Transformed people transform people.
These are four words, interwoven, that carry the complexity of a snowflake, the power of a wave crashing on the shore, the peace of a night sky with its stars revealing majesty to the world, and the certainty of the sunrise and sunset that begin and end each day.
We are all walking on the path to transformation. A lot of times we hear the word transformation and think, “that’s a fancy way of saying change.” While it might sound fancier, it certainly isn’t the same thing. Change is fleeting. It happens, and something can shift and form based on circumstances, but ultimately it may end up reverting to the same thing it was before the change. Whereas, transformation is going from point A to point B without ever going back to point A. It’s the idea that I can change my shirt today and still put on the same dirty shirt tomorrow, but I definitely can’t put on the cleats that I wore to soccer practice when I was in the 2nd grade.
The shirt is change. The shoe is transformation. My foot has transformed with time. It has grown, becoming something that it was not, and it will never go back to the little foot it was in the past.
This is transformation. By saying transformed people transform people, our life’s compass can point us to what we have become and give us the confidence to continue on the same path. On this path to transformation, we learn from what did not work and lean into what is working, doing more and more and more of that. This path looks different for everyone, but at the end of the day, it’s a posture towards life: God has entrusted something unique and one of a kind in me and in you, and it’s our job to bring that to the world. It’s our job to open our hands and share our gifts with those around us. Further, it’s our job to then open our hands and receive what others are offering to us. It’s a constant give and take, saying “I am sorry,” and saying “I love you” along the way.
Nicaragua has transformed me, returning me to myself in so many ways. What comes most urgently to my mind is the expression of gratitude. No matter the circumstance, the time of day, or the topic at hand, prayers in Nicaragua are opened with: “Thank you God for another day of life.”
It’s this very gratitude that has created a new filter over my mind and heart over the past almost decade of life in Nicaragua. It’s this gratitude that allows me work hard to create habits in my own life and the lives of families we work with. It’s this gratitude that pushes me to become a lighthouse for those seeking hope and to open my eyes to the lighthouses around me. It’s this gratitude that nudges me to humbly work and celebrate the successes of those around me at all times.
My gratitude abounds for the way gratitude has sunk into every part of my life, and it’s through that gratitude that I invite those around me into transformation. Nicaragua represents light, a light so bright, we can’t help but keep moving forward.