I love Edinburgh in the autumn.

on May 4, 2011 in Dreams Coming True, Scotland with 50 comments by

That is absolutely NOT how the song goes. Anyways….

I had a profound experience in Scotland when I was there in January/February. [Here’s a post about why I went to Scotland– just in case you need/want a recap.]

I don’t remember the day of said profound experience, but I remember where I was. There is a park on the southern edge of the University of Edinburgh campus. They call it The Meadows. Crisscrossing the Meadows are a series of sidewalks and bike paths.

I was walking there, not really knowing if I was going in the right direction or not [shocker], but I was following the path.

In a rare moment of still, when the wind wasn’t blowing and there was no rain in the air, I knew Edinburgh was home.

Not my only home. Not my forever home.

But home.

I may have cried right there on The Meadows sidewalk.

It wasn’t long until I saw what that would look like. Not in a visible live-here-walk-here-coffee-shop-here kind of way, but in a heart way.

So I’m leaving home to go home.

I’m getting weepy thinking about it. About the loss of my time here in Nashville, about leaving my friends and family, about the beauty of Edinburgh and the way my soul leaps when I think about that place and those people. This heart-tearing confusion makes me cry.

Anddddd….. breathe.

I think you’re going to have to take over here.Β Would you mind just interviewing me? Thanks.

When will you be in Scotland?

July – November.

What will you be doing?

For one week in July, I will be speaking at the RiverStone/Potter’s House Youth Camp.

For the rest of the time, I will be working with Crossroads Church in Edinburgh to help reach out to unchurched university students. I will also be helping plan fun activities that build community in this young church as well as meeting administrative needs and social media needs while I’m there. [my hobby is organization, remember?]

Will you still be writing?

It’s like breathing. So yes I will. Unless I’m underwater.

Are you a “missionary”?

I am no more a missionary to Edinburgh than I was a missionary to Nashville than I am a missionary on this ol’ blog. Will I live in such a way that other people hopefully see the love and joy of a life fully abandoned to Jesus Christ? I plan on it.

Officially, I am considered a short term missionary through Riverstone Church.

Are you sad to leave your community in Nashville?

Don’t even get me started.

But do you like your friends in Scotland?

Absolutely, which is about the only reason I’m willing to leave Nashville. Well, that and God making His plan for my life pretty clear and that plan involving a season in Edinburgh.

So. There’s that. You can keep up with my writings specifically about Scotland here.

Finally, thank you. Thank you for giving me the courage to live a life that is far different [better?] than anything I could dream up. I hope that somehow, by reading along or giving a few bucks or just being my friend, some of that courage leaks off this screen into your heart.

Love.

50 comments

  1. Tay
    posted on May 04, 2011 at 6:43 PM  |  reply

    Wow…this is some big news! So excited for you even though I have never met you!

    Ok, I have a few questions…I will number them for your convience! πŸ™‚
    1. So will you have a job in Edinburgh?
    2. How long have you wanted to go to Scotland, before your last trip?
    3. What kind of writing projects will you be working on in Scotland?

    • posted on May 04, 2011 at 8:46 PM  |  reply

      @Tay, Great questions. And thanks πŸ™‚

      1. I will still work a few hours a week with Mocha Club, but my #1 job will be with the church, but the church job is totally volunteer.

      2. I went to Scotland for the first time in May 2000 and I’ve kinda known since then.

      3. I’m getting ready to start another book, but I’ll also continue to work with small group leaders and youth groups as they go through From Head To Foot. I just will no longer take the other 25ish hours of writing work I do each week. (bios, articles, interviews, etc)

      Hugs.

  2. posted on May 04, 2011 at 6:49 PM  |  reply

    Aww Annie, I am so excited for you!!! Abundant blessings in the preparations!!!

  3. Alexis Ward
    posted on May 04, 2011 at 7:09 PM  |  reply

    Wow! I’m so excited for you. That’s exactly how I feel about Florence, Italy — at home there. It’s so wonderful and so weird. PLEASE let me introduce you to my friend Katie Isaak. She’s the bestie from Auburn that is living in Edinburgh until September or October. She LOVES living there (she moved late last summer), she’s ridiculously fun, she loves Jesus and she is amazing at finding ways to live in expensive cities but drink it all in. You’ll love her.

  4. posted on May 04, 2011 at 7:17 PM  |  reply

    I am so excited for you! I will definitely be praying for in this transition. It’s crazy how exciting and nerve-wracking change can be.

    • posted on May 04, 2011 at 8:53 PM  |  reply

      @Sarah, Thanks, girl. Change and I- we do not jive so well. But I know this is the best thing. I’m really grateful for the opportunity.

  5. posted on May 04, 2011 at 7:24 PM  |  reply

    this makes me so happy. love you. lots.

