Having the opportunity to travel outside of the United States is not a right. It’s a luxury, a gift. I said this to a friend while in Costa Rica overlooking the mountain ridge. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever thought that I would go out of the country. I mean, the farthest I had ever traveled had been to California and that was last year. And even that was amazing to me!
As I stood there and took in the beautiful scenery, I thought about my 83-year old grandmother, Elaine. My Nana would probably never get to see what I was seeing. She has lived in the inner city of Baltimore her entire life. I wondered what she would think about having the opportunity to see another country – one as beautiful as Costa Rica. I knew at that moment that I was there for no other reason than that God wanted me there…but why? That was the question in my heart. What did God want me to do?
We approach most things like that, don’t we? Doing. What should we be doing? As I looked at the schedule each day, I did my best to prepare for what I needed to do. I prepared for the ministry that I would be engaging in. Singing, preaching, sharing the Word, encouraging the women—all of that was on my to-do-list.
And yet, while all of that was wonderful, it is the “other” times that I remember. Devotions with my team each morning. Royce laughing out-loud because of some random funny thing. Katie chasing after mangos as they fell from the trees. Laughing at Mariah wearing one of the worst outfits ever because she was cold. Deep conversation with Heidi each night. Learning from Kathy and Doug. Dancing in big skirts with Rachael. Sitting next to Josh at the piano and singing Spanish together. These are the moments that I remember most about Costa Rica. The “togetherness” with people that I love.
My journey to Costa Rica was not about what I do, but who I am. Really… if I could sum it up in a sentence, that would be it. And while there was work to be done, the work being done in me was much deeper. Did I have to travel to Costa Rica for the Lord to do that work? Maybe not…but I love that my Father would go to all that trouble so that I could remember that I am loved and that what the world responds to is who I am and not necessarily what I do.