Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Girls and Their Journey

I think I should just start a series called "Another thing I didn't blog about last year was the time..." because I want to start every post these days with that line.

How interesting that must be for you. "This one time at band camp..."

Anyway, both my daughters left the country last year. My youngest in May and her older sister in December. I'm missing them both right now and I wanted to write a little bit about their journeys.

Quote about life's journey. Some beautiful paths can't be discovered without getting lost.

The Girl's Story 

The Girl is my youngest child, who struggled with addiction since she was 15. We thought she was on the road to recovery after a thirty day drug rehab program when she was 18, but she returned home only to relapse and disappear three days later.

It was jail that actually helped her get straight. Well...the things she learned in rehab contributed, but jail made her realize what her life was going to be like if she continued the way she was going.

After jail, her father encouraged her to start attending his church. She seemed to have found what she was searching for there, and faith and hope filled the void inside her that drugs could not. She has stayed on her recovery path for almost four years now.

She decided to pursue a career in Christian counseling in hopes that her experience could help others. Her church operates Bible Colleges all over the world and she left in May to attend one in the Philippines.

Girl in Dumaguete Philippines
My beautiful little girl.
It took some getting used to for her. The school is in a rural area with limited Wifi access. It's self-sustaining, so the students take turns doing chores like taking care of the farm animals and working in the garden. She washes her clothes by hand. Despite the lack of modern conveniences, she loves it there. She spends her days learning Scripture, going on short missions, working on the farm, and exploring the area.

Girl holding goat on farm in Philippines
She commented on Instagram that she can't stop laughing every time she sees this picture. Her sister said, "Is it because you and the goat are making the same face?" 

Beautiful mountains near Dumaguete Philppines
The mountains near Dumaguete in the Philippines

Beautiful sunset over the ocean near Dumaguete in the Philippines
Sunset over the water near Dumaguete in the Philippines.
She's experienced more in her 22 years than the average person. So many things that I wish she hadn't. But sometimes we have to walk the wrong path to find the right one and she's found her right path now. I'm so proud of her for the courage it took both to change her life and to embark on this adventure so far from home.

Sissa's Story

Quote about life's journey. Not everyone will understand your journey.

Then there's my hippie girl. My free spirit. She's always gone her own way and when her mind is made up about something, there's no talking her out of it.

She and two girlfriends backpacked all over Kauai for ten months, during which time I read all about her cringe-worthy escapades on Instagram. When she returned from that adventure, she went on tour with her boyfriend's band. The five of them toured through the U.S., living out of their van most of the time. She loved it.

Now she's in India. She left December 1st to attend Yoga School in Rishikesh, a town located near the base of the Himalaya mountains and known as The Yoga Capital of the World. Her course lasted thirty days but she stayed in India to see other areas of the country.

Girl outside sitting by water in Rishikesh India
My Adventure Girl in Rishikesh, India
She became well-known by the locals as The Hula Hoop Girl. Below, she's hooping on the Ganges River.

Girl using her hula hoop in the Ganges River in India.
Yes, she brought her hoop with her all the way from Vegas. Fortunately, it comes apart for easy travel.

Beautiful water in Pushkar India
Pushkar, India. Just look at that water.
One of her Instagram posts was this:
"Change is the only constant. We can try to resist and hold on. We can attempt to stay and keep, but it would only be making the natural flow of the universe feel hard and unnatural. Not knowing is something to embrace. How beautiful is it to not have a thought about when, where, how, or why? All we have is now. All we can do is be."
That's her heart in a nutshell. She lives to just be. She lives for now.

Girl and a friend sitting by the lake in Pushkar India
Sissa with a fellow traveler in Pushkar, India
The paths of my girls are very different, but their journey is the same. They are finding themselves and their place in the world. The places they go and the things they see and experience will help shape them into the people they were meant to be.

I know it was partly the roots we helped them plant at home that gave them the wings to take these journeys now and that makes me happy. But I still can't wait for them to come home.

Two girls by the ocean writing Sisters in the sand
Both my girls.

Happy Travels,

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