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I'm not sure I can find the words to express the overwhelming feeling of gratefulness, joy, and fullness in my heart right now, but I will try. Really there are no words, and no pictures, no thing I could share that would fully do justice to the movement of God within me and around me this week. But what I can tell you is that I was changed from the inside out all over again.

God appeared in ways and in places that spoke so softly to my soul and yet bursted down walls around it all at once. Only He could orchestrate something so perfectly balanced and complete, and I am left in awe and wonder of who He is, as I always should be.

So what changed? And what now? Two very important questions that have stirred in my heart since my return. What changed was my focus. So simple and yet, so difficult sometimes in the midst of everyday life. And perhaps, as member of my team said this week, sometimes it takes changing our exterior, to realign who we are on the interior. That's what God did this week in me, and perhaps, in my whole team. I feel so blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude for the people that God surrounded me with this week. Their wisdom, their patience, their guidance and understanding, their listening ears, their laughter, and sometimes just their presence. To get to know so many beautiful souls in such a way is such a gift and each one left a footprint on my heart.

Perhaps the most beautiful part of getting to return to Costa Rica a second time was getting to know the people there so much better and seeing everything through completely different eyes. Seeing past the initial shock and awe and into the beautiful personalities and souls of the people that God placed right in front of me this week. Forming inside jokes and laughing despite a barrier in language, helping each other and having fun while we did, working and walking alongside each other for a common cause, worshipping and praying together, sharing in our faith, being united by what makes us common instead of what separates us. God showed Himself to me in every person, and in every moment, and I am forever grateful for each and every one of them.

So now what? How do I take all that I have learned, all that God has revealed to me, and all He has done within me and carry it into my every day life? How do I spread His light and love to the people I love, the people around me no matter where I am? How do I take a completely immersive experience and completely immerse it into who I am each and every day? This has been my prayer, and what God has so lovingly reminded me of again and again this week is that He is ALWAYS with me and that He loves me with an everlasting and unfailing love, and that His love is the very source of my life, His love is what allows me to carry Him within me wherever I go, to whoever I meet.

He is not just with me when I am saturated by a week full of serving and sharing faith, He is not just with me when I do good, when I make the right choices, when I don't mess up. He is not just with me when I'm brave and certain. No, He is with me ALWAYS, in every moment, of every day. When I am frustrated in the day-to-day, when I have doubts, fears, or anxieties, when I mess up, when I wander, when I make a mistake. His love does not fail and His faithfulness does not end.

"I have love you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers." (Jeremiah 31: 3-4)

This is who God is, it is His very nature, and when I remember that, it allows me not only to love and seek Him more in my daily life, in others, and in myself; but to then be able to pour out that love to those around me. It allows me to be brave, even in the midst of fear, it allows me to be more patient, kind, and forgiving towards others. It allows me to LIVE, truly live in the totally security of God's arms, and of who He says I am. It allows me to say "Geronimo!" to go! To do. To serve. To be. To live the life God has created us to live. To live in freedom, in truth, and in love. Freedom to be who God made me to be, freedom to not be perfect, freedom from guilt and shame, freedom from fear, from anxiety, from regret.

And that freedom, that relationship that is so personal and so intimate with Christ, that is the basis of it all. If I don't know God, if I don't intentionally, and personally, and persistently seek after Him with my whole heart, and strength, and mind, then how can I know His heart? How can I walk in His freedom? How can I learn, and grow, and share His what He is teaching me, if I don't first meet Him there? Not just on missions, not just in good times, but always. He is all around me, He is speaking, and when I seek Him, I see Him, I hear Him, I find Him.

My prayer for me, and for you, is that we would be a people who seek Him with our whole hearts. To know His love, His unfailing and unchanging love, and to share it with the world.

God, you are so good to me, thank you for all that you are. Help me to seek You with all of my heart, and mind, and strength, and soul. To keep You first always, and to never forget Your unfailing love. I pray that Your word and Your Spirit would dwell richly in me in all that I do. In Jesus' name, Amen <3

Until next time friends, Pura Vida!

Love always,

Nicole <3

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