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My name is Courtney Noya, and I’m so excited to go with Athentikos to Guatemala this fall as an intern. A little bit about me: my favorite color is purple and I love naps, cats, sweaters, and my church, All Saints Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL (though not necessarily in that order). I am also a junior studying psychology at FAU’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College in Jupiter, Florida. I wish I had a fascinating message about why I chose to study psychology, but the reality is that I simply love it. One of the many things to come out of psychology is the Johari window. The Johari window theorizes that there are four categories of self-knowledge, as can be seen in the picture below:


This window is a quick-use tool for people to use to try to explain who they are as well as their relationships with others. It is traditionally used with a list of adjectives, but I’m going to be more detailed.

The first few sentences in this blog post are my Open Self, which is, in my opinion, the easiest windowpane to describe. Then we get into a few of the trickier panes like Blind Self and Hidden Self. When filling out the application for Athentikos, there is a question about your greatest strengths and skills, and since I was unsure of myself, I began polling my friends and family. In doing so, I found out I am a creative problem solver. This was news to me. However, more than one person mentioned it, so I’m keeping that around for future reference; I think it could come in handy throughout the next few months as I work with the amazing team at Athentikos.

The Hidden Self is information others don’t know. So move along.… Of course, I am kidding. 🙂

The Hidden Self is the hardest for me to talk about, but it’s actually a large part of what this trip means to me. I need to get out of my comfort zone and be as open as possible. I’m a pretty anxious person; I worry about everything: things like going to Guatemala and not making a difference, or worse, having a negative impact. I even worry about getting lost at the airport. My worry has gotten worse over the past year because of circumstances I couldn’t even control. One of my closest friends threatened suicide and I did everything I could to help. It was incredibly difficult to want to help and yet know I had no control over how my friend would respond. Luckily, where I was unable to help, someone else did, and my friend began to explore a relationship with God. She’s still alive and I am so beyond thankful that He answered my prayers for her. But our friendship broke apart and we drifted, and I am left replaying memories and worrying about what might’ve happened. I’m scared of an event that never even occurred. So now I worry a little bit more about everyone I love, everyone I meet, all the people with heartache that can’t be seen. Through my relationship with God, fear and control are powerful sources I’m working to release.  

I have to go to Guatemala because my brain knows that worry is like a bird with a broken wing. You can tend to it while needed, but it’s not right to keep it on the ground forever. That’s not how God intended it. So I’m making lists and taking notes and preparing for Guatemala. I felt peace when I made the decision to go and since peace is not a very familiar feeling for me, I figure it had to be God telling me to rest my heart and give my worry to Him.

God is the owner and operator of my fourth windowpane: the Unknown (DUN DUN DUN). If I had everything figured out, I would not be going to Guatemala. I would be sitting at home thinking about how perfect my life is and how unfortunate it is for all those other people to be lost and wandering around in the world. Except I don’t have everything figured out, and I most likely never will. So I am going to Guatemala, and I’m really looking forward to it. So many of the things that I don’t know, I will get to uncover and learn. Even more exciting, I get to help the girls at the Oasis Residential Home go through the same processes. Self-discovery is not without pain or worry, but the product is worth all that and more. Erin Hanson once wrote, “…you ask ‘What if I fall?’ / Oh but my darling, / What if you fly?” So I am going to fly, all the way to Guatemala, and I’m going to probably nap on the plane. But after that, I’m going to embrace a beautiful country and listen to my heart telling me that this is where the healing begins for all of us.


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