A Step Into A New World
“For it is in giving that we receive.”-St. Francis of Assisi
The overwhelming feeling of God’s presence is not something that is simple to write about. It is a feeling that you must experience in your own time. It is an emotion that is so hard to describe that words seem trivial. I will try my best to depict this emotion.
Guatemala was a life changing event that will never leave my heart. While being there, I truly found myself and I felt the presence of God around me as well as within me. As I stepped off the bus and into the arms of the children surrounding me I knew it then and there, God was with me and I had finally found myself. I spent ten days in Guatemala and cherished each and every one of them.
Throughout the past few years, I have tried to put aside time for giving myself to others. I have bounced around from location to location to find where I truly fit in. I found my place while I was in Guatemala. I stayed in an orphanage, and got to spend invaluable time with the children living there. Through hearing many stories of the children’s lives, I was moved to tears and, at points, started to question my ways of living. While I was there, I gave up everything that wasn’t essential. I gave up makeup, electronics, hair products, and any other sort of luxury. I lived like they did and it was the most liberating feeling in the world.
While at Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, we were given the task of creating a pig pen. At first, I thought, “This should be easy, just lay down some wire and bring in some dirt and we’ll be finished.” When we arrived at the area where the pig pen was designated to be; we saw overgrown land and a huge hill. We were told we would be uprooting the vegetation as well as leveling the entire area. After we looked at it, we felt it would be impossible. On my own faith journey, I have felt this type of doubt before. I have often felt that I have been given a task that is impossible to complete. The “pit” as we referred to it, is a symbol of my faith journey. It appeared to be an obstacle I could not overcome, but in the end I overcame it with dignity and an open heart for God’s love to fill. I feel as though this pig pen was a gift that wasn’t easy to create but was so rewarding to be able to give.
I’ve always strived to be on a journey of faith, but I’ve never completely stepped foot onto the path until Guatemala. I have always prayed to God to open my heart to everyone around me and give them my love. I feel as though I ripped open my heart and shared every bit of love I had with these orphans. I saw God’s love through the eyes of each and every child. There is one the will always remain very close to my heart. His name is Ceto. He’s one of the kids I met there who had a huge heart filled with Gods love. I now have a Godchild in Guatemala who I sponsor with thirty dollars a month, but it doesn’t seem enough. I have this calling to go back there and give more of my love and I plan to return this next summer for the entire month of July.
When it was time to leave, I looked out the window and I saw not just ordinary children, I saw children of God, and I knew right then and there, I was a child of God too. I felt God open up his arms and pull me close and give me a big welcoming hug that to this day has still not gone away. Overall, the most significant and tangible accomplishment I made while I was in Guatemala was putting my foot on the path towards my own faith journey and not looking back.