A Little Perspective

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Life Lessons from Nepal: Love

Where do you start when you feel so completely and utterly changed by an experience? It's been a month since I returned, and I still feel like I haven't fully processed everything that I saw and experienced in Nepal. I remember this strange feeling come over me as my plane descended into the lush green mountains of Kathmandu.

As clear as day came the thought "This experience is about to change you. Nothing will be the same after this." I knew right then that Nepal would steal a piece of my heart. And yet, after a month, it seems like those few short weeks have already dimmed in my memory and I'm left desperately pouring through pictures and journal entries that make it real again. My hope is that by sharing my thoughts and feelings, it will help imprint them more on my heart so that I never forget what I was taught by such humble and beautiful people.

First, for those who might not know, let me explain a little as to how I ended up in Nepal. Sometime in the spring, I had a very inspired friend tell me about a program in Nepal through HELP International. She and I had talked about doing a humanitarian trip together someday as sort of a pipe-dream, but I don't know if either of us ever really thought it would happen...until it did. And I am so grateful it did! Everything fell into place pretty perfectly after that. There were a few reasons I was drawn to this specific program initially, but in the end, it was where I was supposed to go because Heavenly Father had some important lessons to teach me.

At first glance, Nepal didn't seem all that different from other third world countries I've visited. Dusty roads, simple buildings, crazy traffic, and lots of people. I was excited to explore a culture that was so different from any of the other places I'd been. It provided me with all that and much more.

On our first day, we were thrilled to be welcomed by the girls at Raksha. It was genuinely the most happy and welcome I had ever felt in arriving to a new place. They had a huge banner with all our faces and names on it and beautiful hand-made cards personalized for each of us. The girls danced and sang and showered us with hugs. I felt their love for me the moment I walked in the door, and I was overwhelmed. I'm not a particularly trusting person by nature, and it usually takes me some time before I develop a friendship, especially to the point that I am comfortable expressing love. But my Raksha sisters didn't waste a single minute waiting to see if I was trustworthy or even worth loving, they simply extended their love. That was the first lesson Nepal taught me, to love.

Love without reserve, love without waiting, love without fear, love without expectations. Love just to love and nothing else.