I have been back in Massachusetts for twenty-four days, now. Twenty-four days of re-establishing myself in a place I once called home. But since July of 2016, I have referred to three other places as ‘home’. In Guatemala during my training, home was the beautiful compound in the heart of Antigua. During my field time, when I said “Let’s go home”, I was speaking of the house my team and I all shared in Acacia Park. In Montana with the other girls from my class, it was the condo we were staying in on Big Mountain. Today, it’s the white house with black shutters at the end of a cul-de-sac, where my family lives. I’m back to where I started.
In a way, that’s been comforting. There’s nothing quite like seeing the familiar faces of people you care about, no matter where you go. There’s no comparison to getting to visit my favorite places, once again. I remember how to drive my car, and get to particular destinations. It’s not hard, in fact, it’s easy. Just like ‘riding a bike”, as they say. Yet, there’s a strange sensation attributed to all of it, especially when I recall that a little less than a month ago I was not here, but in Montana. A month before that I was in Kenya. Six months before that I was in Guatemala, and three months before that I was in Massachusetts, a very different person than I am in Massachusetts, now. Needless to say, being home has been a journey in and of itself.
To be honest, I’ve struggled in many areas. While some aspects have been easy or reflexive in a way, others are difficult and overwhelming. Some little things are daunting. As I mentioned, I have changed a lot. That comes with facing issues and dealing with everyday tasks in new ways. Figuring out how ‘new’ me handles things while still remembering how the ‘old’ me used to. Right away, upon arriving back home, I felt the extreme need to re-organize. I couldn’t go to sleep before I took care of something like sorting through the piles of clothing I had in my closet. Other things about myself surprised me, such as how much I enjoy hot weather, when I never liked it that much before. Even still, I lacked trust that God would provide for my needs as I started to put the pieces of my life back together.
The number of days that I have cried certainly outweigh the ones in which I haven’t. I miss the family I had in all the other places I have called home. During Ignite there was a sense of security in knowing every day would be mapped out for me. There is none of that security here. My old habits of thinking push me to deal with things the only way I knew how to: don’t. My flesh so desires to sit and wallow in the fact that I’m overwhelmed in this place and everything is uncertain. I’ve had moments in the past twenty-four days that I have wanted to give up.
But like I said, I’m a very different person now than I was nearly eleven months ago. The Lord has shown me so many things throughout this time. He has faithfully taught me lesson after lesson, the biggest of all being to rely on Him when circumstances are difficult, or when I don’t understand. And wouldn’t you know, I’ve been placed in a season of difficult circumstances and overall uncertainty about what the future holds.
One thing I can say for certain, though, is just how much God is in this season, despite the struggles. He is right by my side. I have been so blessed with many amazing opportunities that humble me day after day. As a part of my two months of serving in my home church, Calvary Chapel Boston, I am serving at Calvary Chapel Academy. If anywhere is ‘home’, it’s this place. I grew up in this church and in this school. I attended CCA from 2004-2013 when I graduated. I once walked the hallways as Gabby Darmetko, a student. Today I walk the hallways as Miss Darmetko, the art teacher for Kindergarten through 6th Grade. Words do not accurately describe how strange and mind-blowing this is. Teaching is not something I ever remotely considered doing in the past, yet it is something I find more joy in than I can say. I love teaching the students at CCA. I love being there with the other teachers who I know love the Lord and genuinely love what they do on a daily basis. I am humbled to be a part of something so special. And teaching is just one of the things the Lord allows me to be involved with weekly that absolutely blesses me.
When things get hard, I simply need to turn to God. I simply need to take captive the lies or negative thoughts in my head, throw them out, and replace them with truth. He supplies all my needs (Philippians 4:19). He comforts me (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). He has perfect plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11). In my weakness, my God proves Himself strong (2 Corinthians 12:9). These moments of difficulty are opportunities for me to draw closer to Him. That is His desire, and mine. I want to be more like Him, and seek Him no matter what it is I’m facing. I’m thankful for all that He’s done, all that He is doing, and all that He WILL do. If you are struggling, too, I encourage you not to grow weary (Galatians 6:9), do not lose heart (2 Corinthians 4:16), and continue serving Him whole-heartedly (1 Corinthians 15:58).
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”