We arrived in Argentina four years ago today.
While we've had some wonderful experiences during that time, I have to admit that overall it's been really, really hard. I don't want this to sound like a whiney post, but I want to be honest about our experience. We select what we do or do not share on our blogs, and for the most part I've chosen to focus on the positive, fun parts. But you and I both know life isn't all fun and games. Today I just want to share, from my heart, some of the struggles.
It all started off on the wrong foot that first year when I was so sick, and it took forever to figure out what was wrong... I don't remember which came first, the doctor who said it was all in my mind or the one who said it was all due to stress. I finally figured out it was parasites from doing some research. But by that time my body was so depleted of nutrients I was severely anemic AND because the whole parasite problem went undiagnosed for so long, it instigated a bout of postinfectious IBS.
And let's just take a minute to consider how being that sick really,
REALLY wasn't conducive to learning a language, meaning progress was
Anyway, the second year was spent in recovery mode, trying to get the nourishment and rest my body needed to get back to health. Honestly, it affected not just my physical well-being but my emotional and mental outlook as well.
The third and fourth years presented challenges as well, including an almost 7 month furlough back to the U.S. in the middle of that period. We LOVED being able to connect with so many friends and family! Please don't misunderstand me, but you know, traveling almost constantly is exhausting. By the time we made it back to Argentina we were about done in.
One of those wonderful experiences I mentioned at the beginning of this post happened shortly after we got back, when we were able to get away for a week of true rest and relaxation thanks to the generosity of friends back in the states who gave us a week at a timeshare. Boy, did we need that!
And I don't have to tell anyone who's ever built a home how stressful that can be. While we are only half-way through the project, I can tell you it's already proven every cliché true: it is taking longer... costing more...
And then there are the things I can't share publicly but which weigh heavy on our hearts. We all have them because no one is free from difficulties or problems. I'm just very thankful we have a God who is all sufficient, and who knows what we're dealing with, and loves us enough to give us what we need each day.
Having said that, I also have to admit I'm hoping (and praying) that in the next four years, some things will change to make it easier. Not that I expect all roses and sunshine. But there are some things that could/should/need to change.
And I'm one of them.
As in, needing-to-become-more-like-Christ kind of change.
Already I'm seeing one experience God will use in the next year or two. We are getting ready to move from a three bedroom/one bath home into a tiny casita with two rooms (not two bedrooms, two rooms) and a bath. Where we will live INDEFINITELY. Because we're not sure how long it will be before we can start and then finish the house.
I've lived in small spaces before, but that was when I was a kid. I think I'm going to find it a bit more challenging as an adult. Just a guess there :)
So what is God using in your life right now?