To Brazil

There are tickets in my name for some flights tomorrow, to my country of origin.
Tomorrow, I will see my aunt and grandma, meet my new uncle, and hug a whole whole lot of people I’m related to. I’m ecstatic!

To say I’m excited to be going to Brazil again for the first time in 3 years is an understatement.

BUT…{there’s always a but}

I’ve had to battle a TON of fear and anxiety in the last two days.


My fear grew into anger.

My anxiety was paralyzing.

I say this because God is so cool and He helps me. But you should know I went through this. You should know I go through these things too.

What were my sources for this?

Well, I haven’t been “home” since January 2012. Before that, I hadn’t been home since 2008. Every single time I go back, I  get a huge dose of culture shock. At first I’m all WOW, then I start to have a broken heart for the things I notice that have worsened or changed. Life goes on without me. New songs play, and people sing the lyrics by heart of songs I’ve never even heard before. Family members move and pass away. Each time I go back, I hug everybody so tight, and just pray they’ll still be there the next time I return. I’ve given last hugs not knowing they were last hugs. My godmother won’t be there this time for me to hug, and that hurts again as if she’d just passed away. It’s been almost 2 years.

It’s like I get a newsletter of everything I knew and came from, and I’m detached until I step on Brazilian soil, and it floods back over me. What I had imagined is usually replaced with something completely different. I see a pace of life that is foreign to my own. I’m… a…. tourist…. in my own home.

That anticipation and expectation in itself is overwhelming. I’ve tried not to think about it, to no avail.

Brazil is not the only ever-changing part in the equation. I’m also completely different than the person who was last there in 2011. I am stepping off the plane with red hair, by myself, and single. Brazilian culture clashes with my lifestyle. I have to brace myself for the ‘when you have a man’ talks and the references to my past. The conversations about my future children, which make my heart swell and ache a little. I have to fight for my contentment and my peace in God’s timing, because the pressure there is unreal. But there is an equal and opposing pressure of the good, perfect, and pleasing will of God pushing away the very things that come against me to discourage me. I trust my God.

I have to remind myself that my age is just a number that marks how long I’ve been on the earth, and that I am not at all tethered to a fatalistic mindset, an orphan spirit, or a poverty spirit. I am eternal, and I am seated with Christ in heavenly places. I’ll be a wife and mother someday, and I will not be dismayed.

Moreover, I am AWESOME and get to experience INCREDIBLE things on the daily. My life is so vibrant, full of adventure, travel, and exposure to beauty. People wait whole lifetimes to do the things I’ve done in the past 3 years, consistently, and sometimes getting paid. I can’t forget what God has done for me in my single years. It’s outstanding. I’ve experienced abundant life, not a monotonous settling into the cultural stereotype of what is expected of a woman ‘my age.’

Lastly, the logistics of it all were stressful. I didn’t have a lot of time, and my sleep is still off. There’s a lot to do, and just one Helena. Leaving my normal busy life for 2 weeks is kind of overwhelming. And it’s not even the 2 weeks that I’ll be gone, but rather the week I return, that is pre-stressing me out. Every loose end will be waiting for me. Super. BUT…. again…. this is why I’m writing this. I’m not complaining, but letting you all know that my life is not just easy breezy. You may be so jealous that I get to go to Brazil for 2 weeks, but do take into consideration that it’s been a bumpy preparation for me.

I’ve been taking deep breaths and singing songs to Jesus out loud. Today at Walmart, I was practically belting out “I’M A LOVER OF YOUR PRESENCE, THAT’S WHAT I WANNA BEEEEE!!” because the tightness in my chest was expanding with every minute that I waited for someone to manifest at the electronics department to help me, for goodness sakes, because I needed to leave within 10 minutes, and nobody came. So if you’re trying to buy electronics in Decatur, go to Best Buy.

I’m learning every single day about how to properly stand in the full authority of my Father. Some days, I find myself slouching, dragging my feet, with my head down. Those are the days, like today, when He counts my tears and promises me that tomorrow will be better, much much better. I wipe my face, sniffle, exhale, and I let my heart agree with His. Unspeakable joy is coming for me, I can feel it. I think of my aunt’s laughter filling the room, and my grandma’s hands holding mine, and God’s face nodding at me. It’s gonna be wonderful.

Okay, Papa. Let’s go to Brazil.

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