In all honesty, I was not looking forward to going to Costa Rica. Not because I had anything against the country or the people I was going with, but because I was disillusioned with missions when I was asked to go.
You see, before I decided to venture into the jungles of this amazing country, I had my heart set on returning to Ireland. Last summer I had a life changing time there and I wanted to go back more than anything. I applied to go back, but instead I was going to be sent to San Francisco for two months. Long story short, that didn't work out either. Because of all this, I was adamant about not going anywhere.
How could I go somewhere else when I had just gotten over the idea of returning to a place that had impacted my whole life and the place that I was supposed to go to rejected me like a bad organ?
When San Francisco fell through, I fell with it. Going out into the world and doing missions was all I ever wanted to do and now it seemed like maybe it just wasn't for me. I loved it so much, but it didn't seem to love me back.
Cut to a few weeks later: I get an email asking to meet one of my bosses in her office. She presented to me the opportunity of joining another team to Costa Rica.
It was totally up to me. If I didn't want to go, there would be no hard feelings. As I sat there listening to what the trip would entail, or half listening actually, all I heard in my stubborn head was, "Of course you're going. No doubt about it. No reservations or hesitations. Just say yes."
I had time to think about it, if I wanted to,but I said yes on the spot because I've learned the hard way that it's not always a great idea to tell God that you don't want to do what he want you to do.
I wish I could tell you that I was excited and ready and that I was really looking forward to it. The reality is that I didn't think about it until I had to. Raising money and telling people where I was going didn't get me to think about. Packing my bags and digging for my passport didn't get me to think about it. Walking out of my front door and to the place we were meeting our shuttle to the airport is what got me to think about it. I went in with no expectations, or at least no good ones.
Before the trip, I was so scared of living an ordinary life. I was sitting at home working on personal projects, writing in my journal and watching Netflix. I looked forward to my daily walk to the grocery store. I did my dishes everyday. My life was so ordinary, it hurt me to think about because I felt slothful and I felt incomplete.
Fast forward to Costa Rica: I still felt ordinary when we got off the plane, I still felt ordinary when we got to the beautiful hotel, and I still felt ordinary when we boarded the bus that would take us to where we were supposed to go.
Driving through the jungle is what woke me up to the fact that what I was doing wasn't ordinary. Meeting new people and playing cards with them was, but wasn't ordinary. Everything I did in Costa Rica was, by all intents and purposes, ordinary but not at all.
I was stepping into this family's ordinary life, but my goodness was it extraordinary. They were doing things for people and for God that I could never dream of doing and I counted it as an honor to be able to help them redo a dirt road.
My God taught me that I don't have to be scared of being ordinary. I don't have to live in fear of not doing enough or doing all the wrong things. He's going to lead me to do extraordinary things, no matter how ordinary they may seem. I don't serve an ordinary God and He didn't create ordinary people. We are extraordinary beings and anything we do in His name is just that because He says it is.
Thank you to the Jones', Alm's, Thompson's, Helen, my team, and the people of Costa Rica that I encountered for teaching me how to be extraordinary through example. You guys rocked my world in an extraordinarily unexpected way.