Alright... if I'm being honest, and I am hoping that is what you are looking for with this blog, I have to admit that this is how I feel (pictures above). I am sitting at Sky Harbor airport ready to embark upon this amazing adventure and I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I have cried, and cried, and laughed, and felt peace, and felt excitement, and felt fear... but not once have I felt like I am doing the wrong thing. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am right where God wants me and I find incredible peace in that fact. But I also know that God has "safe" is a rather curious term to describe God's plan in my life. I have likened my anxiety about this journey to that of nerves right before a show. In high school when I did theater I always felt similar to this right before I went out on stage... but even that is a poor comparison. I have also likened my fear to that of Frodo in Lord of the Rings. (Then immediately after that thought I liken myself to a nerd for comparing myself to Frodo). I feel the amazing epic-ness of this venture in my life, but it is not without trepidation and uneasiness that I "step onto the road."
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."
I have felt so much love and excitement from my friends and family and I don't think I could be sitting here with this much peace if I didn't have the support and community and love behind me praying for me and waiting for me back home.
But even with all this I can't deny the overwhelming emotions that I am feeling. I have decided to suppress them or else I feel I may explode. But in truth I have never done anything like this before: I have never been away from my family for more than 3 weeks. I have never moved to a completely different place before. I have never done anything like this alone. I have never been less than a phone call away from people. I have never had to rely on God THIS much in my ENTIRE LIFE!! And for that alone I thank God every moment for this trip. I get to go on this adventure and it's just me and God. How romantic is that!!? God is taking me on this incredible journey and it's JUST for me. No one else is with me - it's just me. Man that is so cool!!!
I seriously don't know what to expect - I have plenty of expectations about what I'm going to get to experience while I'm overseas (travel, seeing places, meeting people). But on the other hand I have absolutely minimal expectations about life over there. I laughed at myself because I wonder if they'll have hot enough water for my showers. Or if they'll have ice on hand for my beverages (since they serve so many drink warm). Then I laugh at myself and remember that I am not traveling to Rawanda and instead living in London England - one of the most developed Cities let alone within one of the most developed countries in the world. I am looking forward to being pleasantly surprised since I apparently have such low standards.
I just pray that the rest of my journey today goes smoothly. So far it has been excellent. My parents, Tyler and I got to the airport with ample time to spare. Dark moment was when one of my bags weighed in at more than 50 lbs. I had to pay a fee (and by "i" I mean my dad). But everything checked out and then I was pleasantly surprised by Joel coming to the airport to see me off with my family. What a fun blessing, I am so glad he came to be there for my family and I as we said goodbye. We sat at paradise bakery in the airport outside of security for a while and talked. I felt more and more relaxed as I talked. Then it came time to get through security. That went off without a hitch. I kind of felt like they barely checked my bags it was so easy. But I'm not going to question their methods of security... plus I don't have anything questionable with me anyway. My entire life for 6 months fit into 4 bags (2 big suit cases, one carry one luggage and a backpack - a tiny box will be shipped later with a couple more books and my snow boots). So now I am at my gate... waiting.