Friday, October 14, 2011


Ever read an old blog post, tweet or facebook status to remind yourself where you've been, where you are now, and how much you've grown? I do this often, as a habit, spending time rereading old journals and blogs to see how God has worked in my life. I find it most helpful in moments where I feel clueless regarding God's plans. It reminds me where I've been and where I'm going. I am so thankful that I took time to write about these past moments in my life. In itself, writing provided such clarity, but months or years later can give such simple affirmation or perspective when I just need it.

I came across a post from my old LiveJournal account. I wrote it during my study abroad program over two years ago. While reading, I found myself reliving my time in England and recognizing similar feelings that come with living in a new place. It gives me hope and excitement for the new community I'm building in Princeton and the places He'll take us after Logan graduates. Rediscovering the joy spent in loving strangers that quickly become new friends. The humility I learn by allowing strangers to love me. New adventures of growing up and embracing change. Refusing to live in fear. Desiring freedom in God's grace wherever I am, in that place, not always looking ahead for the next thing. I am so encouraged from these old memories that help me process where I am now.

Dear America:

Although I miss you, England is good to me. Being in another country doesn't quite feel different except those moments when you look the wrong way on the road and almost get hit by a bike or when you pronounce tomatoes in the grocery store and someone asks if you're an American.

It feels good here: I feel pretty independent. It's an empty slate which initially feels great, but I know in a weeks time I'll be longing for friends from home (not that I don't miss my family and Logan like crazy). In this moment, it is so interesting to make new friends, have ridiculous conversations and go pub hopping. "We're the five best friends that anybody could have." I've been spending a lot of time with four other kids who make me laugh so hard it takes me back to high school being with Stephy, Brittany, and Emily in Mr. Daughtery's class. Gosh, it feels so good to laugh like that after this past year of school. Sophomore year was hard, different, and growing (general, I know).

Pubs are so great -- my first reaction is "oh my goodness, this is so cute,' hidden down an alley next to original Oxford city walls with tons of ivy and vines. Pubs in England are replacement for Starbucks at home -- you go sit and talk for hours. It's good -- it's a part of community that I never really understood before I came  here. It's unfortunate to assume drinking automatically means frat party and drunks.

Seminars are good. I have one of the best tutors (professors) in the world. His name is Vincent, he has to be at least 75, and he is amazing. He is always saying, "You know... interesting... go on!... golly good!" in the best and most excited voice in the world. He's a professor that makes you want to learn more, never makes you feel stupid but pushes you to question everything in a good way, you know?

It's so hard to sit down and write about everything going on here. It's so general to just say it's good, but that's what it is. I need to write more, especially in my own journal, but I have a lot of reading to do so it's easy to get distracted and forget to write postcards (which is starting this week).

I am just really thankful. I hate using words that feel so small compared to the great feeling I have right now. I know we all feel that way at times. But man, nothing is better than thinking about these days, sipping tea, and eating scones to good music in a kitchen full of new friends. It makes you only appreciate the old ones more and more. This is all to say I hope you find yourself in a community of friends and believers to celebrate the days with laughter and to hold each other in moments that lack hope. Be thoughtful, give yourself time to reflect in between work and sleep. 

Peace and grace.

Written June 28th, 2009. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a brilliant post, Emilie.

    Journaling is wonderful and I do it often...I cannot wait to look back on them and see how God has shaped me year by year.