God Doesn’t Forget Your Dreams

This past Saturday evening in church we sang “You Never Let Go” (Spanish version) and as I thought about the words to the song I was swallowing back tears. They are so true of my experience here in Costa Rica:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

I know…we’ve all sung that song. But I truly believe I have been living out the storm here in Costa Rica. Some of you have no idea how hard this has been, others have guessed from phrases appearing here and there in blogposts, and others of you have listened to me cry about what an turbulent storm this has been. Since arriving in Costa Rica I have struggled to find my place. I have tried to be flexible and to seek out my niche by working at several different areas at the school. Moving into the library was a welcome and needed break from the stress and sense of failure building up inside me, but it wasn’t an outlet for the passions God has cultivated in me for 10 years now. I was trying so hard to make it work and everyday feeling like I had failed yet again. Saying it was a storm feels like the understatement of the century.**

Since June (with the AMAZING encouragement of my husband) I had been contacting organizations that work with children in crisis to try to find a place to live out my passions. This meant overcoming two huge fears: the fear of driving in Costa Rica and the fear (that secretly planted itself deep within me) of trying something new. This last time I tried something new–moving to a foreign country and being a first-time teacher–it ended up being the hardest thing I’d ever done and really took a toll on my spirit. So the work began…overcoming fears and remembering that God is with me. Satan has been fighting us hard here and he had me entrapped in fear. Slowly slowly, I began driving here (a process during which James suffered through way too much unnecessary angst and many silly tears). And then I started hearing back from places asking me to come in so we could talk about opportunities for me to serve (another process during which James suffered through way too much unnecessary angst and many silly tears).

I went to the first interview and it was not at all what I’d expected. It was a beautiful ministry that was meeting big needs, but from the minute I walked in I did not have a sense of peace. (Not to mention the lingering question of, “How am I going to drive myself through the middle of San Jose to get here?”) It didn’t feel like a good fit and I felt defeated. I cried in the car on the way home.

Three days later came interview number two. We drove out to Atenas and I got the sense, “Okay, I could make this drive.” We arrived at Hogar de Vida, an orphanage, and got out of the car and walked to the bodega where we’d been asked to attend the morning devotional with all of staff and children. I walked up to that circle and I knew. I guess now I see that it was the Spirit in both places, telling me no and then a beautiful and resounding yes. (I really need to work on giving credit where credit is due…thank you God for the gift of your Spirit, which guides us even when we do not recognize it.) After devotional we got to talk to the director and here is what we learned:

Hogar de Vida is home to 35 children, all under the age of 5. All of these children are waiting to be officially declared “abandoned” by the government at which point they will be eligible for adoption. They currently have 11 children under one year old, 2 of whom are premies and another who is paraplegic. Their stated mission is to “give these children God. Because God is love, and that’s what we give them.” God opened a door for me.

Morning Devotional...what the director call "the heartbeat of this place"

Morning Devotional…what the director calls “the heartbeat of this place”

As I excitedly anticipated going back today, I felt the hope of joy return to my soul. (And I wanted to yell, “Take that Satan!”) I will be volunteering at Hogar de Vida two days a week. I am going to be doing stimulation therapy with these kids using lights, colors, textures, and mostly touch to help especially the ones who have some developmental catching up to do. My heart is swelling at the thought of how wonderful this is, how I feel like it is what God made me to do, and how I feel like I am doing what Jesus wants. God has brought me back to the calm and the high. God didn’t forget my dreams or the passions He Himself grew within me. Have hope friends! I do 🙂

**Why didn’t I share this while I was in the midst of it. Shame? Embarrassment? Exhaustion? Confusion and doubt? Yes. It honestly wasn’t something I could process while I was living it. Thank you to those of you who prayed for me without knowing the specifics. Thank you to those of you who reminded me that God is faithful and He didn’t forget me. Thank you for helping me keep the faith that God is good.

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4 thoughts on “God Doesn’t Forget Your Dreams

    • I was so pleased to read about your new place of service and how you have responded to the challenge as well as that drive to the location. YOU BOTH are in my prayers, but it does help to not have just general prayers Laura, Phil, Colson and Bethany return today from a trip to Dallas TX to see Corrie, AJ, and Steven. Carter, Lyndie, and I have held the place here. Marta and Maria have been in and out as well as Paula and Gary. It is so exciting for them and she finds out this week the sex of the baby. They will then be able to consider names.
      Love and many prayers, Grammy

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