Heading into 2018, I declared it would be a year of travel. Having a few trips planned out, I was excited to venture to new places, with those I loved most. Little did I know all the travels that would be added to the year, and all the things I would learn along the way. As I reflect on this past year, I decided to look back at it through the lens of my travels and what I learned from each trip.
Although, there are many things I could list from each trip, I’m going to spare anyone who decided to read this and try to mention only the most prominent things I’ve learned, but I make no promises…
I traveled home to Wilmington, DE, not once, but twice in the beginning of the year, for reasons all too painful to dwell on.
One year ago today, the God of miracles, saved my sweet friend’s life. He’s been restoring her mind and body ever since. My first trip home was to visit her. This trip home made the fragility of life very real to me. But I also learned how intricate and powerful our memories can be. Treasure them.
I also learned to slow down. To drive safer. Please drive safely.
Two months later, I traveled home again, to lay my dear pop weeweez to rest. During this trip home, I learned that family reconciliation is possible. However, I also learned to not wait for reconciliation to happen, but to intentionally seek after it.
I learned how to mourn well and rejoice in remembrance.
The following month, April, I traveled across the country to visit my favorite gal pal in San Francisco, CA. On this trip I learned that God so precisely places people next to you, at all times, even on airplanes. I also learned that distance truly means nothing, but effort is what makes or breaks relationships. I also discovered that the Pacific ocean is extremely cold and CA has great food.
I learned that forever friends are a choice.
In June, I loaded up two vans full of middle and high schoolers and headed to the mountains of NC. I learned no matter how lost 2 students may appear to be, they’ll find their way back… literally.
I learned that sometimes, the right things are the hard things, and sometimes that results in broken relationships.
A few weeks later, I traveled only a few miles down the road to a resort for our regional church conference. I learned the power of youth prayer. I learned to sit, and wait, and sit a little longer in the Spirit. I learned that when you expected God to show up, He’ll always exceed your expectations.
A few days after that, I packed up again and headed to southern Spain with my mother and sister. I learned so much culture and language while there. I learned how important it is to regularly practice Spanish.
Most importantly, I received a check to my pride. I realized that when things don’t go as expected, sometimes, it has nothing at all to do with you. You just happen to be there. I learned that not everything revolves around me.
In September, my best friend and I packed up a car and headed down to Florida to spend a weekend away with our closest friends. I learned that the hunt for good waves is never ending. I learned that my people will spend 18 hours in a car, to spend less than 48 hours together, for the sole purpose of community.
I discovered that I never again in my life want to be without community.
I got the opportunity to travel to Colorado in October for a youth leader conference. I learned that Jesus cares about the details of our desires. I learned that sometimes, your heart needs to change and your perspective needs to shift, before the Lord answers prayers. I learned that Vineyard time, is a real time.
I also learned, I do not enjoy traveling alone on long trips.
Finally, to end the year the way I started, I headed home for Thanksgiving. I learned to never travel the day before Thanksgiving, but I also learned the value of 5 extra hours in the car with your grandmother. I learned that 99% of all Thanksgiving food has dairy in it.
Most importantly, I learned to cherish the short moments you get with your family.
My travels throughout 2018, taught me a whole slew of new things. However, I think some of the most important lessons I learned, where right here, in Myrtle Beach.
I learned that God will fight my battles, I just need to be still and praise.
I learned that when I can’t see Jesus, my friends are there to see Him for me.
I learned that it’s okay to doubt.
I learned that God is the God of redemption, and He not only redeems, but He LOVES to redeem.
I learned not to just push through uncomfortable conversations, but to sit in them, to process, to grow through them.
I learned to trust more.
I learned to love my people well and with intention.
I learned when to say no and when to say yes.
I learned that God is always, always, always working, even when it may not seem like it.
This post barely scratches the surface of what I’ve learned this year, but to get my typing fingers, typing again, I will begin with this.
If you’ve made it this far, I’d love for you to leave a comment of one thing you’ve learned in 2018!
Below are a few of my favorite pictures from this year.
Peace & Blessings,