  6. Face
    posted on May 04, 2011 at 7:26 PM  |  reply

    AHHHHH!

    You missed a question.

    WILL YOU VISIT THE HUNTS IN PRAHA?
    Heck, yes, I will. I will enjoy a weekend (or more) of curling up in their cozy guest room, eating fatty Czech food and seeing the most beeeeyoootiful city in Europe.

    Sooo happy for you. Will pray.

  7. posted on May 04, 2011 at 8:19 PM  |  reply

    Annie! I am soo thrilled for you! Sounds soo amazing and exciting!!! Praying for you and hope all goes well!!!

    • posted on May 04, 2011 at 8:54 PM  |  reply

      @April, Thank you! Keep praying. For realz. πŸ™‚

  8. posted on May 04, 2011 at 8:51 PM  |  reply

    You and university students? Perfect match, dear one. Throw in that organization stuff and it’s even more perfect. Perfecter. I’m so excited for you! You’ll get that money plus more before your deadline. I’m believing!

    • posted on May 04, 2011 at 9:00 PM  |  reply

      @Southern Gal, thanks friend. Can you believe I’m doing this? YIkes. I can’t most days. πŸ™‚

  9. posted on May 04, 2011 at 9:12 PM  |  reply

    Annie this is awesome! ok, so I’ve commented before how we could be bff’s and i just went to your church’s website. ok hold on to your hat here….my hubby and i grew up in marietta (we now live in douglasville) AND about 3 & 1/2 years ago, we were faithful attenders at Riverstone! How crazy is that??? Anyway, I’m so excited for your adventure, and to read about it and excited that you are following God’s prompts on your heart. So many of us miss that.

    • Annie
      posted on May 04, 2011 at 9:35 PM  |  reply

      @Lauren, Um. Seriously. Guess what? I was attending Riverstone 3.5 years ago too! HOW WEIRD!!! (and awesome) πŸ™‚

  10. posted on May 04, 2011 at 10:11 PM  |  reply

    Awesome! I can’t wait to see how God uses this time in your life.

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:54 PM  |  reply

      @Leigh, thank you. πŸ™‚

  11. posted on May 05, 2011 at 12:13 AM  |  reply

    Oh Annie, it leaks my dear. It leaks.

    So so so excited for you and this opportunity God has given you to build relationships with these university students. I’m definitely praying for you!! Definitely! And God is so faithful to provide so I know you will get the money no probs. πŸ™‚

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:55 PM  |  reply

      @Rebekah, pray for those students!! Yes! That is my heart. Thank you.

  12. Laura
    posted on May 05, 2011 at 6:18 AM  |  reply

    You are soooo lucky. I wish I could go to Scotland!! I will definitely pray for you! πŸ˜€

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:55 PM  |  reply

      @Laura, God gives us crazy plans sometimes, doesn’t He? πŸ™‚

      • Laura
        posted on May 17, 2011 at 3:00 PM  |  reply

        @Annie,
        He definitely does.

  13. Merideth
    posted on May 05, 2011 at 7:12 AM  |  reply

    So exciting Annie, and inspiring! I’ll for sure be praying for this new adventure, as well as your heart as you get ready to leave your Nashville home. So cool, too, you get to be a part of the riverstone youth camp again this summer.
    I do want to contribute financially, but need to pray about it first and see what to give. OH, and I think the post card thing is cool. People don’t send them as much these days with email and facebook and all those kinds of communication. Anyway, praying for you. Love ya girl.

  14. Merideth
    posted on May 05, 2011 at 7:14 AM  |  reply

    I forgot a question for you. Was this decision as easy as you make it sound?

    • posted on May 05, 2011 at 8:40 AM  |  reply

      @Merideth, Hi friend.

      Honestly, this was an easy decision. The Lord made it pretty clear in my heart while I was still in Scotland that I was to return this year. I pushed the idea out to my family, accountability group, and the team in Scotland and asked them to pray- they all agreed that this was right. Because they were all a part of the decision, it made it easier to decide (and makes it harder to back out). πŸ™‚

      But there is NOTHING easy about leaving the comfort of my friendships and Nashville and America. Some days I absolutely want to back out. But I just quiet those doubting thoughts and keep moving forward.

      Thanks for everything. You are dear.

  15. Erin
    posted on May 05, 2011 at 8:47 AM  |  reply

    Congratulations, this is super bold of you and sounds really worth it.

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:51 PM  |  reply

      @Erin, I hope you are right- on both accounts. πŸ™‚

  16. Carolyn
    posted on May 05, 2011 at 9:42 AM  |  reply

    Great news! Hugely looking forward to hanging out with you in Scotland. I’ll take you out for a Starbucks Chai, and have you over for yummy food! Love Carolyn x

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:52 PM  |  reply

      @Carolyn, thank you, friend. I look forward to it as well.

