There was this pretty lady, all fire and faith, kneeling before me on a dirty gym floor. It was the Despidida—a farewell ceremony to complete our time in El Salvador. And I remember the cold water with which this lady named Tammy washed my bare feet. After praying real hard she whispered something in my ear—something I was learning already. I will not soon forget it.
I can still feel her breath on the skin of my ear. When she spoke, her voice formed a fierce whisper. She said, “You carry the baton that’s in your hands and you run hard and you run fast. And you don’t look twice at a guy who isn’t running with the same intensity as you.” All I could do was nod and cry big tears with this raw ache inside of me.
Because I wanted to run. I wanted to love the Lord with all of me. And I wanted others to expeirence this too. I didn’t ever want to quit.
At the end of the Despedida, they draped the flag of El Salvador over our thirty shoulders. And they said, “El Salvador means The Savior, so we are covering you in Him—and sending you home in good hands.”
In my journal, I wrote—over and over again—that I was ready. I was ready to return home and face all the schoolwork and changes which awaited me.
And tonight, I feel the same way. Because tomorrow, I begin my first year in public school. And although I am nervous, I know I am ready to run with endurance. I’m wrapped in The Savior. What more could I want? Really, he’s all I want.
I am His. I’m not my own anymore; I’ve been bought with a price. And so I trust him with my life. I trust him with every day I get to breathe.
There’s no place I’d rather be, than here in His love.
“’Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.’ And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’”
Exodus 33:13-14 ESV