Sunday, February 27, 2011

Looking for Aslan.

Good gravy.

So much to tell.  First of all, I almost freakin' DIED.

Let me explain.

We had an optional beach weekend trip, so of, course I went.  The hotel we stayed at was really nice, with a swim up bar, pool and everything.  Expect, they only booked two rooms for about 16 girls. That's probably the worst idea ever.  We made it work, though, and I spent the night in between my two favorite European girls, Nina from Austria, and Mareka, from Germany.  So after a very uncomfortable night's sleep, we headed out to the beach.

First of all, HOLY CRAP. It's absolutely beautiful.  And a tourist trap.  But beautiful.  And the water is so warm, it's like magic.

And the currents in the water are also super strong.  A bunch of us Port kids were out swimming, and before we knew it, we were caught in a current.  It was paddling for nearly 20 minutes before I realized I was making no progress. And I kind of started to panic.  I could see the shore, but even if I was swimming as hard as I could, I was too weak to make any progress on my own.

Luckily, a lifeguard noticed how much I was struggling and came out to help me, but even with his help, we weren't making any progress.   A surfer came to help me, and we paddle into shore.

I have never been so tired.  Or embarrassed.

It was now apparent to the whole beach that I was not a good swimmer.  Awesome.  And the surfer that helped me was super good looking.  As they say here in Costa Rica, "Que verguenza!", which roughly translates to, "I think I'm going to borrow that kid's  sand shovel a dig a nice, deep hole and hid there until the tide comes in."

But as a sat on the beach, thankful to be breathing, and probably blushing, I thought about how much that situation translates into my spiritual walk.  It always take me a while to realize I'm struggling, and need help, but it's very obvious to everyone else that I'm practically drowning in my own problems. And no matter how hard I try to sort through them on my own, I get pulled under.

Which is when God in His infinite mercy comes and rescues me, again.

So let that be a lesson to you, kids.  Ask for help when you need it.  It might be embarrassing, but hey, it's better than dying.

God has been using everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING, to teach me something about weakness in my life.  I had my very first experience of feeling socially awkward, and I even learned something from that.

This weekend, as part of our Spanish class, we stayed with Tico families. It was in general, a fantastic experience.  I was able to met a lot of people outside of Port.  And my host mom is super cool and loves art too, so we're having a art museum trip soon.

Last night after church , we went to a get together with some of my families friends.  And let me just clarify, I never feel socially awkward.  Or a least, almost never.  I'm a sociable person, and I can always find something to talk about with anyone.

But after speaking nothing but Spanish for 48 hours straight, my brain imploded. I felt like I couldn't understand or speak.  I felt like there we so many barriers between me and the people-socially, because I didn't know them, culturally, and of course, the language.  I just wanted to leave.  I was homesick.

It was so weird.

The people at the party were so sweet, and I think they recognized that I felt out of place, and busted out a guitar and started singing songs in English for me.  I really appreciated that.

But in those moments, I realized that I would never be able to know these people on a deeper level like I know my friends, if I never fully understand the language.  And now I know it's something I have to do.  So, let the language school hunting begin!

And if any of you feel competed to help me pay for that, well, hey!  Go for it.  Just kidding.  But it is expensive.

I also just finished reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis right before I came, and here's a quote that explain very much how I feel about my time here at Port:

"It isn't Narnia, you know," sobbed Lucy. "It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?" 
"But you shall meet me, dear one," said Aslan. 
"Are -are you there too, Sir?" said Edmund. 
"I am," said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there." 

It's like here in Costa Rica, I'm with Aslan.  The terrible, wonderful, and not tame lion, who is so much more than I though Him.  But He's not only here.  He's everywhere, but He doesn't always look the same, or reveal Himself the same twice. 

And when I go back home, it will be up to me to keep looking for Him.  And the day I stop looking  for Him is when I finally go home.  My true home.

I hope you all find yourself being homesick for heaven. It's where we really belong.




  1. WOW Kels!!,
    Great insight at the beach and about really knowing the people. You WILL understand them more as time goes on, and they you. Be encouraged you are in the right place. You being in the water kinda reminded me of Peter when he got out of the boat. He had the faith to get out of the boat but needed God's help as he was flailing around in the water. I envision Jesus lifting his hand and causing Peter to rise out of the water. And God is doing that with you but just with cute surfer guys LOL!! I'm thankful God has His hand on you and is keeping you safe as you walk. Blessings

  2. Hey Kelso! Awesome story, glad you lived to tell about it :) Guess what, I got a job!!!! It's with the conservation district, I'll have to tell you more about it later! Love you, nice pictures too :)

  3. Kelsey,
    Only as Christi could do, she came up with an even more awesome saying for you....

    "There is a deep under current of life utterly lost to those who only swim on the surface..."

    God I love that woman :) Enjoy!

  4. I'm glad you're alive, kid! In general, but also because you survived your experience in the ocean. ;)
    I'm excited about all the things you're learning and how much you are growing spiritually! Keep me posted about what progress you make with language school. You're in my prayers!

  5. Kelsey, you give us all so much to think about, so many good lessons for you, but as you share them, for us reading them too. Awesome girl! I am thrilled how God is using your time there, growing you into a beautiful, young christian woman!

  6. So insightful Kelsey! And The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite book of the Narnia series. Also, your photographs are amazing! You are an excellent photographer!

  7. JANICE! I just wanted to say when I first read the title, I though it said "Looking for Asia" and I freaked out and said I'm here! After looking at it more carefully, it says "Looking for Aslan", it made me very sad, just sayin'
    But anyway, I'm so glad a lifeguard decided to save you and let you live. We had connections. I told him not to let you die :)
    Welp, I miss you and we're all still thinking about you. I hope you continue to have amazing experience. God bless you and I'll see you again someday in the near future. (I know it really isn't the near future, but I want to convince myself that it is!)