Jessica Molloy
Jessica Molloy
Dominican Republic 2019 - 2020
I am traveling to La Vega, Dominican Republic and will be working with New Hope Girls! This is a safe house for girls ages 4-17 seeking refuge from dark and difficult places. I will be the certified teacher on site of the safe house! Read More About Jessica →

i could have

I could have…I could have… I could have… 

This has been the line that goes through my head several times a day. This line comes in many forms. Some forms of regret and others of gratefulness. 

I could have sat with her the day before and helped her with that assignment. 

I could have held her for a longer embrace so she knows I’m for her and not against her. 

I could have spent fifteen more minutes walking with her around that small circle at the park. 

I could have helped her poke at one more carambola fruit from the tree. 

I could have danced with her one more time. 

I could have 

I could have 

I could have 

BUT 

I could have not been able to get on a plane to my family in emergency because of closed borders. 

I could have prolonged the anxiety of my parents, the two people that love me the most in my life. 

I could have not been able to be considered for the next step of my career. 

I could have 

I could have 

I could have 

I am most likely not the only one saying ‘I could have’. We probably all are saying it. 

It was much like any other Sunday, hanging out in Santiago in the comfort of my boss’ family home enjoying each other’s company and looking forward to meeting new interns for the summer. As we planned summer activities for the girls, my phone was buzzing every couple minutes with a new update on the world’s state. New COVID-19 numbers released and more countries starting to close their borders making it difficult for flights to come in to get anyone already in country. I was set until June 2020 and felt like it was all going to be fine until a pretty frantic phone call from my parents. They laid out the facts going on in the U.S. and allowed me to make a decision. My bus ride back to La Vega consisted of prayer, tears, people on the bus staring at me, and a call to a former New Hope intern, Lauren. I didn’t want to leave the girls. That was my only thing holding me back from getting on a plane. The girls. The little girls, the big girls and the sweet trying to find their place middle girls. Every single one of them. I took all my homesick feelings and desire to normalcy again away and focused on the facts. I kept this conversation between me, the Lord, and a friend that has been in the same space as me before. To make a decision out of fear was never an option for me. When I feel afraid of something, I tend to face it head on ever since I was a little girl. I was afraid of this virus, I was afraid of it getting to the DR, I was afraid of my parents getting it and me not being there, I was afraid of time. But the fear that was the greatest of all these fears was being afraid that the girls saw me and knew me as another person that walked in and then back out of their life. As I pushed through those fears with Lauren, she talked me through the fears that I have and the contradicting truths. She reminded me that my relationship with New Hope is not over. It might look different, but it is not over. My relationship with each girl is not over. It might look different, but it is not over. It was a time to hang onto the facts and push away the fears. It was not a decision made out of fear but a decision made out of future. That night, I wrote in my journal “Lord, show me. Give me clarity that I am making the right decision.” And the next day I woke up to an email from Lumos informing me that I needed to come home as soon as possible. 

“I love you” – Miss Jessica

It was a Tuesday. We had a meeting at the house with the girls informing them my reason of leaving. I then spent the next few hours with the older girls going to get ice cream and jumping on the trampoline with the little ones. Around 5pm, I rolled my suitcases to the girls house and it then became real for everyone. I wanted to hold on and not let go. Each girl, each hug, I weakened in their arms more. These girls holding me up as each of us tears streaming down our faces. 

It wasn’t the goodbye I imagined but it was what we had. Until they are in my arms again, I see their little faces on video chat and write them often. We are still working on English pronunciation as my parents say hey to them and ask them how they are doing and that is enough for me. They are enough, their sweet and sassy personalities are enough. 

I write this from my parents’ home in Annapolis, Maryland. I have had to force myself to sit down and process and reflect. I am one to distract myself from feeling hard emotions so I have stayed busy creating workout plans, decorating my room, applying for jobs, etc etc but I am ready to process. I am ready to see what comes up as I look back at that beautiful, raw, difficult, wonderful, imperfect, unexpected season of my life.

con amor, 

jess

   

our Hope rocks

 

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