All of these words, these feelings, surround me as I consider what lies ahead. We moved to Mexico 4 and a half years ago – for the learning experience; for the adventure. We said we would be here two years at most. And then we stayed. We moved to another apartment, we had a second child, David got a promotion, I started working again, we moved to yet another apartment – life went on and life, our lives, occurred in Mexico.
Mexico was once a foreign country, a faraway land of sombreros and spicy salsa. And now it is home. Mexico has grown me, stretched me, and changed me. And it has been incredibly difficult at times. I fought against Mexico being my home for too long. I wanted to keep it as a temporary stop in the journey. I did not embrace it. And then something happened, Mexico became a part of me and now I know that it always will be. I will look back on my time here and see change in my life – change for good.
In her devotional book, Savor, Shauna Niequist writes:
“Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we have become, in the worst ways and also in the best ways…change is good in the way childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it’s incredibly painful, exponentially more so when you fight it, and also that is has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God’s hand, which is where you wanted to be all along, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be.”
Mexico has changed me and grown me in so many ways. I have learned what it is like to be new in a foreign land – to not speak the language or know the customs or how to integrate into the community. I have felt deep loneliness. I have missed the familiar and comfortable. And I have learned to overcome all of these things. I have learned to appreciate the kindness and patience of strangers in a way I have never known before. I have learned to stop fighting the changes; the differences. I will always be an American, but I hope that I will also let these experiences use me to more fully love other people, other cultures, and the differences that make our world a dynamic beautiful place.
There are more changes ahead for our family as we move back to the U.S. this summer and figure out how to integrate all of these changes into our American lives. And so I wait…
But this time it is my goal to not fight the change, but figure out how to embrace it and continue to grow. I do not want to leave behind all the gifts that Mexico gave me but bring them with me and live in the midst of them.