My husband and I spent the last year living in Slovenia. A wonderful, spectacular place filled with the friendliest, sweetest people. This fall we head back for the next five years. Yes, you read that correctly.
Here we get the privilege of meeting students and building a campus ministry for the university students of Ljubljana (the capital city where we live).
There are so many aspects about this beautiful country that have come to feel like home. We discovered our favorites cafes and restaurants. Walking and bike riding became daily means of transportation (and we loved it). I use a special cart to carry my groceries home. We're in the process of learning the language and have made friends I can't imagine my life without.
As we're currently back in the US preparing to return to Slovenia in a few months, I have days where I just can't wait to see our friends there again and be back in that city.
But I also have days of sadness, feeling the weight and cost of leaving our life in America behind. And the greatest cost to me is the relationships–my family means the world to me and our friends here are precious to us.
I remember during our time in Slovneia last year scrolling through Facebook and coming across a friend's picture who had recently had a baby. She commented on how surprised she was by all of the family and friends that came to the hospital to see her and how blessed she felt.
At that moment, I couldn't help but be brought to tears (and am yet again as I write this). My mind started to look down the road and all I could think was, "Wow, that won't be my story, what I'm writing one day when we have a baby." While the friends we have in Slovenia are so special to me and we will certainly have a great support system, there is a sadness that stings my soul as I think about setting aside my dreams of raising our family surrounded by our parents and family here.
You see, I grew up with nearly every aunt, uncle, grandparent and cousin within a 20-mile radius. The cousins were very close and we spent at least one night a week hanging out at grandma and grandpa's, up late eating Italo's pizza. My aunt would take me running errands with her and we'd lay out at the pool together. I'd call up my girlfriends and go out for a Starbucks. Hop in the car and head out to the family get together. Go see a movie with my mom. Stop by my dad's for a cup of coffee and catch up. Eat a peanut buster parfait with my Grammie at Dairy Queen.
Oh, how I treausre these memories. But as absolutely dear as I hold these days in my heart, I cannot idolize them and put them before the plans God has for us.
From the time I was a little girl, I have prayed that God would use me to have a significant impact on the world for Him. Although I walked away from the Lord for several years during high school, He is answering that prayer in ways I never dreamed possible.
Just over a year ago I discovered this song when Hillsong's new album had released and I could not get enough. There were days I was home alone, making dinner in the kitchen and would just stop and weep as it played, longing for my prayer to be "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me."
And lead me He did. To a place that is deeper than my feet could ever wander on their own. The unknown has long been an enemy of mine, yet the more I walk with God the more I find comfort and joy in it, knowing that He is in control and I don't have to have it all figured out.
I sketched this during our time in Slovenia last year when we were deciding if we'd return long term. It continues to be the cry of my heart. The days of doing things my way have passed, and I don't miss one second of them.
How thankful I am to serve a God whose plans for my life will always be infinitely greater than what my small mind could imagine!