lesson in 300+ days

i looked through my glory days tonight in photos.  yeah, i’m only twenty-one, but already i’ve figured out what people find fascinating about me and want to hear all about.  i’ve often wondered if that’s all i’ll ever be asked about — like i haven’t done anything else with my life since then.  will i be the pathetic 30 year old still talking about her 18th year?

but i can’t really get past the fact that my 300+ days away from my own home opened my eyes and heart to a bigger world and a bigger Creator.

someone asked about my adventure the other day.  she twirled her similar red hair and said, “i don’t really know anything about that year.”  i could have pulled out my usual answer and told her how wonderful it is to see the world, experience other cultures, meet new people, etc, etc, etc.  and all those things are true, but i told her what came to mind immediately when she asked that.

“it was hard,” i said.

and it was.  it was a year far away from everything i knew.  i was young, dependent on everyone and everything, scared, confused about where i was going in life and who i was, and that year — it was difficult.  i’ve never felt so very alone.  i’ve never felt so nervous.  i’ve never cried quite so much.

but i also know that God met me in a new way there.  i know that i developed my own ability to commune and find my strength in Him.  i know that He used that year to reach in and touch the worry, the confusion, the fear of the future, and show me His hands.  i’ve never known such strong, perfect, and unshakable hands.

yeah, i liked seeing pretty places and getting to know lovely people.  but mostly, i love the God i found there.  it’s where i realized my importance to Him.

He’s real.  He knows you.  knows where you are and what you’re going through.  and He wants to meet you right there.

i traveled and learned culture and experienced other ways of living, but mostly, that’s what i was learning.  that’s what i learned.

and i wouldn’t trade it for the world.

4 thoughts on “lesson in 300+ days

  1. such beautiful pictures. wow. i’ve already decided i need some camera lessons from you sisters when i get home.

    and yeah. that’ll be a special year in your memory always. i love those times.

  2. Louissa,
    You are a writer.
    The thing I remember most about you being gone is your bicycle experience!
    Did you really take all those photos.
    You are also a photographer.
    You make me wonder…do I have any skills at all?
    God Bless You, sweet girl.

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