-Footprints in the Sand-

-Footprints in the Sand-

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets offootprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really troubled him and he questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Hardest Part is Leaving

I have officially finished my duties here in Mexico as a teacher to young children.  Am I sad?  More than anything.  Am I ready to leave?  Not really.  Will I come back someday?  Absolutely!  I have grown to love this culture, and everything I have experienced for the past four months I have been here.  Don't get me wrong, some of the things I would have never gotten used to, and I am glad that I will not have to deal with things like that anymore.  Most of the things that I experienced was good, just plain ole' good.  I have enjoyed everything that I was faced with including the happy, the sad, the hard, and the terrible.  I know those experiences have made me a stronger person, and I finally feel like I can carry my own being.  I don't need to rely on others anymore.  I have become more independent, smart, and patient.  I would also love to think that I have become more selfless, although I have improved, I still have a ways to go!

Looking back to where I have been, I can see improvement in myself.  Let's take a flashback through Sophia's life shall we?  Age 15.  Middle school.  Kinda OCD.  I was terrified of people as a child.  That sounds super weird, but it is the truth.  I never liked being in a crowd, and when I was, I was looking at the fastest way to escape it.  Who would have known that I would end up in Mexico?  Living with strangers, not being able to understand, or speak their countries language.   Getting lost for 5 hours in the Mexico City airport, and being able to stay calm because I knew with a certainty unfeigned that that was where I was supposed to be in life.  Me, who was afraid to walk into Wal Mart by myself because I was afraid something bad would happen.  Me, who always wanted to travel, but never thinking I could because I was too afraid of the world. 

I checked my luggage for the first time in my life by myself.   I went through customs for the first time in my life all by myself.  I lived in Mexico, and I still live to tell the tale.  One's capacity, and overall growth is something that can never be underestimated.  Don't get me wrong, you don't grow by doing things by yourself, because the people I have met have been a huge part of that change that has happened inside me.

I once was talking about going on an 18 month mission for my church with a woman who I whom I will call my older sister.  During our conversation, I said something along the lines of, "If I go on a mission, I know that it will help me become a better person."  Her response.  "Ya know, I don't think that you are seeing yourself clearly.  I think that you will help lots of other people become better by going on a mission."  Honestly, I never understood her response until now.  I now can make some sense of it, now that I have been in service to others.  The whole time I was focused on what a mission could do for me personally, and not about my abilities in actually helping others.  That's the whole point of service, yeah?  You go for others, and you magically find yourself while doing so.  Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  I totally believe it.

I never thought that I would end up here, but I am beyond blessed to have done so.  Service is the ultimate act of Christ's love for us.  It doesn't mean that you have to leave your country to do so.  The amazing thing about service is that it is universal.  No matter where you are, there is always someone that needs a smile, a hug, or kind words of affection.  Service in small doses can yield huge effects. 

As my story here comes to a close, I can say that my time here has been well spent.  My life has changed from, "some day I think" to "one day I will."  Life is but an adventure, and I am ready to go wherever Heavenly Father sends me next.  My footprints have officially left Mexican soil.  Welcome back America. 
                           "Celebrate endings -- for they precede new."  -Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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