NOTE: Posted two days after arrival. Written two days prior.
I am, yet again, emotional. Are you surprised? Probably not, considering I always write when I’m emotional. The only poems I have ever written were all at the same time on one single night of this semester where I just couldn’t. All of my blog posts are when I just can’t. Emotions = WRITE!!!
Why am I emotional this time? I’m on my freakin’ plane to go home, the sleeping pills are taking ages to work, and I am really blessed that everything has gone well so far and am waiting for it all to far apart because I feel really unworthy of a smooth four months with no detrimental disasters that leave me asking why now why me. Let me explain…
A month into the semester we hit Easter break, the most inconveniently located two week break because I have gone through not enough school to be needing a break but HOLLA South Island here I cooooooome. Probably already mentioned this but.. three days earlier I met this chick named Taylor and we planned a trip after knowing each other for a weekend. “Hello parents hope you’re good I’m going on a trip with a stranger I’ve just been introduced to.” Things you’re not supposed to do when traveling…. Oops. So we get to the South Island and I’m just waiting for us to miss our bus because why on earth would anything go right at the beginning? We arrive at a creepy hostel and stay in an eight person bedroom with all guys, we wake up on Easter weekend to find that no city busses are running after waiting for it and almost missing our ten hour bus ride, we get to Queenstown late and almost miss the car rental hours which would mean we would have no place to sleep (yes we slept in a car on the side of the road for two days “Hello parents hope you’re good I’m sleeping in a car with a near stranger.”). But then we have the best week ever! Lots of driving off-road and through way deep puddles of water, but no flat tire. Two inexperienced American drivers, no accident. So many opportunities for things to tumble downhill, but it was only uphill.. literally… we summited a mountain if that tells ya anything.
But that leaves three months for screw-ups says my anxious heart. I went on a trip with Mary my last week in town. We would drive, follow a brown sign indicating a place of importance, and set up our tent and hope we didn’t get fined or slain. For example: we saved the hot pools for last because they’re hot pools duh! We get there and see no one. We make dinner and man walks past. Turns out he is a Scottish man in his forties traveling alone. My mind is yelling “THIS IS THE PERFECT MURDER OPPORTUNITY DON’T YOU DARE BE NAIIVE” while apparently, or according to her ease of conversation, Mary’s is yelling “Ah, a nice Scottish at a campsite in the middle of absolutely nowhere, how lovely.” So I stop cutting the kumara and I slowly walk over with my knife in very clear sight, and I say no words, just stand there, my looming shadow threatening the probably nice man. THEN we are in the tent chatting and man walks by and makes a joke about coming in and the paranoid in me has had it so I dash to the car and grab that knife and that’s the story of how I got two hours of sleep. It didn’t help that I’ve never been in such a bad windstorm as that night and every sound was the murderer approaching the tent. On afterthought, maybe I shouldn’t have treated my insomnia with a book about a murder…
Today, on my way to the airport, it was raining buckets. Surely my flight will be delayed and I’ll miss my next and I’ll blablabla. Hush it mind! The amazing sweet Mikaela dropped me off at the airport as I dropped a few glistening tears. Goodbyes were muttered, and I began to approach my first time at the airport completely on my own. Self-check in is now a thing and the lady “helping” is only helping me to stress out about my bag weights. Then I get a call and a second uni friend David arrives at the scene to offer really nice hugs and make me take weirdo pictures that I’m too nervous to smile for and then I’m on my way to security. Just before approaching the stern suspecting faces I see a friendly not stern face. Hello third friend Rachel!! And she’s on the same flight as me!! While waiting I spot all of the infants who are bound to be seated next to me crying their eyes out the whole flight because that’s just how it will start going downhill. But I get on the plane and a girl sits next to me and next thing ya know we are praying together over a really impressive air meal. God knows just how to answer the prayers I sometimes forget to pray.
Now I am on a plane home. We left an hour late and my next flight is two hours after my arrival and I still have to go through customs, security, check-in, and security again. Everything is telling me to freak out, I will miss my flight, something will go wrong. This must be the breaking point because why would God let this go blemish free? That is where I am so wrong. I continue to think that nothing can work out because I am unworthy. I have not earned good things like flights being on time and cars running well. I continually must remind myself that it is not my own actions that allow me to live without working up to a standard, but Jesus’s death that saves me. If it WERE all about me working to be given good things, I would be failing myself continually. I would not be up to par. But having a God who loves me and is merciful despite my shortcomings—that allows me to be able to enjoy His blessings that I have far from earned. And even if something does not go how I like, and I miss my flight, or the car breaks down, I cannot worry because His plan is better and greater than mine is. And THAT is a VERY freeing comfort to me. Praise Him who knows all things and loves a broken sinner like me!!
Writing now, I am on my last flight home happily listening to the Avett Brothers’ FANTASTIC new album! All went smoothly. I always get scared at security even though I literally have nothing in my bag but clothes. WHY. Anyway, the hot and humid Texas put a big ole smile on my face. Who knew you could miss the humid conditions of the South so much! My belly feels like it’s gonna burst and for the first time, it’s not because I am suffering a food coma; I get to see my incredible family in less than two hours!!! Unfortunately, the wiggly black bean will not be present. She is at home probably day dreaming about my return home. My prediction is that when I see them, Chloe’s first reaction will be a grinning scowl (yes it’s possible to do that) and the offended remark “I can’t believe they let that hobo/toddler/boy on the plane!” I am really looking forward to her scathing critiques regarding my oversized op-shop retro pullover, the fact that I wore Chacos and not heels on the plane, and my super trendy very bulky men’s t-shirt also featuring retro colors. YAY. So glad to see you Chloe after a year of you being away in Germany!!!!! ❤
Lessons learned: I am guilty of an anxious heart revealing my inability to trust in God. The more I remind myself that my life is in his hands, the happier and more content my heart is. Knowing that I don’t have control over things, big and small, is the best relief I have begun to understand. Reading the Bible, Keller’s Psalms devotionals (if you haven’t yet… hit this book up—totally great, thanks Dad), I am able to have small daily reminders that set my heart more and more at ease.
Sidenote: I will most likely be typin’ up more blogs, probably in retrospect of my fantastic semester, probably when I am emotional and crying because I miss the place that became yet another home to me (I have a lot of those). And then maybe I’ll keep blogging because it’s fun and allows me to get my tears sorted. Promise I won’t be a dramatic sob though. Maybe only Ann Lundy will read them (S/O to you sista!) but that’s ok with me. ANYWAY.