This blog contains information that may be offending to some. Please read with an open mind, as we try and give you the slightest understanding of how we feel.
Starting at the end of the world in Ushuaia, flying to the northernmost part of Argentina, busing to Uruguay, flying to Lima, then to the west coast of the states, and up to Toronto, Canada all within a month makes us curl up in a ball and hide out in a closet for a while.
Think about it. We spent our time traveling at an extremely leisurely pace for two months throughout the United States and six months down through South America, and then had to cover an unheard of amount of land at an incredibly rapid pace. A bit of a traveler’s shock for our systems, literally forcing us to avoid most contact with people because honestly, we weren’t fully prepared for what hit us.
We know it may seem strange to people, and possibly even a bit offending, but we want to be honest with you all. We still haven’t been able to wrap our minds around the rush of movement that we have experienced this last month. We were prepared to travel at a carefree pace and go where the Lord lead us. We knew what we were getting into the second we shut the doors of our 2000 Camry and hit the road. We knew what we were getting into when we packed our backpacks with only the essentials and boarded a flight with a one-way ticket to Peru. We knew what we were getting into when we stood on the side of the road in Chile with our thumbs out to catch a ride. We knew what we were getting into when we went on multiday treks in the wilderness with nothing but nature surrounding us. All these things brought excitement, new adventures, and new places to enjoy married life together, while forcing us to put every ounce of trust we had in the Lord. And although the last month of going here, there, and everywhere brought these things too, we hit a wall, and hit it hard, once we realized we were no longer travelers, but tourist.
Yes, now’s the time where you say something like, “What are they talking about? They were/are still traveling.” or, “I cover a lot of ground when I travel, and I don’t consider myself a tourist, but a true traveler at heart.” or, “How can they say that, they have done more things than most people get to in their lives, so they should be grateful for it all.” But something changed for us. Don’t get us wrong; we enjoyed every moment of the ‘tourist’ style month we had, but our hearts were crushed that our traveling time was over. We went into the slump of not really knowing what to do or how to do it. We made rash decisions that didn’t fit us. We went through the tourist motions and felt like we were living someone else’s life.
Our smiles were different in pictures. Our desire to chat with people about traveling vanished. In fact, our desire to talk to anyone about anything was gone. Our liberating lives were taken over by a time frame that trapped us in a box our hearts were screaming to get out of. And all the while, we were unknowingly hurting people on the outside, when truly we were just trying to mend our broken hearts.
Like we said, we were in traveler’s shock, and maybe we still are a bit, but our time in Canada has helped us to realize some of the realities of our lives right now, and has opened our eyes to what we need to change/pray for. So, while we can’t say sorry that we are going through this, because in all reality it’s part of traveling, as a matter of fact it’s part of life in general; we are sorry that we have hurt people along the way.
Now, we would assume most of you are reading this and are thinking how did we become tourists so quickly, and what was the point of going to so many places at such a rapid speed, and why in the world are we in Canada right now!?!? So we will try our best to explain all of that.
Back in February, when we were in Chiloe, Chile, Jason’s health was doing really bad, in fact, probably the worst that it has been since 2010.
We have been praying about his health the whole time we’ve been traveling and the Lord has been so faithful in healing Jay and reminding us of the power of prayer through Jason’s health. But on that island things changed. We were praying all the time and nothing was working. No matter how much we prayed Jason’s health was still doing bad. That’s when we realized we were praying for the wrong thing. We changed our prayers from, “Lord, please heal Jason” to “Lord, show us why you’re doing this. We know You have healed him, so show us why You are making him have these symptoms.” And the light was shown. The Lord revealed to us that He wanted us to go home in April. At the time, we thought it was just to go home and surprise our family and friends and travel to a few more places we wanted to see in the states. We bought tickets back to Los Angeles and were content with knowing our journey down in South America was coming to an end because we knew 100 percent that we were doing what the Lord’s plan was for us.
And this is the part that still brings chills to us today. Literally, the day after we bought our tickets back to the states all of Jason’s symptoms went away. He went from being the worst he has been in four years to not having any Crohn’s like symptoms at all. God is way too good, and does an amazing job blessing us more and more when we listen to Him.
As we said, we thought we were going home to surprise everyone four months early. We began planning who we were going to see, how we were going to surprise everyone, and where we would be sleeping since we don’t have a house or anything. It was so much fun planning, but the whole time, in the back of our heads, we knew that if we planned the Lord was going to change our plans, and He did.
In reality, the Lord had completely other plans for us. He had us buy that plane ticket back to LA to prepare us for leaving South America, but He knew that wasn’t the only reason. We found out later that Jason was offered an interview for graduate school that was to be held in person on April 20th, in Toronto, Canada. Had we not purchased our plane tickets back to LA scheduled for April 9th, we most likely would not have been through Patagonia so quickly, making us not be able to see/do some of the things we desired to on our trip. And had we not had our flight scheduled for LA, we would not have been able to get a suit for Jason and prepare for the interview where there was decent Internet. It was perfect. The Lord is so good!
With that said. We still went into this flurry of going here there and everywhere. We were trying so hard to see a few more places, while still enjoying our time. So in turn that made us rarely get on the computer. We wanted to spend every last moment we could out exploring and enjoying the beauty around us. We watched many relaxing sunsets on the beach. We enjoyed long walks and never ending chats over dinner. But at the same time we would start crying randomly. In the store grocery shopping, tears would fill our eyes knowing our backpacking adventure was ending soon. Talking about our future we would both begin to bawl. Walking with our toes in the sand, we subconsciously would turn and wipe away tears.
It was hard. It is hard. It will continue being hard.
But we are learning from it. And our time here in Canada was more than just a time for Jason to have his interview. It was a time the Lord planned for us to be able to sit and reflect on the last eight months and prepare us for moving forward. We fly out of Canada tomorrow. We’re heading back to the states for now. As we begin to pack our backpack up one last time, nerves are running through our bodies, but we are happy to say that covering those nerves are shocks of excitement.
We are excited to head back to LA and get Zippy running. We are excited to pack up the car and hit the road. We still don’t have anything really set in stone for what the next however long of our lives look like. We will continue going where the Lord leads us, and we promise, we will keep you all posted!
As for now, we are hoping to get to LA and spend a few more days there with family and friends while trying to get our car running again. Once Zippy, our car, is capable of driving, we will be heading to Utah to live with our dear friends for about a month before seeing where the Lord has us next. (We found out more of why the Lord had us back in the states during this time, and why He brought us back to Oregon on June 22, when our lives were changed forever.)
We still have so much to share about our time down in South America, and we will try and get some more writing done soon! So stay tuned!!
Heather and Jason
*Pray for Jason’s acceptance into graduate school in Scotland. We should know in a few weeks whether or not we will be moving to Scotland at the end of this year.
*Pray that we can get Zippy up and running again. We are hoping she just needs a new battery. So pray for nothing more to be wrong and that it will be an inexpensive fix!
*Pray for us as we head back to the states…That our hearts would be softened to those around us and that we would continue to seek the Lord.
*Continue to praise the Lord for healing Jason, and pray that He keeps the Crohn’s away!
*Pray for a clear understanding/vision of our near future!!
*Pray for peace with the things we are worried about heading back to the states!!
*And lastly.. pray for our world right now. So many terrible things happening between natural disasters and human disasters!!