52 weeks we’ve been back in Nicaragua. A year ago, I returned back to this country with mixed feelings; excited for a new adventure, apprehensive to start all over again making friends and building community, and somehow how hopeful for what the future might hold running a business here.
A lot has happened in a year.
If I were to package up our first three months, tie it with a bow and smack a label on it, it would read, “shit show.” Not just because, quite literally, every single day one of my 3 kids would poo or pee their beds or themselves. Those events alone earn that label. But also, because we were camping out in our empty rental house with no furniture/washer/kitchen utensils/toys and trying to spin it as an adventure only lasted so long. Oh ya, and thanks to the roosters/parrots/birds/pigs/horses everyone thought 4:45 am was a great time to wake up. I am not a nice or sane person before 6am. Certifiable shit show.
The following three months could be labeled “what were we thinking.” I mean, for the love. Who decides moving internationally with 2 small children and a baby is a good idea? And at the same time trying to start a business? In the third world? Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. Perhaps I’m still raw from the previous three months.
The holiday season months? Let’s label that “hello, therapy.” Turns out sometimes you can get into a hole and not know how to get out. We dug ourselves in a marriage hole, separate holes actually, as we were surviving the shit show around us. And whenever we popped our heads out, one would bop the other on the head. We forgot how to be nice, speak nice, and it was killing us. I mean, is it just me, or doesn’t it feel like you do just about anything when you have the love, affection and support of your significant other? Well, we were not loving giving a whole lot of affection, and the outside stress and strain was almost more than we could bear. So a dear friend suggested counseling, something we couldn’t quite understand how exactly it would help. Sure it pry feels nice to vent your feelings to someone else. But since we had never done it, we just naively thought that was it. Turns out, when you talk about your crap with an unbiased, third party professional, someone who is unequivocally FOR BOTH of you, it helps!! It was a game changer for us. Oh ya, and lest I forget, I actually started praying again. Real, honest, and strategic prayers and dang that guy cause as I spent more time Him, he kept refining my heart and graciously showing me my crap that needing working on. Thanks to those two things, we’re pretty much floating on clouds of bliss. Alright, honestly, it’s more like we love each other again and are figuring out how to do that even better. Oh ya, and breaking bad habits. And… the list goes on. You get the point.
The spring months, I think I’ll label, “finally.” Finally the business is up and running. Even though it was only just over a year and a half from pipe dream to operation, it felt like forever! I am so incredibly proud of Brandon, and in awe of the amount of patience and grit it took for him to get here. Like, amazed. Finally we are meeting people and making friends, circling around different churches, groups and people, and finding our peeps. Finally my Spanish is decent enough so that I don’t have the insta nervous sweats every time someone talks to me. Finally, this place feels like home and I am so thankful for that.
As I was thinking about what we have come through over the past year, I found that the reflection did my heart and soul good. Sometimes we’re in a hard season and it doesn’t feel like we’ll ever get out. Are you there? Is this time right now squeezing you? Bending you more than you thought possible? Do you feel like you’re drowning? I can tell you one thing for sure, it will end. I promise. And I’m pretty sure we’ll come out on the other end a better person. Or stronger. Or more broken (which isn’t always a bad thing). But those broken parts of us can be healing if we let them. We can choose to cling to the One who can strengthen us, breathe fresh life back into us, and renew a steadfast spirit within us.