Just another day in Costa Rica…if you’re curious, this is what life has looked like for me in the last 5 weeks.
Costa Rica sounds like a pretty idealistic place, doesn’t it? New adventures to be had every day (and not to mention a nice tan)! But let me tell you, adventures get pricey and rain every day does get a little old. Oh and also, I’m not coming back home fluent in Spanish, which I’m perfectly okay with. I love my life here, but not for the reasons you’d think. I feel like I’m experiencing real, honest…growth, I guess. Life is moving on in a consistent pace, and that makes me happy.
I go to class for 4 hours a day, from 8-12am. Some days are awesome, and some days are really frustrating. I’m learning a lot of Spanish, and I’m learning a lot about what it takes to learn a language. I took 1 year of Spanish in high school that was pretty much gone by the time I got here, so I’ve had to start from square one. But, just because I’m living in a Spanish-speaking country doesn’t mean that learning the language has become any easier than it would be at home surrounded by the English language. I get a lot more opportunities to try to speak Spanish, so in that way it helps because a lot of the time I don’t get the option to speak English. It has forced me into a lot of discomfort, which I don’t believe is a bad thing. I’m not sure I ever will be completely fluent in Spanish, and somehow I don’t even really think it’s possible to be fluent in a language that’s not your first language. I still haven’t found any direction in this, but I don’t regret making the choice to learn.
So, if you didn’t clue in, if I’m only going to school until noon, that gives me more free time than I know what to do with. The first few weeks were hard. I was so consumed in my North American mind of constant busyness that I dreaded the time I had on my own. Have you ever heard of an 18 year-old in bed every night by 9?! Didn’t think so, but I didn’t know what to do with myself! So I slept. Pathetic.
This had to be remedied, I knew right away. The party doesn’t last forever, at some point I was going to have to embrace life for what it was giving me. And it was giving me so much, I just couldn’t see it.
The first week all I wanted was music, that would fill my time. So I prayed, all week, “God, give me an instrument. That’s all I want God, please be gracious Father.” I was so restless and that would fill my time. That weekend we went on a weekend trip. In our final few hours at our hostel I was sitting in the living room when I looked up and saw a guitar hanging on the wall. I found a secluded spot and played until the last moment that I could, but I didn’t even realize that my prayer had been answered. I wanted something to occupy my days…plural. This had given me a few hours, but it wasn’t what I had asked for. I thanked God, but not without giving him a reminder of my criteria, and the weeks went on.
So, what was my mistake? Was I not specific enough? God’s supposed to know our thoughts, right? (Psalm 38:9 You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh. NLT) If I believe that the Bible is truth, then God knew what I was asking, before I even asked it. I even believe that God knows me better than I will ever be able to know myself, and I know that in that moment God knew what I REALLY needed. God has given me music as a gift, not a crutch. I enjoy music, but I do not rely on it. If I would have taken home that guitar, would I have left room for God? Or would I just wanted what He could give me. God didn’t mess up, he’s showing me how to redefine my priorities and so much more.