2012 was a year of extreme contrasts for us: Spending the first half of it living in a developing country, seeing people poorer than we’ve ever seen, and seeing the very rich living right beside them… Experiencing a medical crisis at the very beginning of the year, but then the healthiest span of months our family has ever had….Feeling great anxiety and fear, but then also great peace and comfort… Seeing and hearing about awful ugliness in the world, and also seeing some of the most beautiful places ever… Living in the most urban environment our family has ever experienced, and then vacationing in the most picturesque, smallest villages we’ve ever spent time in… Living through the effects of both capitalism and communism… Visiting very old castles and churches, and taking pictures and communicating with very modern technology….Missing friends and family for so long, and then getting to see so many at fun celebrations…
The country we lived in was itself full of contrasts: democracy and communism existing side-by-side... ugly exteriors of buildings housing beautiful apartments on the inside... religious institutions hostile to each other, but neighbors.... the very rich government governing the very poor... the rather modern capital city not far from extremely primitive villages... a nation of people who speak two different languages.... generations deeply divided on what the future direction of their country should be.
(And the country we came home to has more and more of these contrasts, it seems!)
Getting out of my comfort zone (5289 miles outside of it!) made life deeper, heavier and more colorful for me, and God ever bigger. We learned to relax a little and say, "Yes.... and...." but still find ourselves to resistant to many things. Contrasts within and contrasts without.... I'm thankful for them. The darkness makes the Light seem ever brighter!