If you had told me, as a freshman, that I would move to another country for my senior year: I would have laughed. If you had told me, as a sophomore, that I would give up everything: I would have asked if you were feeling okay. If you had told me, as a junior, that regents and breakups were easy compared to what I was going to face: I would have stared at you in disbelief. If you had told me, as a senior, “I told you so”: I would tell you, “Yes”.
These past few years have been tough. I transitioned from the only school I had ever known; I moved from the home I grew up in; I packed up my life; I left my friends and family; I left my church; I moved to a new country where I was the only one who knew enough Spanish to read the labels at the grocery store; I transferred to a small school; I began learning Portuguese; I went on a choir trip to Germany; I began an internship at a local pharmacy. This is the life of me.
All of the things I mentioned were hard and still are. If you glance at the list you may be tempted to say, “Poor Poopsie” and move on. Besides, it’s just a list of random hard things, right? Wrong! This list of hard things is the testament of God working in my life. Transferring schools gave me opportunities to bond with new people and try new things. It allowed me to work in Impact and see several classmates saved. Leaving my friends and family made me realize that life is bigger than Panama, NY, and that sometime I had to confront reality. Learning Portuguese is extremely hard because there are so many details that need to be kept straight. However, I have been able to learn much and now I can talk (usually) and understand (mostly). Through trying to use Portuguese, I have met several café ladies, the woman at the Mercado, several workers at Intermarche (grocery store), and now I have met at least five pharmacists or assistants.
Each of these things has been used to break me and make me more like Christ. I am by no means perfect, but God continues to put hard things in my way to prove to me that He cares and that He has a plan—even if I can’t see it. I would encourage you to view the hard things in life as the tools God uses to shape us into something better.