Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Twist in the Road

Coming home early from the Philippines was definitely the last thing I thought I would do when I decided to go to Tacloban last March. Arriving in the Philippines before most of my friends even started taking finals and coming home the day school started seemed like the perfect plan. Maybe it was FOMO or maybe it was just the thought of being there from the day HELP landed in country until the day HELP left. Either way I would finally get to spend the entirety of my summer in the Philippines; something I'd wanted to do since the day I first stepped in to the country.

There were days when it was harder than I ever imagined it would be. Days when projects would fall through, or supplies wouldn't show up. Days when all I wanted was some food straight from mom's kitchen. Days filled with phone calls to the consulate that left me wondering if I would ever get my passport back, and days when all I wanted was to do was sit on a couch in our living room or lay on the grass after a day of work. 

There were so many things I could have focused on, that had I chosen to do so, would have eaten at me until I decided to go home early all on my own. But in those moments I would think about the friends I had made there, the needs they had, the lives they lived, and the happiness and hospitality that the were always willing to give. You would think that simply living in a place where poverty is so prevalent would be enough of a reminder, but for some reason it was still so easy to forget that although their way of life worked for them there were things that could be done to better the lives they are living. The friends I made there are what would bring me back to reality. They are what helped me keep focus. And they are the reason that Heavenly Father knew the only way to get me home early was to completely knock me off my feet. Although being there was one of the most challenging things I've done, he knew that there was no way I was going to leave those people behind. Not unless he did something drastic. 

Each day I am home it becomes more and more clear. I needed to be in the HELP office. I needed to be set up an internship for the next year. I needed to go back to Aspen. I needed to move in to an apartment with roommates I already knew and love. I needed to spend time with my family after being away for so long so that I could better appreciate them. I needed to be at my cousins wedding. I needed to be home for Taylor's sake. There was no possible way for me to accomplish all of those things from abroad. Most of it I didn't even realize was an issue until I was here. 

Since being home I have been able to see so many friends and family, some of which I haven't seen in years. It's amazing to me how timing works out. Leaving Tacloban was the last thing I wanted to do, but it was exactly what I needed to do. I know that one day I'll go back, and I am so excited for the day that chance reappears. For now though, I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows the bigger picture. I am grateful that he has the knowledge and ability to intervene when I'm being stubborn, and I am grateful for the opportunities and people he has places in my life. 

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