I remember exactly where I was when I said I love you to Matt for the first time. Gene Kelly had just finished singing in the rain and all three of us were on the same page. Happy and head up, with joy in my heart, why is each new task a trifle to do? Because I am living a life full of you.
Nailed it, Gene.
Love has a way with us, doesn’t it.
Love takes us by surprise and makes us bolder. Love comes in quietly and offers a hand to hold.
I’m not sure when I first began to love St. Andrews, but despite many battles with homesickness, I have fallen for this place.
I have knit myself to the hearts of the people here, discovering that shelter, encouragement, wisdom, and kindness reign supreme in the kingdom of Fife.
New pockets of friends have reminded me of old ones – always making room for me.
No matter how late, someone in St. Andrews is forever on standby, waiting to put the kettle on. Do you take milk or sugar is such a comforting question to be asked when you’re weary and miss teatime chats with your momma.
I thought studying abroad would be about me taking care of myself. Grownup Amy charging into a world of independence with an especially epic playlist stowed in my carry-on.
But it’s actually been about me surrendering. Saying hey guys, s.o.s, life is better together, so help a sister out?
It’s been about releasing roles and responsibilities, walking with palms up, hands open ready to accept change and growth.
Studying abroad has been about missing Matt. Like crazy. Realizing that love is unbearably good because it makes you ache in ways that strengthen you. Our emotional biceps are so toned.
Studying abroad has ultimately been about letting others take care of Amy.
Being accepted into little communities all over this town has humbled me in ways I’m still processing. Through St. Andrews, I have encountered Christ-like love, and it has made me whole.
I feel like I’ve undergone a transformation of Cinderella proportions: from stranger to somebody.
This feeling of belonging has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with others showering me in their grace and joy.
My bible study has kept me sane. They’re a radiant group of girls that gathers together, eats good food, opens the bible, and tackles the hard stuff. Never before have I experienced such generosity or found sisterhood so quickly. Our Thursday nights are 100% the church breathing and moving through her people.
My roommate, Emman the Great, is a comedian, avocado enthusiast, and general superwoman. She is perpetually keen about all things Starbucks, and I treasure her.
The McIntosh Hall study abroads saw me through jetlagged confusion in January and continue to be trustworthy companions. We haven’t done anything exceptionally wild or exciting. And we don’t need to. Sunset beach walks and breakfast dates, beers and coffee – that’s all it takes for love to settle in and stay.
St. Andrews has figured out how to do life authentically.
Funnily enough, it really isn’t that different from home.
St. A is love defined in new ways through new faces. And I’m very okay with that.