Hi there and welcome to my blog. Bear with me because this post will be a little long. As I write this blog post, I am currently sitting in a plane on my way to Nicaragua.
Two years ago, I went to the Villa Esperanza for the first time and was deeply impacted by the entire experience. As soon as I left, I longed to return, and the following year I did. Again, the experience was indescribable, and I left with an only stronger desire to return. Hardly a day went by that I didn’t think of the Villa. I am not exaggerating. My hope and desire was to return and not just for a 10 day trip this time, but I stuffed that down for fear of disappointment. Six weeks ago, I saw a job posting for an internship with Forward Edge at the Villa and my heart dropped to my stomach. Fear and excitement both gripped me so intensely, I felt like I might squeal out loud. I applied. Two weeks later I got the call that they wanted me. I am sure you can only imagine my excitement.
This might be good time to interject and say that this blog, especially as it concerns my time in Nicaragua, will often reflect on how my faith and spirituality have influenced my experiences. It is important to me that everyone still enjoys reading it regardless of your beliefs. I feel that it would not be a sincere representation of my experiences if I did not talk about that. However, it’s meant to only be descriptive and not prescriptive. No preaching, only explaining. So bear with me through the spiritual stuff. Alright, now that’s off my chest…why did I name my blog “yellow lights”?
Growing up, I enjoyed being involved in many things and was generally considered a bright young girl. I’ve always been pretty confident in my abilities. Meaning, if I wanted to do something, I rarely felt like I couldn’t. However, I was not excellent at anything in particular. I didn’t have one skill or talent that stood out. Many can probably relate to this. The reason I bring it up is because, although it can be a good thing, when you are 18 and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life, it’s quite counterproductive. Especially if you are a naturally indecisive person with many interests. I spent years trying to make up my mind about what I should pursue in school or in a career only to change my mind every couple of months and get discouraged. In essence, I struggled with learning when to stop and when to move. (You see where I am going with this?)
Secondly, if you are not familiar with the theology and cultural norms within the Christian church, then let me explain something. When you have to make a major decision in life (or any decision), you pray for guidance. The reason for this is because following God’s will is tantamount to having a steadfast and meaningful relationship with him…which is the goal. However, many times you don’t hear a clear answer. In my case, I’ve never felt a clear answer. If anything, I feel a nudge that just says “go”, “move” and not where. Going to Nicaragua is one example. I never felt this loud voice saying “YOU SHOULD GO TO NICARAGUA”. Instead, I just knew I had a desire to go. Sometimes I just have to make a decision and not know whether I should have stopped or gone for it until after the light turns red.
Lastly, related to the other two, but a little closer to home – I prefer when problems and questions have nice, clean, perfect answers. Totally unrealistic like 99% of the time, since life is more like a dumping ground of rock rather than a brick wall—BREAK, as I am writing this we are in a plane 30,000 feet in the air and there is A LIGHTNING STORM to our left. The dark sky is being repeatedly illuminated by bolts of lighting. Equally terrifying and freaking amazing! — okay, back to what I was saying: because life is messy, I often spend time reflecting on my actions, how I conduct myself, relationships, life’s problems, and personal conundrums. I say reflect, but it’s more like agonize. I am in a constant battle with myself over what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false. I am constantly trying to make sense out of what seems unclear. So, to sum it up, leaning into uncertainty and being okay with mistakes have greatly shaped who I am and my perspective on life. My life is full of yellow lights. Beautiful, ambiguous, messy yellow lights with no clear sign of when to stop and when to move. That’s why I named my blog that!! Hopefully, that’s obvious now.
Okay, so now that you know that…I have had this incredible opportunity to live and work in a foreign country for the next three months. I want to both document this and share this with others. As I said before, my hope is to continue this blog even after I return from Nicaragua. (Which is why the name is not specific to Nicaragua) But until September, it will be focused only on that. So please, join me in this experience. I promise to do my best to keep things interesting and maybe also shorter than this post…maybe. I plan to post once a week, but will know more once I get the lay of the land in Nica. I am so excited to share this journey with you! Till next time. Cheerio!
I love the Yellow Lights metaphor. What a great way to put it! I’ll be praying that God will guide you through this next, undoubtedly exciting, chapter of your life! Looking forward to more of your posts!
Sam, your post was so insightful about life and about yourself. I too loved your yellow lights metaphor and often feel the same way. I loved your metaphor about life being a jumble of boulders as oppose to a brick wall, so true and so apt. Sometimes we feel like we are hitting a brick wall, but in reality there is always a way out, as scripture says. You go girl. go, go, go! that’s what I love about you. Can’t wait for your next blog. Praying for you daily! Love you!