In the past month, I have turned in over 25 applications, gone to a conference, started a prayer group, worked several days, visited with old friends, read 2 really good books, and sent countless emails regarding my future opportunities. Nothing is certain yet, but I have a sort of routine to each week. I'm going with the flow right now. I now have a part-time job as a substitute teacher at the local elementary schools. I have been working about 2 or 3 days a week, teaching in various grades. It's interesting being the substitute because you are always in a different classroom, having to adjust to that teacher's rules and style of teaching. But I have been blessed to be with the same group of students several times, so I have had the chance to get to know these sweet kids. Each day I work brings me joy as I get to help these children learn and be a positive influence on their lives.
During this time, God has been teaching me to abide in Him. John 15:4 says "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." At times in my life, I distanced myself from God because I thought He wasn't there for me or couldn't help me. But He was always there. Something I have been trying to focus on is simply abiding in God, being in His presence. So often I find myself trying to get something from God or wanting Him to give me an answer NOW. But it doesn't work like that. The key is to seek God. Just that, nothing else. Get to know Him. Then he will show us the answers we are looking for. I've been reading a book that talks about our relationship with God. One of the best quotes in this book simply says that if we seek God, he will let himself be found by us. We have to come to Him first.
As today is Valentine's Day, I think it is appropriate to mention the topic of "true love". Our society is obsessed with this idea of finding true love, in the form of a person that is the perfect match for us, our "soulmate". While I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from thinking there is someone out there that will make them happy, I also don't believe that we should sit around dreaming of Prince Charming all day. Yes, it's nice to dream, but realistically, we should be focusing on improving our own character. How can I be a better friend, wife, sister, etc? Knowing that no one is perfect will bring us closer to true happiness, which can only be found in Christ. If Christ is the center of our relationships, we will be able to get through anything. True love can only truly be found in Him. (1 John 4: 7-8)
UPDATE: I have been praying about returning to Costa Rica for a 3-month Bible school starting in April. During these three months we would do an intensive study of 14 books of the Bible, while also reading through the entire Bible and analyzing many aspects of the history, context, and meaning of the Word. No final decisions have been made yet, but I am very seriously considering this opportunity. I feel that it would give me a solid foundation for beginning this chapter of my life as a missionary. Please pray for guidance for me and that I would know if it is the right timing and program for me.