This past December I flew for the first time to a place that I’d only dreamt about. It was a dream that felt so elusive until I had recovered from the thirty-six hours of sleep deprivation on the other side of the ocean.
I was there, in England, walking the cobbled streets and setting my eyes on sights that pictures do not do justice. I’m left hoping for more adventures that leave me filled with aches of gratitude and longing.
One particular afternoon I was sitting by the window, taking in the quiet and watching the sky fade with the already sinking sun. Grabbing paper and a pen, I tried to somehow capture those moments. The following is the best that my paper and pen could convey.
Over the past few days, I’ve felt it wrapping itself around me like a warm blanket, shielding me from the cold winds of confusion. It is a soft peaceful reaching all the way to my soul, touching more than just my heart. There is a knowing, an understanding that wherever I go in this world, whatever I do, I will find comfort. I will find the comfort of His presence.
I know that going across the sea has been as important to my growth as love or nourishment. I am incredibly patriotic, a proud American. The South is written on my heart, ingrained into my DNA. This will never change. I have been given the gift of home. What is equally important is that I have been given the gift of wonder, the desire to understand and appreciate.
I know that this foreign soil is not the only ground so far from home that my feet will touch. My heart will always be homebound, but sometimes it needs to live in two places at once. I’ve only been in England one week, but I feel altered in a way I can never go back from. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I’m not making sense, but I know I’ll keep writing until I do.
God knew I needed this. He knew my heart was ready to fly for the first time. I feel as if other pieces of me so protected by fear, or maybe even hidden from my view, are ready to fly for the first time, too. I feel as if I can say, “Father, let America’s Southern ground always be my home, but send me where You will. Let me grow and love in ways I never imagined myself capable of.”
Let me write again. I feel as if I’ve neglected it out of fear and out of silencing my heart for far too long.