I am an extrovert, 100%. I love people, being with people, doing nothing with people, anything but being alone. So one aspect of my weekend on the Apache rez that was so fulfilling was the many interactions with people. By the end of the weekend I thought my heart might explode. I received so much encouragement from students, co-volunteers, and staff members that by the end of my time I felt filled up to overflowing. Here is a recap of why the weekend was so great:
Relationships with inspiration: The first stand out interaction was that with one of my students from the summer. This girl is my inspiration. When I met her she was pregnant, and just a few months before the baby was to be born her boyfriend/the father killed himself. It was unexpected and devastating. But she held strong, clinging to the sweet life of the baby that was to come. This weekend I got to hold her sweet baby and spend some time with her at her house. Here she gave me some ridiculously awesome news...she got into college!!! This is HUGE and I am so so proud of her I almost cried. I am so impressed by her strength, her drive, and her attitude. I don’t know if I could have come out of all she has been through with the same strong spirit and confidence that life is not over. I am so inspired and so proud of who she is.
Relationships with “family:” I got to spend a lot of time with the team that works with AYM this past weekend, something that was an unexpected surprise. As some of you might know I have definitely missed family seeing as I am so far from those I love back home, and as a super-extrovert, living alone has been hard. But for the first time in a while I felt part of a community and a family. Whether it was surprising a friend with a party, laughing until I cried, or eating standing up with a bunch of kids running around, I felt a part of something. There were no expectations or pretenses to be held. Everyone was simply who they were, trusting that the rest of us would love them for it, and it was so very refreshing.
After this weekend I realized how much my heart beats for the students from the rez. I want them to succeed, I want them to know they are loved, I want them to realize their potential. Coming back home my prayer life has increased exponentially as I try to discern what this all means and what God is calling me to do. None of this decision-making process is easy, but I am so grateful to know that I am surrounded by so many who love me and care about me. Leaving the rez I feel fulfilled, and for the first time in a while I feel genuinely excited about my future.
So here we go, let's see what happens :)