I realize that my last post brought up some different views about what it's like to travel. I just wanted to mention that if anyone feels differently than what I was writing about, please let me know! I honestly would love to understand your views as well as perhaps clear up what I was trying to say. I realize many of you have not been talking to me personally throughout this journey, so it may just be a contextual thing (and I know tone can get lost through text). Shoot me an email and we can chat!
In general, I did not mean to say that a desire to travel means you have a hole inside yourself. In fact, I do not think that's what it means at all! I just meant that it has been easy for me to lose sight of God by using the concept of travel to fill the place God should be. I am not saying everyone does this ☺️. Most, certainly, do not! For me, I have been getting caught up on taking pictures and trying to "having the time of my life" that I have let myself get stressed and not actually enjoy myself while here. I have been worrying and feeling guilty if I don't constantly leave my town every weekend to do something different. I have also lost sight of God's purpose for these adventures and I haven't been looking for His beauty throughout it. My body has been here, but my heart, mind, and spirit have not been. That's what I want to change. I want to be fully present. I want to see God's beauty everywhere when I'm here and not worry so much about "looking" like I'm having a good time. I just need to get my priorities straight, that's all! :) Also, don't get me wrong, I am certainly extremely grateful for this opportunity that I have and I wouldn't trade it for anything! I did not want to come across as ungrateful. Hope this clears up any miscommunication (see? look at me! I'm a Communication major and I can't even get this right sometimes haha!). ♥️
Prayer requests: waiting on God, honoring Him with my words, and wisdom
The Lie of Fulfillment
Travel is not the answer. Trying to find meaning and joy through the countries you can highlight on a map does nothing. Going on an adventure does not fix the brokenness within a soul. The memories you'll make don't make a difference. The pictures you take don't matter. Making people wish they were you doesn't lift you up. You can have the time of your life, and still waste away inside. It is not all that it's cracked up to be.
I've been reflecting about why I love traveling so much. There are many reasons why I love it, and not all the reasons are bad, but I do admit it is easy to get caught up in the 21st century disease of wanderlust. Don't get me wrong: I love living in France and being abroad, but I also want to share what I believe God has put on my heart to say.
So many people, myself included, get absorbed in the mentality that you aren't "living" if you stay in one place or if you're not constantly posting cool photos of your adventures. But the thing is, life isn't about where you've been or how much fun you've had.
People often have a romanticized view of traveling. We think we will come back forever changed and our perspectives altered irreversibly. This may be true to a certain extent, but I don't think we should be assuming this will happen every time in a drastic manner. We pretty much remain the same no matter which gps coordinate we stand on. For me, there was no epiphany as soon as I stepped off the plane. My lifestyle might be different here, but on the inside I am still the same person. Same struggles, same strengths, same heart. Only God can truly change us from the inside out. I'm not saying we shouldn't travel, or that travel doesn't impact people. What I mean is we shouldn't look to that to fill us up as humans.
I never want people to be "jealous" of the opportunity I have, because in the end, none of it matters. In the present, it's not easy all the time either. It's not all baguettes and roses. Truth is, I often feel like I am missing out on everything going on at home, and I often question why I decided to leave in the first place. Leaving everything I love only to fall in love with something else and then leave that love too is challenging to deal with sometimes. I honestly have no idea why God gave me the desire to travel, but he did. Even if it won't be revealed to me, I still hope in Him and that perhaps he would use me for whatever He wants to do.
Galatians 3:27-29 says: “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Somehow I don't think anyone is gonna care what we've done when we are all made equal in Heaven. We have all we need in Jesus. We are one in Jesus. Our identity is set in Jesus. Nothing else matters. We can make a difference staying in the same city we were born in. We don't have to have a cool story to honor God. We don't have to constantly be seeking worldly adventure. I suffer from this need for adventure. However, it does nothing but attempt to fill the gap only God can fill. No adventure compares to the adventure God promises to go on with us.
Let us be overwhelmed by Your presence and underwhelmed by the world. Amen.
On Saturday my friends and I visited Nice (French Rivera) to attend the Carnaval de Nice festival of lights! The Nice Carnaval is comparable to the ones that happen in Brazil and Venice. I was really worried at first about going because of all the terror warnings about attending large gatherings in Europe. We took as many precautions as we could; luckily, nothing happened. There was a ton of security and the whole parade was fenced off, as well. My friends and I had fun singing and dancing to some classic American music like Grease and my favorite, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, which they played over the loud speakers. The parade was a once-in-a-lifetime event. I'm super glad I went, even though we got back to Aix at 2am and now I have a cold 🤧. I took too many pictures, and some are posted below (click on one of them to go to the entire gallery or to see them full screen).
Prayer requests: He would help me honor Him, take away the idols I have set in front of Him, Gavin get into the research program at PLNU
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