I’m home. I’m in Marietta. So I’m sorta home, because Scotland has quickly become a second home for my heart. Not one of those “I wish I was there all the time” homes, but one of those “I don’t miss you because I’ll see you soon” homes. Know what I mean?
There has been a lot of pressure to blog about my trip. Gosh, guys, give a girl a break. 🙂 Phone calls, comments, emails. You don’t quit. And even though I’m totally exhausted (3:05am in Scotland, thank you very much), I’ll do my best. Actually, you’ll probably enjoy this more than a sane-Annie blog.
I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t have the right words yet to describe the trip. This picture helps. That’s how free I felt. That’s how lovely I felt (if that makes any sense). That’s how loved I felt.
Though I can’t say “here’s the total summary of the trip”, but I think I understand a few things better today than I did a few weeks ago.
I better understand the idea of joining in with the work that God is already doing. Jesus said that and I think I know a portion of the joy that He talked about- I loved feeling like God was working and I was there to take part. More than once on this trip, during this camp, I thought, “I’m really lucky that God brought me here to be a part of what He’s doing”. God is doing a SERIOUS work in Scotland. Anyone that is allowed to join in is privileged. No joke.
I better understand the peace of living full-tilt-no-other-focus for God. I mean, I think I love Him and do the best I can to live my life to worship Him, but there is something about waking up and going to bed with His plan on your mind. It’s one of the things I told God I wanted to keep as a habit in my real life.
I better understand the power of prayer. There were multiple times that I felt the literal strengthening in my soul and body after a direct email requesting prayer. Deep in me, the prayers made my heart pump stronger. I’ve always believed in praying and in the need for prayers, but I have never left a mission trip KNOWING that my prayer partners were my driving force. I would NOT have made it through this trip as strong and safe as I did without them.
I better understand the verse that says our battle is not against flesh and blood but against forces unseen. We have an enemy and he does not appreciate people claiming his territory for God. But greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!!
I better understand the body of Christ. Somehow, these students and adults we met for the first time ever quickly became like family. Though they are from a different culture and different ages, we have a must stronger common thread- Jesus. And because of Him, we are in the same family. And that’s beautiful.
I better understand why it is important to travel. Because of this- we need to see the rest of the world to see the creativity that God displayed all over the Earth. On the left you see me and KTB at a place in Ireland called “Giant’s Causeway”. All these rocks are shaped as hexagons or octagons. Like, seriously, thousands and thousands of rocks. Look how big they are! And they are totally natural. Just made that way. Ridiculously creative. They say there is some scientific way that this is possibly possible, but I think it is MORE possible that God just enjoyed making it, carving the rocks by hand and then laying them together. It is truly the most amazing thing I have EVER seen. And that’s why you travel- to see more of God’s creative/loving/strong/etc. hand on our planet.
I better understand how big God is. He just is. His ways are so high and His thoughts so different. His plans are so good and so right. But here’s the cool thing about Him- because I better understand how big He is, I actually understand Him less. Does that make sense? I thought, more than once, that I used to think I had God figured out, then He does something, or shows me something, and I realize that He is huge and I’m can’t figure Him out. And I love Him for being bigger than my ability to know. Because that means I will never EVER run out of reasons to seek Him and know Him. And love Him.
So, can you guess I had fun? Cause I did. Don’t be deceived- this trip wasn’t problem free by any means- tears were shed more than once. But, in the end, God was bigger and better and deeper and stronger and all together more amazing than I could have ever imagined.
We’re already planning the ’08 trip and I’m thrilled.
I’m working on a website with my all my pictures, so I’ll put up the link as soon as I finish. Give me a couple of days, please. Then you can bombard me with pressure emails, comments, and phone calls again. Gah.
Sorry this ended up being so long. That whole thing I started out saying about not having the right words to say about this trip? Yeah, somehow I managed, didn’t I? Not a one of you is surprised.