Letting Go

“God, I’m not ready. I’m not ready to leave these people and this place. You have woven my heart in theirs and You hid it deep in this volcano. Just a little bit longer.”

I said this on the way to the beach for our last day in El Salvador. I kept pleading, but I heard God whisper “Let go.”

“Let go? How? You have taken a piece of me away and just expect me to forget about it?” I whispered as tears hung off my eyes and isolation took place in the midst of twenty people.

I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want these memories to fade and for someone else to take my place there. As selfish as it seems, I wanted these moments all for myself.

I heard God say “No, your heart will have pieces there, but I am not expecting you to forget. I want you to remember what I have done in your life here; the decisions you have made; the people you have met. I want you to keep these with you and remember them. Just don’t relent now. I’m going to bring you back to this small little place one day and introduce you to your heart again, but a better one. A better heart that will leave a bigger stamp here and that will give parts of itself to others. But for now, you have to go back home and share the new pieces of your heart that I have given you to America. They need you. So let go of these people that you are so attached to and give them time to grow. You’ll see them when it’s best and you’ll be able to notice the changes I have made in this world in such a short time through their hearts.”

El Salvador has stolen my heart. I have fallen in love with not only the country, but the memories and people that it contains. My heart beats for the scars it left behind and the beauty it has added to my life. Blessed isn’t a great enough word to describe God’s works and the shaking of my heart. It swells inside of me and with every thought of this place, these memories, I feel it ready to burst.

But I have to let go for now.

My Thoughts Before Leaving El Salvador

This trip isn’t about the pictures, or the stories, or myself. It’s about how God led a group of people of different languages together as one to learn to love without communication, pray with connection, and breaking a language barrier. He showed us His love through laughs, the look in the eyes of children, prayer, music, rain, and each other. This trip may be nearing it’s end, but I’ll tell you this: The journey isn’t over. It’s just beginning. With new people, places, and stories. The thought of leaving these people whom with connections have been made is a scary thought and I’m not sure if I’m prepared for it. But the memories and feelings will never leave me, even if the people have to. Goodbyes are hard, and sometimes “hello’s” are even harder. This country has impacted me in so many ways and I don’t know if I can ever go back the same way that I was and I pray I don’t. I want compassion for this world and to journey it to say new hello’s and goodbye’s. God has given us a calling to do so, and even though it’s hard, I’ll see them again when eternity comes.
El Salvador has stolen my heart and I don’t want to take it back.

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