Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tough Choice

Life is full of tough decisions, and I feel like my entire summer was spent wrestling with one.

It started back in February when I heard about a full-time staff opening at Wildwood and my heart leapt inside of me. Before I had felt called to Honduras, I had been interested in having such a position. At that time, however, it wasn't available to me, and God had other plans for me first.

I went to Honduras and served there all last year, teaching Kindergarten. Then, I got hired on to work another summer at Wildwood as a wrangler. As the time to go to camp drew closer, I grew more and more excited, but started to feel somewhat conflicted, wondering if I could do both. Could I have my heart both at Wildwood and in Honduras? I wasn't sure.

It was about a week into the summer when I regretted going because of how much I loved it, and I wasn't sure that I could ever leave. I started to feel a freedom that I hadn't felt in months, not only to go out and do things without fear of being robbed, but to be who I am.

Whether from a lack of language or feeling uncomfortable expressing who I am for fear of what people would think of me, I had lost myself while in Honduras. I left it out of my blogs, but I had become depressed again for the last couple of months of being here, and it took a lot of effort to get through each day.

Throughout the summer, people would frequently ask me when I was returning to Honduras. My answer was always the same: August 8th, and I always felt a rise of anxiety about returning. I talked with a close friend about it, and she asked me what I would do if I didn't go to Honduras, and I expressed how badly I wanted to stay at Wildwood.

I eventually ended up going to my boss as well as the director, and it was more/less settled that I had a job there if I wanted it. At first I was ecstatic, but the more I thought about it and pictured it, the more of a dream it became, and the more sure I became that I wouldn't ever be able to work full-time at Wildwood. It was one of those "this is too good to be true so it can't be possible" feelings.

As summer started drawing closer to an end, my fear about returning to Honduras grew stronger, and I started to have the sense that I shouldn't go. People frequently asked me if I was excited to go, and I would honestly tell them I wasn't. When they questioned me further and I explained how I felt, they would ask why I was going if I felt that God was leading me away from there? My answer was simply that I had already committed to teaching another year, and I didn't want to let anyone down. Plus, with my emotions on high, I wasn't entirely sure that that's what God was saying.

The day before summer ended, I went on a trail ride with the other wranglers. I chose a goofy Arab named Dottie not only because she had become one of my favorites during the summer and I wanted to help her overcome her fear of jumping (caused by an inexperienced and nervous jumper on her earlier), but also because I had had a dream where we had been soaring majestically over jumps and it was glorious.

Before we left, I had a feeling in my stomach that something bad was going to happen on the trail, and felt like I shouldn't go. But, I forced the feeling down, attributing it to excitement and having not ridden all week, and off we went. Sure enough, I fell off one and a half times, and got hit in the neck with her head (still not sure how that one happened). I have plenty of nice bruises to show for it and am otherwise fine, but I definitely knew before we left that something was going to happen. And so it did.

I spent one night crying out to the Lord and praying, and that sense that something bad would happen if I went rose in me again, like before the trail ride. It was impossible to ignore, but I was still planning on going to Honduras at that point, and considering leaving at Christmas if things got bad again. At long last, I asked God if I should stay, and a peace washed over me. I was then able to calmly get into bed, and slept.

As I presented this to friends and family members, they were excited about me staying, but agreed with my decision not just based on that. I'm SO grateful to my friends and family members that were there to support me, listen, and pray for me.

Currently, I am in Honduras. I had already paid for 2 weeks of Spanish language school, and have a few items that I left here that are important to me. So, I bought myself a return ticket for 3 weeks from now, and will be starting up back at Wildwood almost immediately.

It's been sort of hard coming back. God was definitely with me. There was a miscommunication, and nobody showed up to pick me up at the airport. However, I was on the plane with a member of the church and her two sons (one of which goes to the school here), and they were able to make some phone calls for me and drove me to a friend's house who took me to another friend's house where I'm able to stay for at least tonight. A lot of the details are still up in the air about how I'm getting to Copan this weekend, but I trust that God will work all that out for me.

It's been hard because of how many people I've already seen that I'd grown to love, including the couple that I lived with, and one of my students. It did stir up some doubts in me because I did love teaching, but I know that God has me elsewhere now.

So, I guess that's it for now. I'll likely continue updating this blog, or else start a new one to chronicle my journey at Wildwood. Thank you all for your support, and for believing in me even when I didn't. I'll be seeing most of you sooner than expected! :)


  1. So glad you've listened and figured out what's best for the plan God has for you. You'll do great things no matter where you're at. You have a true gift of leading, caring, and accepting everyone around you. Hope everything works out easily on your trip. Praying for you!

  2. Why is it that people think God always wants them to move far away to help those in need when their need is just as important nearer to their home?
    Melody, you have touched people in Honduras as well as at Wildwood. Even at reenactments, to be honest (Wow - you've stretched your blessings over 150 years in time!).
    God does not want you to be miserable - that will do nothing for you nor the people you are ministering to. Sometimes the most difficult questions have the simplest and happiest answers. I think you've found that out.
    And I believe that by you coming home to Michigan and staying home is truly where you belong.
    God bless you Melody. God is working through you no matter where you are. And you will do His work that much better if you are happy.