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God's plans for your life always look better in hindsight. I am proof of that.

BookMark - Not Forsaken: Finding Freedom as Sons & Daughters (BOOK REVIEW)
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The Pastor's Mother and the Usher (HUMOUR)

By Jacob Paul

Eight years passed by quickly and my "I'll come back and visit soons" started to pile up and become less and less authentic. Sure, I would have loved to visit, but I was not as involved in the lives of my friends in Colombia as I was involved in my own plans and goals. I finished high school, worked for a year and saved money for university, finished university and headed to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to teach. Maybe that last one came as a curveball, but it did not seem that way when it happened in my life. As social media grew, I kept tabs on my Colombian friends, but nothing to suggest that I would one day return.

2007 rolled around and I was back in Canada working as a Youth Pastor. I loved that job, that community, and the youth I was working with. I received an e-mail from my friend Andres telling me that he was getting married and that I was invited. I figured it was about time to go back and see if Colombia still felt like my second home.

Well, that did not happen due to an untimely broken leg. Plans to visit were put on the backburner and I continued on with normalcy. That lasted for about six months and then my other close friend Diego contacted me to say that he too was going to get married, so I decided that maybe God did want me to return and see just what was up.

Yes, I was and still am utterly convinced that my friends figured that marriage was the only way to get me to come back. Not really, but it worked anyhow to get me to return to the land that is now my home.

In December of 2008, I stepped off an airplane to a completely new airport and was immediately petrified thinking:

What if my friends are completely different and we have absolutely nothing in common?

What if I made a mistake coming back?

Forget about different and nothing in common, what if I don't even like them?

Those were the questions bouncing all around my brain making their way down to upset my stomach as I walked toward the exit doors. Words cannot do a Colombian welcome justice. My fears melted away upon being greeted by about 15 friends, who after eight years, decided to welcome me back to a place that, once again, felt like home. Signs...they made signs, and marked my life forever. I felt like God was going to show me something while I was there. I was home.


Ok, so I was planning on this being a 3 part series, but covering 14 years in 1500 words just does not seem to be working. There's a lot more to 2008 that I need to add to bring you up to my speed on my life here and now in Armenia, Colombia. Stick with me and Part III will cover the rest of my 14-year summary, which should get us to being able to discuss my current situation and most recent life events. Hope this rambling has made some sense. God is truly a master storyteller and I am sure I have missed many of His intricate details, but I am functioning at a much, much lower level than Him, so bear with me.