© Copyright 2019 by 
Carolyn M. Soto Jackson and Carolyn Marie Photography

Houston, TX

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Flashback Friday: Costa Rica

I cannot believe a year has flown by so quickly. Priceless memories and countless events have occurred over the last year and here we are celebrating our One Year Anniversary. 

 

One of the most memorable events, or shall I say the most difficult obstacles God delivered me from is the fear of writing. After many years, I finally allowed God to work on my confidence, unworthiness and fear. It was then when He created this very blog, Song of Happiness. 

 

This time last year I was not only jotting down our honeymoon experiences in Costa Rica, but most importantly, I was writing them in secrecy.

 

Unfortunately for me, I am not only a terrible liar, I am extraordinarily bad at keeping my secrets away from my husband. Daniel stumbled upon one of my journal entries of the countless testimonies we experienced in Costa Rica. 

 

"Babe, you have to write this down..."

 

We disagreed but I was instantly reminded of the scripture, Revelation 12:11 which states, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by their word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." 

 

It was then I knew my hiding was now officially called to nothing.

 

Song of Happiness was born two months later. And when I think about our vows and honeymoon, I think of the words Daniel read, the testimonies of Costa Rica. 

 

That is what I would like to share with you today. 

 

Please be advised, our honeymoon did not start off as expected. In fact, God threw us straight into our ministry around Day Two, which matched up quite nicely with our prayer prior to departing, requesting, "protection, guidance, wisdom and if at all possible, see every wildlife animal in its natural habitat."

 

It was a long shot but you cannot help a girl from trying.

 

Our plane descended in Liberia, about an hour away from our Airbnb. We gathered our things and boarded a bus which would drop us off close to our doorstep. About fifteen minutes into the drive, our driver began to halt, "MIRA!" he pointed out the window. There in the trees, a family of Howler monkeys sat, basking in the sun. I just about dropped my camera. I was in complete amazement as I had not ever experienced nature of this caliber outside of a zoo.

 

 

 

And there it was, an answered prayer and I have not even gotten out of the bus.

 

It was not long till we were the last couple on the bus, traveling to our lodge. One of my old friends from Houston offered us a wonderful opportunity and we jumped on it. We were officially here, in Costa Rica. As Mr. and Mrs. Jackson.

 

The next couple of days were filled with love, laughter and a whole bunch of delicious food. 

 

 

 

 

 

We decided to schedule a few adventures while we were there. Though it was the last week of the "Rainy season" they had a few spots open early. After joking over the phone the assistant says,  

 

"I know exactly who to send, he'll see you mañana señora."

 

Heiner, also known as "Goose"  rolled down his window and said, "PURA VIDA mi amigos!"

 

His smile reached ear to ear, almost as bright and early as that Tuesday morning. He was chipper and ready to roll. His Tico accent smeared over the English words and we felt right at home in his SUV. We had a two hour adventure toward  Ricon de la Vieja, so we traded stories back and forth. We discussed marriage, children and the Costa Rican lifestyle. 

 

Upon arrival, we sipped on the bold aroma of Costa Rican coffee, rich and aromatic, warming our very core. We dined on pan dulce and fresh cacao prior to our rain forest hike.

 

 

 

 

Goose opened up the back seat of the SUV, grabbing a large wooden staff, 

"Snake repellent" he said. 

 

At the entrance of the hike, Heiner stood still, whispering a prayer. Daniel and I looked at one another and giggled. What are the chances, right?

 

 

 

 

We trekked through the beautiful forest, seeing howler monkeys, native butterflies, dipped into the hot springs and witnessed ash clouds steaming over the volcanoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the hours continued on, Goose, who was a strapping young lad, began hunching over, his weight now being carried by the wooden staff he proudly carried. He complained numerous times about his back, and how could it be that he was so young and could barely pick up his son when he ran into his arms. He was disgruntled and it took us only seconds to realize me MUST pray for his back. 

 

Daniel said, "Hands out, feet together."

 

Goose did as instructed and his fingers were over and inch off. Daniel laid hands on his back and I began to pray. It took all of one minute and his back came into alignment was instantly healed. 

 

"Now say, thank you Jesus!" Dan said.

 

With tear filled green eyes he said,"Gracias Senor para mi nueva espalda!" as Goose twisted and turned, going up and down from his head to his toes, wearing the biggest smile I had ever seen. 

 

He hugged us tightly and whispered , "Thank you so much, no one has ever done anything like that for me before."

 

We parted ways and our hearts were full of tears of joy. 

 

It's been right over a year and Heiner still checks in on us, all the way from Costa Rica, graciously thanking us for praying for him that day and giving him the opportunity to fully enjoy time with his son.

 

Our testimony list goes on and on but one really hit home for me. On the last evening, we went snorkeling, parasailing and lastly, sailing. That is when God answered one final prayer as darkness fell over our last evening in Costa Rica ...

 

 

 

a Humpback whale came up to get some air and played in front of my camera for about three minutes, filling a dream I never even knew existed. But God did. 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Father for never ceasing to amaze me. Thank you for your constant protection and guidance to send us to the right places and the right time. Thank you for your love, which is endless and always forgiving. Thank you for blessing our marriage all the days of our lives. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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