  17. posted on May 05, 2011 at 10:00 AM  |  reply

    Hi Annie,

    I’m so excited for you with this decision! We’ll all be praying for your smooth transition!

    I moved to Japan in my 20s and have never regretted it, even though I left so much behind and thought God was calling me to be a single missionary the rest of my life. Who knew that He would bring me my soulmate through the mail? (It’s true! 17 years later, we’re still amazed how that happened.)

    Living overseas as a single woman, for me at least, helped me to get alone with God, steep myself in His Word, and learn to trust Him to meet ALL my needs. May He bless your fantastic journey ahead! πŸ™‚

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:52 PM  |  reply

      @Heather, so sweet to hear from you. Thank you. πŸ™‚

  18. posted on May 05, 2011 at 9:46 PM  |  reply

    So pumped for you! Can’t wait to hear all about it! ‘
    Bummer about the Starbucks though, a girl’s gotta live right? πŸ˜‰

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:53 PM  |  reply

      @Julie, RIGHT? And they don’t take American giftcards. Totes bummer. I’ll survive- suffering for the Gospel, ya know? πŸ™‚

  19. posted on May 06, 2011 at 7:57 AM  |  reply

    I am hands down SO stinkin’ happy for you!!

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:53 PM  |  reply

      @Michelle, thanks thanks thanks.

  20. posted on May 06, 2011 at 12:08 PM  |  reply

    Hurray for dreaming and living and going… πŸ™‚

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:54 PM  |  reply

      @Ginger, not always in that order. πŸ™‚ But sorta. Thanks for your friendship.

  21. Erin
    posted on May 07, 2011 at 4:01 PM  |  reply

    Annie, I just stumbled across this and thought of you. It’s a “graduation speech” to English majors, and there is a lot of cursing but it says so much about writing and purpose in a very beautiful way.

    http://therumpus.net/2011/05/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-72-the-future-has-an-ancient-heart/

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 10:04 PM  |  reply

      @Erin, I. Am. Dying. Ugh. Love that so much. Thank you for sharing.

  22. posted on May 09, 2011 at 9:47 AM  |  reply

    I love everything about this and have MUCH more to say! but for now I’ll leave you with this:

    WE’RE MOVING TO LONDON IN SEPTEMBER… WHEN CAN WE MEET UP ON THAT SIDE OF THE POND AND PLAY???

    email me. seriously. let’s discuss xoxo lucyduggar@gmail.com

    ps. you’re blogging about scotland is part of the reason we applied to schools over there and followed the yearnings of our heart… pretty inspiring, little miss Annie πŸ˜‰ xoxo love you!

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:55 PM  |  reply

      @Lucy Duggar, I can’t wait for us to explore the UK together. It’s gonna happen.

  23. Lauren M
    posted on May 10, 2011 at 9:34 AM  |  reply

    SOOOOO excited and a wee bit jealous of you! And I totally hope that you fall in love with a manly Scot that loves Jesus!

    • Annie
      posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:56 PM  |  reply

      @Lauren M, well, I’ll do my best. But I’m not making any promises. πŸ™‚

  24. posted on May 20, 2011 at 7:17 PM  |  reply

    I am so excited for you, Annie. May your time be one of rich fellowship and beautiful time spent Jesus as you pursue His plan for you!

    {On a little side note, my Air Force hubs was stationed in England for 3 years and visited Scotland every chance he got. His eyes still light up when he talks about Scotland. It must be just wonderful!}

    Praying for you, beautiful girl!

  25. posted on Jun 10, 2011 at 11:47 AM  |  reply

    SO incredibly excited for you!!!!

  26. posted on Jun 19, 2011 at 9:41 PM  |  reply

    I’ve been reading through the famous book, Radical. Can I be honest? Your story definitely reminds me of chapter 6 when he talks about finances and the way most Americans live their lives. But, your not.
    Your selling your possessions and going. Wow…
    Thanks for living such a life. I’m inspired.

  27. Rev Helen Davies
    posted on Aug 25, 2012 at 9:43 AM  |  reply

    I know the feeling of being at home in a new place. I too have experienced it. It’s such a God moment when you know you are in the center of God’s will there. I know you will never forget that and I won’t either. We thank God for such divine moments.

    I’m considering retiring before long in Scotland. I’ve never been there but some of my ancestors are from there. I feel so drawn there and want to plan a trip there soon.

    Thank you for sharing your experience here. May God continue to guide and empower you to do His will in all things. May He grant the desires of your heart on your journey. His Word says, “The desire of the righteous SHALL BE granted.” Prov 10:24. So expect desires too.

    With love, Rev Helen/Dallas,TX.

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