12 days until I embark on the adventure of a lifetime. My tickets have been purchased and my bags are starting to be packed. This is the point where it all starts to set in. I should be counting the days in excited anticipation of new adventures, people, and places. I should be giddily packing my bags and tying up loose ends here in Chattanooga. If I'm being honest, excitement and giddiness are the last emotions I feel. Terrified and anxious are more appropriate.
I keep waiting for the fear to disappear but as the day gets closer my fear grows stronger. I have been struggling with the question,"why are you so stinking scared?", day after day and I can't come up with a perfect answer. The reason is, there is no one reason to be scared. There are a thousand reasons why I should be scared to leave, and I've learned it's completely okay! We live in a world where wanderlust is put upon a pedestal. The idea of selling everything you own and moving to a place unknown is, in a way magical, but would I actually do that? The answer, HECK NO. Wanderlust is a desire, but to actually commit is a whole different story. It is easy to scroll through images of foreign countries during class and imagine yourself to be anywhere but there, but in reality it is so much more than that. I am leaving my family, my life, my job, and everything that is comfortable, to live in a country where I don't know a single soul. I have always been an extremely independent person, but this is stretching even my limits. That is when I realized how necessary this trip is for me.
Life is full of cross roads. The old poem goes,"two roads diverged and I took the one less traveled", as cliché as that poem is, it has incredible meaning. Crossroads are learning and growing points in our lives. They aren't easy, but they are necessary leaps of faith. If we don't step outside our comfort zone every once and a while, we will never grow into the people we were designed to be. God has a plan for my life, and trusting in that is incredibly difficult for me sometimes. When it came time for me to decide where to go to college, God made it very clear UTC was where I belonged. I hated everything about the decision, but here I am two years later, heart broken to leave. I found a passage I wrote in one of my journals that came from a time of cross roads. It began with Jeremiah 29:11 and followed with my response to the verse,"Lord show me those plans. If you want me to go to Samford provide the money. If you want me at UTC give me peace. If you want me to do something even I haven't thought of, like move to Italy, show me the way. I pray with all my heart for you to show me the way." I wrote that passage my senior year of high school having no idea I would ever be in a position to move to Italy, and yet here I am. It absolutely blows my mind how God works in our lives. It is up to us to open up our hearts and give our faith and trust to him. Going to Italy for six weeks is a huge leap of faith for me, but I am ready to see how this adventure changes my life. This is another necessary crossroad, and I choose to take the road less traveled.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you where ever you may go." Joshua 1:9