Sunday, October 19, 2014

8 years later.

8 years, 2 days and 15 minutes ago I boarded an airplane to travel 8,700+ miles around the world to a little town in Cambodia because I knew I wanted to spend most of my life living here. Because I had heard about this little nation several years before I ever got to come and I was falling in love with this nation by the time I first came a couple years before I moved here.

8 years. I don't really feel old now, but when I think about the 23 year old me that moved here - I feel like I was so young. So. young. (probably because I was.)

And here I am 8 years later and life has been full. Good. Hard. Exciting. Challenging. Hopeful. Exhausting. Full.

Recently I stopped most of what I've been doing since I got here; I stopped working with something I helped start that I've dreamed of seeing become a reality for years that go before the desire to live here and something I imagined I would grow old doing. Everything I felt like I was coming here to do is finished and I do not know what will come tomorrow. The reason I came is no longer why I'm here and yet I am still here.

I am finding myself needing to trust God in ways I have never known before and I don't know what this will look like.

I walked away from everything that I've done for the past several years. I've walked away from all of what I've dreamed of doing for so long and I've watched as others are taking it and running with it. And this life is a bittersweet thing because I love the people who are still there - both those working with the families and the families themselves. And saying goodbye to them, trying to explain to them what I mean when I say I am taking a break for a little while wasn't an easy thing to do because while I think I may have gotten caught up in so many of the technicalities of making programs run I fell in love with a great number of people and I can't just walk away from that. I'm letting go of programs, but I cannot let go of the friendships that have grown from walking through life with people.

And so now I've made my way to the coast with just my little raindrop in tow for the next few weeks. I'm so grateful for this time to be away and am fighting the want for it to just be about running away. It's good to process. It's good to think. It's good to figure out what God really is saying is next. There's such a big part of me that wants it to be a break and then to jump back into Jeevit's House, but I don't know and I guess when I signed up for this, I didn't sign up with my own conditions as hard as I may try to impress them upon God some days. But it's supposed to be that I do what he says, whether it's convenient or not, whether it's in my comfort zone or not, whether it's in my 5 year, 10 year, lifetime plan or not. It's not about me. And I find myself like John in the Bible praying may there be less of me and more of you. Whatever comes.

And I am so grateful for these 8 years. For all the different seasons that have been caught up in the midst of them that haven't exactly followed the pattern of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer that I grew up with or even the Rainy season, Cold season, Hot season of life in this tropical beauty of a nation I call home today. For all the memories, for all the friendships, for all the lessons, for all the people and stories and times that have changed my life and stretched me and grown me and brought me to where I am today. And while I do not know what the next 8 years will hold for me, I do know that it will be good. It has to be. 


Ben and Kami said...


You sound like you are in the perfect place. Your heart is where God wants it to be so that HE may use you (in any area that HE chooses and leads.) We too, are excited to see where the next 8 years takes you.

Your friends,

The Heilman Family

Laura Altemus said...

Thanks guys! I just saw your comment now. . . I'm glad you're back!