my uncle’s death and had absolutely no plan, no idea what to do next.
I’d been at this point before. Uncertain, confused, a bit scared. Sometimes the future can look like an exciting blank sheet into which you can paint anything you can imagine. But sometimes I don’t know where to begin. I am unsure of how to mix the colors together and even less idea of how to make my life look any better than a kindergarden painting. And, if im really honest, that uncertainty isn’t just a bit scary, but its terrifying. Paralyzing. And then you can slide into a sort of despair, that nothing is ever going to be different.
But somehow this time things were different. I was able to trust God. And the surprises he brought into my life were, as always, so much better than what I could have imagined for myself. And so I found myself back in the DR. I hadn’t planned that, but there I was again. Sucking on mangos, watching coconut trees grow on the beach. I had been there before for two summers during grad school (which is a whole other story about God filling life with surprises) and now I was back. First for four months, then for seven. And while there were great adventures hitch-hiking, riding in the back of trucks, dancing salsa under the stars, what really made it incredible were the people who filled my life with so much joy. Especially people like Dona Mary. God had a lot to teach me through her.
And now with the added wisdom of time and perspective I know that abandoning yourself to God didn’t always mean you get a literal day at the beach. During those months in the DR, I went through one of the lowest, most painful moments of my life. There is nothing like the death of a hope. But somehow God brought me through that too.
So as we go into this New Year, this again is my prayer. That I can faithfully carry out the tasks at hand and abandon myself to God. I’ll keep you updated on what he brings next!