I think it’s kind of accurate, albeit a little unorthodox, to say that I’m currently dating St. Andrews.
We’re in the slightly awkward beginning phase, in which we’re still learning more about one another. How invested do we actually want to be? What fears are irrational? How will our schedules mesh together? What adventures will we choose next? We’ve discovered favourite coffee shops and we like long walks on the beach.
Our relationship is evolving quickly – we both know it can only last a few months – and so far, I’ve had some pretty big revelations.
First: when a pub advertises 241 burgers, there aren’t actually 241 burger options. Depressing, but true. Instead, there exists a 2 for 1 deal made available to students who are smart enough to read signs properly. (College diplomas are overrated, right?)
Now for the good stuff.
This past week, I have been amazed at just how fiercely God protects us when he calls us into new seasons.
But seasons cannot happen without change, and for a girl who really dislikes change, moving somewhere foreign is all sorts of difficult.
And yet Jesus, in his ever gracious, all-knowing way, has made this transition so beautiful.
I’ve recently started Beth Moore’s book Jesus The One and Only. She is walking me through Luke, and oh how Luke 1:45 has been imprinted on my heart: “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.”
When you’re surrounded by the different and asked to take audacious leaps of faith, you have nothing and no one else to lean on except God.
He has reminded me not to underestimate His goodness. He has told me to trust and to trust with my whole heart. He has said that people will absolutely fail me, especially when I’m expecting them to. But God? He has never and will never let me down.
He has shown me that when he calls us into new seasons, he always has a plan and he always prepares a place for us.
This was confirmed when I joined a home group full of the brightest, most welcoming faces. I could feel heaven smile as I found my way into a loving circle of girls, eager to know me – me of all people – and embrace me as a kindred spirit because of a common thread: faith.
Being in their company is effortless and that surprised me most of all. That God would make it easy for me to find community in a college Bible study in the kingdom of Fife strengthened my hope in His kingdom.
Our school also mourned the tragic death of a student this week. Although mourning is a deeply sad thing to behold, I realized that our ability to mourn is quite dear. For loss to matter, the loss must have been very great indeed, since we rarely grieve that which is replaceable.
I keep thanking God for my family and friends – all of whom I miss so much. Yet they are alive and well and that is another gift.
Having just four lectures a week means extra hours are in each day, and I’m realizing the joy of being still, being quite, observing, noticing.
I talk with God constantly, about everything. I have time to legitimately read my books for class. I can be in the room and have chats with Emman without checking the clock every five minutes. I can genuinely hear her because I have no where else to be.
So where does this leave me?
Awestruck at how much I’m learning.
Today at church, we dwelt on the fall of mankind – dark, but necessary. My heart paused for a moment to contemplate God’s magnificence and I had yet another revelation. Ours is not a rags to riches story. It is a rags to righteousness story!
A verse in Genesis was highlighted that confirmed again how ardently God loves us.
But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)
This is the voice of yearning love. Come back to me, says God. Please. Let me find you – all of you.
I am no longer afraid to admit how afraid I was to study abroad. For whatever reason, I thought I would be so alone. There have been (and may still be) moments of lonely. But God never, ever leaves us. He is quick to provide and ready to comfort daily. As new hours, minutes and seconds evolve, he is waiting to be asked! He hungers for our dependence upon Him, and this whole journey has opened my eyes to my immense need for Him in all things.
How can you be dependent on him today?
As the North Sea blows in freezing cold wind and I prepare for my first ceilidh dance, I am thinking of and missing my North American favourites. Drop me a line some time!
From Scotland, with love,