Our European Adventure: The Followup Report
And…we’re back! I can’t say enough about this trip. It was such a breathtaking experience. We saw so many things of beauty, that my mind is still processing it all. It’s amazing to step outside of your own personal comfort zone, and to realize that the world is a very real, big place. It’s so…freeing. It makes you step outside of your own normal, and broaden your horizons. For a person like me, who sometimes tends toward a place of “safety” in the familiar and in the same, a giant step outside of my own usual routine was so beneficial.
Something in me just felt so grateful the whole time we were there. I felt unworthy to be able to take such a trip and to see such beauty. A few days before we left I was not only burdened under a hill of useless worry, but my sons both got sick, and then I found myself sick on Easter morning, as well. I began to fear and doubt. I didn’t think the trip would happen. I felt my comfort zones fighting me hard in an attempt to win. “Don’t go!” they seemed to cry, as I felt my more fearful urges threatening to take over. And yet, as I turned my feelings over to the Lord, I saw Him do a miracle in me. I felt peace, joy, and contentment while I was gone that I never would have thought possible. For someone like me, who has sadly allowed fear to hold me back far too many times in life, to be on such an adventure as this one? I can only say thanks to God and give Him the glory and credit for doing such a work in my life.
It was even more special to get to share this trip with our beloved friends, the Carrano family. They are serving as missionaries in Barcelona, Spain (find out more here), and are some of our dearest, lifetime friends. John, Brandi, and little Anabelle are inspirations to me. They are great examples of what I was talking about earlier: stepping out of your comfort zone and living life with full abandon to God’s leading. They said “yes” to God’s call on their lives, and are now walking in that call every day. Watching them makes me wonder how many of us have yet to realize our full potential because we are too afraid to step out into something for fear of leaving the comfort and security of the life we know.
On a more personal note, I have to say that this trip will forever be extremely special to me for another reason. Going through cancer in our first year of marriage sometimes made me feel as if we missed out or wasted what would have and could have been a very free time in our lives to travel, explore, and enjoy life. At our youngest and most free time, we were hit with something that forced us to stay put for almost a year, and made our most expansive trip the frequent journey to the local hospital. I remember during that time watching as my friends would go on vacations or even just take the simple joys of life for granted. Being on this trip felt so personal. It felt like a love letter from God to me. It felt like a redemption of sorts for the time that I spent laying in a hospital bed or holed up on my couch. Not because I deserve it. Far from that, really. But simply because I serve a God who loves me. He is so personal. He knows how to speak to us on very personal levels. This, for me, was something special that I will never quite be able to put fully into words. All I can say is, “To God be the glory.”