Costa Rica is experiencing a drought of sorts right now. We are in the heart of the so-called rainy season, where it’s supposed to rain – no, pour – every afternoon for several hours. But since May when ‘winter’ started, it’s only rained a mere handful of afternoons.
I understand that the U.S. in the midst of a drought too - one of the worst ones in decades. Obviously, droughts cause all sorts of problems: food prices soar, electricity costs increase, cattle can die… It’s not a good situation.
In many ways, the last two years since deciding to come to Costa Rica have seemed like a drought in our personal lives, at least on paper. Since starting the blog, I’ve written a lot about some of the difficulties, fears, and trials we’ve faced:
· Moving out of our house (I still cry when looking at these pictures)
· Kate being sick, again and again and again
· Facing an ectopic, infertility, surgery, misdiagnosis (the doctor I was using when we first arrived uses an ancient ultrasound machine and misdiagnosed me with PCOS. He put me on a medication that I took for four months, until the doctor in Seattle who did my surgery told me what looked like cysts were actually just blood vessels. This was one of the most frustrating things we’ve experienced here).
But unlike a real drought, this season of dryness in our own life has actually produced amazing fruit. Personal seasons of drought often do.
· We’ve learned tons of lessons along the way and grown personally and spiritually in ways we would have never imagined.
· We’ve learned to wait and be patient… for so many things. This has created character we didn’t have before.
· We’ve learned to live with less stuff. Whenever we move back to the States, we will make a conscious effort to live with less and practice some sort of minimalism.
· We’ve had extra time together as a family. Kate spends as much time with me as she does with her daddy. This never would have been the case if we’d stayed in Seattle. I would have worked full time this past year as a 4th grade teacher. Joe would have worked too obviously. (Nothing wrong with this scenario, by the way). But with this extra time together, we have bonded and grown more than ever, as a little family of three.
· We have made incredible friendships. Both with Gringos and with Ticos.
· We are finally starting to feel at home here in another country and have a strong handle on the language, although I still speak v e r y slowly, and have to conjugate verbs in my head, and based on what we’re now learning in Spanish class, have to ask myself, ‘does this sentence require the subjunctive mood?” (a ‘mood’ or verb tense we really don’t have/use in English)
· We are more hopeful now than we were a week ago about our future at the Abraham Project and the opportunity for us to help it become more sustainable. In our recent Ministry Update, we talked about the meeting that was going to take place this past Saturday. Well, it did, and we feel like it was successful. We still have questions and concerns that need to be addressed before moving forward, but we feel like it was a step in the right direction.
With all these things above, and many more not mentioned, we can easily see God’s work in our lives – the fruit being produced – through this experience. Joe has this corny tank-top (yes, a tank-top) that says, “Make It Rain”. Although there are days when it really feels like a drought, there are many others when we feel and know that God is ‘making it rain’ and we are flourishing. And above all, his will is being accomplished in our lives.
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”