So here we are. To think that over a year ago I got the call to go on this trip to Bolivia. To think that now it is only a month away! It hasn’t quite hit me yet, but even so there are so many emotions swirling around me at the moment. Fear, excitement, nerves…the language is the biggest thing that I’ve been nervous about, but something God’s been reminding me about is this: Love has no language barriers. A couple months ago I had a breakdown. I was listening to some Spanish Hillsong when I realized that I didn’t understand any of it. “How am I supposed to go to Bolivia for 3 months and speak Spanish?! But God showed me something that night. We went out to dinner as a family, and as I was washing my hands in the bathroom I realized that there was a small somebody behind me. A little girl from Latin America. I realized after about 30 seconds of talking with her that she didn’t know English. But that didn’t stop her from smiling up at me with her big brown eyes. As I washed my hands she just kept smiling up at me. I smiled back, and in that moment her eyes lit up and smile widened. She started copying me while I washed my hands and we then exchanged one more smile. Our interaction then had to come to an end. I knew exactly what God was saying. “Lisa, how many words were needed for that interaction?” None. Just a smile. I may not always have the words to say, but I know God will speak when I can’t and I do know that even when I may not the energy, even when I don’t feel I have a smile to give, I can give them a smile straight from heaven.
I’m excited for this trip, definitely, but this is way outside my comfort zone. I don’t know how to fly alone to another country, speaking a foreign language, with people I don’t know. It would be so easy for me to go to the first day of school and see everyone, go to football games, and be in the fall concert, but in this time I have to trust God, to a level I haven’t had to before. And It begs the question: Can we really grow if we don’t step outside our comfort zones? I mean if we don’t do we ever really have to trust God? The thing I’m realizing as the departure date is coming close is that I don’t just need to go to a foreign country to step outside my comfort zone. It’s talking to people on the plane next to me right now as I write this, even when I just want to put in my ear buds and introvert, it’s when I apologize to someone I have hurt, or restore a broken relationship, it’s when we pray with the homeless person on the side of the road when I’d rather pass them, it’s giving them money even when I hardly have enough for me. It’s choosing joy, talking to people, blessing people. See it’s when I stand up for faith even when it’s not socially acceptable, or love people even when no one else does. For me I know Bolivia is a step of faith I need to take, but I’m starting to notice all the opportunities here where I can take a step of faith as well. Although I am sometimes too cowardly to take all those opportunities I’ve found that even when I don’t have the courage, the energy, the words, or the smile, there is someone who does. And I can give people a smile, words, and courage straight from heaven.