When I look back on my junior year of college, I have to wonder if I was courageous or crazy. Maybe a bit of both.
I arrived alone in Italy for a year abroad with one suitcase, a smile across my face, and very little clue about what I was about to embark upon. I had wanted this experience so badly that I spent the majority of the prior year working to make it happen. My university didn’t have an established program for a full year in Italy, so it took some perspiration and determination for all the pieces to fit… and eventually they did!
While my classes were taught in English, I lived in a house filled with sweeter-than-gelato Italian students. There was a serious language barrier, along with some big city culture shock for this small town girl.
I spent each day grateful and awed by my new surroundings, my dream come true. And yet I had moments, frequent moments, of overwhelming uncertainty. There is something truly humbling about struggling to accomplish basic day-to-day tasks with limited ability to communicate. (If only Google Translate had been around 23 years ago!)
The past six months have been a near replica of my time as a foreigner in a new land, despite being on American soil.
As many of you know, as a new writer with little frame of reference for the publishing world, I am a few short months away from releasing my first book. I have reacquainted myself with that adventurous, wide-eyed college kid, wandering around Europe with an upside down map—mildly terrified but filled with joy.
Through both experiences, I have learned that when we allow ourselves to be stretched beyond what seems natural, there is no other option than to expand! And while I wholeheartedly welcome this growth and change, I occasionally feel the weight of countless questions and self-doubt.
I very recently felt pinned by these emotions, and I sought refuge in my prayer chair.
I stepped away from my time in prayer with two questions sitting on my heart.
Do you trust that God can do anything? (Yes, I do.) And do you believe that He is always with you? (Also a big, bold yes.)
So… if God is with me always and He is capable of anything, what could I possibly be worried about?
Is there a beautifully blessed challenge in your life creating a similar weight? Maybe a job change, an engagement, a new baby, retirement, a school transition, a relocation. When we face the unknown, we can all find comfort by approaching our journey from a place of divine confidence rather than human fear.
I’m going to tuck those two words in my pocket as I continue this exciting adventure. I hope you will too!
“The wonderful thing—one of the wonderful things—about spending time with Jesus is that His confidence becomes our confidence. His self-assurance, ours. His boldness, ours. All things in Him are also ours. His power. His words. His peace.” Judy Gordon Morrow