7.31.2014

on turning twenty & flying across the ocean


Yes, friends, it is true. Last Saturday, I waved a tender adieu to my teenage years and entered a new stage of life. Twenty. 20. I'm two decades old. Wow. And if that isn't crazy enough, I can't believe I'm kicking off my twentieth year by flying to England in just a few days. How is this even my life...

I've given a lot of thought to turning twenty. It just sounds so grown-up and, well, old. I feel confident in saying that most twenty-year-olds have a specific plan for their new year; college, business, family, personal, etc. Of course I have ideas and ambitions, but there is honestly so much unknown in the next few months that it feels premature to make any solid plans. How could I possibly go live in England for three months and not expect it to change me and my direction. What will happen there? How will I change? What will God ask of me? What new path will He take me down?

Since the beginning of my trip-planning, I have felt a strong sense of God telling me I will not be coming home the same person. Of course I don't yet know how or what that will look like, but God has already been working in my life, shaping me and molding me for... something. I'm not even in England yet, and I have had to put a significant amount of trust in the Lord. There is so much unknown, so much I can't see. I'm flying internationally for the first time to a whole new country. My family, my old familiar, will not be there for me to fall back on. The thought is just a wee bit terrifying. All I can do is trust in my Jesus and know that He is holding me and that whatever happens, He knows everything I don't. I can confidently say that He is my Rock and my Refuge, in whom I will place my trust. My hope is built on nothing less...

So honestly, I don't have any idea what my life will look like when I get home. God has a way of changing my plans. :) Don't get me wrong, I certainly do have a few aspirations for my new year. I want to hone my creative arts and find a way to use them for business, ministry, or both. I want to do more traveling, experience new places and societies, and seek ways to document the splendor and variety of God's creation through pictures and words. But as far as the actual manifestation of my goals and where I will be, only God knows, but I have a feeling three months in England and what I will learn there will play a big role in determining that.

There is a flurry of emotions going down here, guys. On Sunday I began saying my first goodbyes to some of the dearest people on earth, squeezing them tight and murmuring "See you in November" in their ears, words that tasted like ashes on my tongue. This weekend I'm sure will be even harder, when it's my family I'm bidding farewell to. I know the trip will be so so so worth it, but the leaving part is gonna be tough.

Why is it worth it? I do get asked a lot what's drawing me to England and why I'm going in the first place, and really all those reasons would make up an entire post on their own. But it's worth it to me because for everything I've stated above, it's already been worth it, and I'm not even there yet. I already feel like my trust in God has skyrocketed. I already feel closer to Him. I already feel closer to my family. I already feel more empowered to do whatever God asks of me. And I know when I do arrive in England, there will be so much more for me to learn, more growing and changing and shaping. I know as an American in a foreign country, I'm going to stand out at least a little, but my biggest prayer is that when I'm there, the reason I stand out won't be because I'll be a slightly awkward tourist. But rather I pray the people of England will take one look at me and just know, "Dang. That girl loves Jesus."

The day approacheth. Please be praying with me, friends. xoxo

12 comments:

  1. Wow, good luck! This sounds like an amazing opportunity. Make the most of it, my friend :) And happy birthday!

    Sarah
    imsarahgrace blog

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  2. Praying for you now, dear Petie! I'm so excited for your adventures soon to be had! Keep us updated! Post lots of pics and videos too perhaps?

    Much love!

    -Madi

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  3. THIS POST JUST MAKES ME SO EXCITED GOD IS SO GOOD AND WHATEVER HE'S GOING TO DO IT'S GOING TO BE AMAZING AND HE DOES EVERYTHING FOR A REASON AND I FEEL LIKE WE'RE BOTH GONNA LEARN LOTS AND AHHHHHHHH. BUT LIKE OHMYGOSH I HAVE TAKEN TO SQUEALING AT RANDOM TIMES IN RANDOM PLACES I'M GETTING REALLY GIDDY IT'S ONLY FIVE DAYS AWAY WOMAN DO YOU HEAR ME.

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  4. Very best wishes to you, Petie!! Happy travels and Happy Birthday! xx

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  5. Happy Birthday Petie! I know you'll have a fantabulous time in England! I will hereby pass along a word of warning that my British Literature teacher shared... "You will get very tired of salad with no dressing." :D Despite the annoyance of dressing-less salads, I know you'll enjoy your trip! Have Fun!!

    ~Rachel Laird

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  6. WOW! Happy birthday Petie! God bless you in the years to come and in your travels!
    Ainsley (eponines a pen name)

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  7. Happy birthday and have a fantastic trip! :)
    Love your bangs, btw...
    <3

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  8. wow twenty!!! happy birthday! So exciting for you to be going to England! God bless :-)

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  9. I wish you safe travels; stretching experiences; and a sweet, adorable British accent upon your return.

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  10. Best Wishes Petie! Have lots of fun with Jess!
    Will be praying for you both to have a lovely time! :D

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  11. Happy Birthday Petie! This is such an inspiring post. :)

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  12. I just found your blog and I really like it. :) I hope you're having a wonderful time in England! Many blessings!

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