In 10 days I will be on a plane to Guatemala.
It's been almost 12 years since I was last there.
I catch myself wondering if it is anything like I remember ...
if it's anything like my pictures.
I remember pieces of Antigua like it was yesterday - that country so richly embedded itself in my heart that it may as well be my hometown.
But it's been 12 years.
And a lot can change in 12 years.
I know I have.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't at all nervous about my trip. I'll navigate on my own. I'll be staying with other foreigners. We will be "on our own," no professor and professional guide to tell us where to eat and what to avoid. I am fortunate to have friends living there who can do that, but the time we spend with them may be minimal. I won't know until I get there.
Tonight is a hard night.
One of my closest friends looked me straight in the eye and called me a fundamentalist. When another friend said, "ouch! Those are fighting words!" all he could do was nod. We may not agree, but resorting to namecalling only builds walls, not bridges.
I learned that firsthand tonight.
He's never hurt me before.
Tonight he went right for the heart.
No, it wasn't Pete.
Pete's in Oklahoma for a month.
He's on day 2 of a 17 day class, and that's only the Monday-Friday days.
I miss him.
The first thing I did tonight after the incident above was to call him. I asked his opinion and I told him what had happened. We talked about the issue on the table, but more so I found myself wanting a hug from him.
I was smacked in the face tonight with his absence. Until tonight it hasn't been bad (he's been gone since Saturday) - it's been sort of nice to chat with him each evening and hear stories of a part of the world I've never seen. It's been fun to share the new parts of this experience.
Tonight it wasn't fun.
Tonight I wanted him here, on my couch, with me as I worked through what had gone on with my other friends.
But I was all alone and that was the first time he couldn't "fix it."
I hung up the phone in tears, and I can't even explain why. I wasn't angry at my friend. I wasn't upset that Pete wasn't here. I wasn't necessarily lonely. It just didn't feel right, and the only thing I knew to do was cry.
I've not felt the greatest this week. A little bug, and I'm on medication for it, but I'm tired of not feeling like myself. It's about time for it to go away! I've got a trip to plan, little critters. You just find your way on out of my body now. It's tiresome not to feel 100%.
Pray for my friend Melissa. She is currently on a mission trip in Tanzania. Pray for her health and safety, and for her hubby and 4 kids here at home. She goes tomorrow (today? - can't get those time zones straightened out) to the orphanage and the school, I believe. She's wanted to make this trip for 13 years and finally has had the chance. Pray that God works in her life as she gives her life to God in service.
Last weekend my baby cousin got married. I got to perform the ceremony. It was so cool, and I know he doesn't read this, but thanks, Brett, for that honor. I had a really great time. I can't believe you have a wife! I love that girl dearly, and I'm so glad she'll be sticking around for a "few" more Christmases.
As part of that weekend, I got to spend Friday afternoon with no one but Sheri and Olivia. Nothing heals a parched soul like three hours with my pseudo-niece and my best friend. She's adorable, she's sweet, she barely even cries, and she loves to be held. And Sheri makes a great fruit salad! Can an afternoon be any sweeter? Only when you end it with Thai food with Pete and homemade apple cobbler by his sister (yes, that really happened)! What a great way to send him away for a month.
There are so many things happening in my world, and I cannot share them all. In a way that feels good. Some thoughts at this point are only my own. Some may always be my own. And some I share because I love the blogging community. I love the fact that real, honest, face-to-face friendships have been formed with people I never would have known existed had it not been for this little piece of cyberspace. Thank you for allowing me the time and the space to write.