This is the final installment in a series where I share pieces of my Costa Rica travel journal. Follow the links below to read the previous installments:
- Part One: “Into the Nations”
- Part Two: “Beneath His Feet”
- Part Three: “Clearly Seen”
- Part Four: “Deep Calls to Deep”
- Part Five: “Hearing Hearts”
- Part Six: “Where Life Starts”
A few captured moments:
My group found this really cool restraunt with a giant plane next to it. Here’s my sister Abby and me in the cockpit:
A sample of some of the wonderful food (and smoothies!) I got to eat in Costa Rica:
Abby and me enjoying a fantastic breakfast: a smoothie, fresh-squeezed orange juice, banana pancakes, bacon, and fruit:
Abby and me on the beach our last evening in Costa Rica:
From my travel journal:
We’re on the plane now, headed home to the U.S. To the place where my heart’s belonged for the past 21 years. Only now, I feel like a piece of it lives each of the places we visited in Costa Rica, Central America. And these pieces will stay there, living and breathing and beating alongside the other hearts I’ve come to know and love during this trip.
Yesterday we went back to the 14-year-old girl’s home, where some of the money we had with us went to purchase a new roof. The new roof had already been put on when we got there, and when I looked up to take a picture of it, a single word flashed into my head: HOPE.
I thought of how we are all like that roof. We start out with holes in us, and because of our brokenness, bad things constantly destroy us: sin, the world, etc. But then Jesus comes—or uses someone—to bring us hope. He doesn’t just fix the brokenness or patch up the holes, but rather, He makes us new. The Scriptures say:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Create in my a pure heart, O God…” – Psalm 51:10
The Scriptures don’t say: “fix my heart that’s messed up.”
The Bible also says:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” –Ezekiel 36:26
When we receive Christ, we’re made new, whole, complete. And that’s what I saw when I looked at the new, spotless roof.
Usually, the first part of a trip seems to pass slowly, then the rest rushes by. But this time, the whole thing flew by so fast I constantly reminded myself to take hold of each moment, cherishing it as the beautiful, precious gift form God that it is.
The abundant life is here, it’s now. It’s within our grasp if we’ll only reach out and take the hand of the One who leads us faithfully through rain forests, beside waterfalls, up mountains. Through life.
Lord, thank You for this opportunity to experience Costa Rica with some of my dearest friends and church family. Thank You for the experiences, the memories, the laughter, the tears. The unbridled joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.
As the plane lifted off the ground, my vision clouded and I remembered the things I’ve experienced this past week. From the mighty mountains haloed by clouds, to the roar of the howler monkeys that woke us p at 5:00am the first morning, to the faces of people living with abandon…all for our King.
The creation sang His praise in resounding choruses and brilliant colors.Created for His pleasure, but revealed to us on this trip. Words cannot describe these experiences, but my heart overflows with a song of thanks to my Creator. A song I will share through words, deeds, and love every day I’m alive.
You, Lord, are worth it all. Thank you, Father. Thank you.