Understanding Our Experience
PROCESSING YOUR STORY
After participating in an I AM ART camp, we now share a life experience that touched our hearts, and maybe changed us in incredible ways. The contrast of our time in Guatemala with our life back at home can be jarring, and often it’s difficult to process. It’s certainly difficult to explain it to people who have not experienced it for themselves.
Sometimes we’re overwhelmed with a barrage of questions while other times, we anxiously wait in for people to ask us deep questions about our trip but the questions never come. We want people to care, and know, and feel what we felt. Maybe they do, but they are busy with their lives … and we quietly think to ourselves, “You just don’t understand.”
No matter the situation, our hearts are stirred. But maybe … we don’t understand ourselves.
Have you asked yourself how this experience impacted you, personally? What fingerprints it has left in your heart and soul? Have you found yourself asking “how has my trip impacted my life?” or “how should it impact my life?” Maybe your answer to the question is clear. Maybe you’ve already sprung into action. Or maybe, the question still sits there waiting to be answered.
If you’re uncertain about the answer, the question may make you uncomfortable. You may find it haunting you at times, or you may find yourself avoiding it. But, here is some peace: There’s no wrong answer. Each of us will answer the question differently.
But, the questions will not go away until it is given proper attention. It may fade into the background for weeks, months, or even years. But at some point, the question will reappear.
SO NOW WHAT?
Here’s the good news. Answering this question does not have to be scary, and it does not require dramatic changes in your life. In fact, when you address the question, you will better understand yourself. You will experience more peace and gratitude towards your time of service.
There are many ways to begin processing your one-of-a-kind experiences. We want to encourage you to use the team journals to work through the questions you have. We put in the “Share your Story” section to help you work through your story in the same format as camp. There are sections centered around character, setting, conflict, resolution, and community. Each day has a short prompt that allows you to consider the different aspects of your experience. You can also reach out to someone on the team to connect with and process your stories together. Whatever your method, we hope that you’ll find joy in exploring and sharing your story with others.