Anchored: my faith journey abroad
Sept. 3, 2019—First Day of Senior Year
Instead of grabbing my backpack this morning to head out to class, I loaded up the car with my suitcase and headed out for the airport. I'm heading into my last year of school at Gustavus Adolphus College as a Communication Studies major. It’s a little strange not being on the Hill with my fellow Gusties, but I’m about to embark on the biggest adventure in my life. Right now, I’m spending my lasts couple of hours in the United States at the Philadelphia airport. Tomorrow morning, I will wake up in Prague, Czech Republic.
Today has been a day of many firsts. I had never traveled by myself until this morning. I have also never been to Europe. While there are many unknowns and ambiguity that comes with traveling alone and spending 3 months in a new country, I feel at peace.
Let me elaborate—I did not plan to be in Prague. My heart was SET on spending the semester in Italy! When my plan didn’t unfold like I’d expected, I was devastated. But after some redirection and reflection, I realized that I was never supposed to follow MY plan. God knows best and He always provides. Even in times of stress and chaos, Jesus is as present as ever. It’s so easy to fall into the sounds of chaos that seems to drown out His voice—but He is still speaking to you and He’s asking you to LISTEN.
He was asking me to listen.
The night before my departure, I was floundering with the last-minute essentials and became overwhelmed with the big decision of spending three months away from my family. I picked up my faith journal from my nightstand and flipped to an old entry with the title “Trust in His adventures” printed at the top in my handwriting. It was like God was speaking right into my soul. Re-reading through my prayers from that day helped me shut out the noise and focus on Him. God wanted me to listen at that moment and He needed me to anchor my trust and let Him take care of the rest.
Be anxious for nothing, but pray about everything and give thanks. Let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.
As a person who has never been more than 56 miles from home, I worried about getting extremely homesick. But my fears were overshadowed by excitement and peace. As I walked towards my gate, I heard the lyrics of Tremble by Mosaic MSC in my head--"Jesus, You make the darkness tremble, You silence fear." Needless to say, I knew this is exactly where I was supposed to be.
'Til next time from Prague,