A couple of years ago, I never would have thought that I would pack up my bags and fly to a whole new country in the middle of a pandemic nonetheless, but here I am.
God was up to something. In the summer of 2018, I studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain altering my path forever. This was not my first time out of the country, but this was my first time in Europe. I marveled at ancient cathedrals that stood for decades in Galicia. I stumbled upon a street lined with tea shops called La Calle de las Teterias or Tea House Street in Granada. I ate my belly full of pastel de natas in Portugal. I reveled in spontaneity. I allowed myself to be curious, and I discovered courage in a place where I had never dreamed of going before. However, that trip would not have been possible without God. What started off as a minor in college changed the whole trajectory of my life, which now has me living in Spain.
I find it funny now how eager I am to be immersed in the Spanish language when just a couple of years ago, I had an experience with a professor who’s teaching methods left much to be desired. However, when I reenrolled into Spanish with the goal of completing my language requirement only, one professor changed my outlook on the language completely. Profe Piemontese is a treasure. When I started her class, I was ready for the typical rigamarole, i.e. the numerous worksheets, the fill-in-the-blank textbooks, and the boring humdrum of a professor’s voice. However, I was pleasantly surprised! She opened my eyes to a whole ‘nother side of the language. I was floored with how quickly I learned Spanish, but with her help inside and outside of the classroom, I was able to grasp the language beyond the basics.
After taking multiple classes with Profe Piemontese, she had suggested I go abroad to Spain. And after she suggested, yet another professor recommended I go to Spain as well. However, my GPA was not where I needed it to be in order to attain the scholarship, and I needed to save my coin, so I bowed out of going summer 2017 and decided to go the following summer. I used that time to take more Spanish classes, save my money and intern as a Spanish 100 student-teacher. After much preparation, I found myself enrolling to study abroad. We had tons of emails informing us about the trip, we had orientation, I packed my bags, said my good-byes, and we were off on a 15-hour flight to Spain.
When we came back home, I knew I needed to go back to Spain. A friend of mine had done so by teaching abroad for two years, so I thought this was my way. I thought after graduation, I would be flying off back to Spain, but I had a tough decision to make. Go and use up my savings or go the following year, fulfill a couple of goals, and be in a better place financially. I chose the second, but it was hard. The longing to be immersed in Spain everyday was real, but I had to do what was best for me at the moment, and I stayed home. While the decision was a challenging one, God provided and promoted me from an intern to a full-time Office Manager at a Real Estate firm. He provided for the vision with a job that I didn’t think would last past my internship.
During that time, God worked on my patience, my obedience, and my faith. He needed to strengthen my patience. When the passport facilities closed at the beginning of the pandemic right after I sent my passport for renewal, the delay went from the traditional two months to four months. I was shook, but He was with me. He also needed to strengthen my obedience. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m hardheaded. I like to do things my way, but in this season of waiting, I had to trust that I did my part and leave the rest in God’s hands. I couldn’t force or manipulate a thing, which led to my faith being strengthened, too. All the time I spent praying, listening to worship playlists & Christian podcasts, studying the Word, attending service, seeking Godly advice, and reading Christian literature was ultimately watering the mustard seed. As a result, my faith developed in the provider and less in the provision.
I learned that God is sovereign. He can make it happen or not, but that’s on Him, and the only thing I can do is play my part. That’s right – I have a part to play. If God is the baseball coach, I am the pitcher. We are co-laborers. With this assignment, I couldn’t sit on my hands; I had to get out on the field and play even if I lost. And truthfully, with God, there are no losses, only lessons. With Him, I knew everything was gonna be alright – God was with me all the way. When I had a multitude of down days and called out from work, He softened the heart of my employer. When I lost hope in my gifts, He placed a guitar in my hands. When I went to the emergency room resulting in an expensive hospital bill, He cut the bill in half. God did that and so much more. God is real, and He has shown me through my relationship with Him and this very situation. He worked and works on my behalf even when I don’t see it or feel it. I have to do my part and remind myself that He is working.
Now, I’m here writing about my God-sized dream, and my heart is full of gratitude. I am thankful to see the other side of the vision – it’s really real. And I couldn’t have done it without Him. What may seem illogical to some made sense to me because this move happened with God.