((I wrote this while waiting in JFK for my flight to Tampa 😀 I hope you enjoy! ❤ ))
I wasn’t prepared for this. (The video is really not relevant…more the lyrics :D)
I REALLY wasn’t prepared for this. That’s what I thought when we landed in Poland and it was SNOWING (!). But then I realized that the entire semester was kind of like that…
Part of the reason I haven’t blogged in so long, apart from being busy as nobody’s business, is that I really cannot do justice to the immense goodness of this semester with my words.
There’s something that I think all of us who studied at our beloved Villa realized at the end of the semester – we were all different. I could list a thousand different things that I learned from so many different people and amazing experiences, but there’s just something that’s different and wonderful deep inside me, and it kind of tickles. ^_^ God has a super cool way of getting inside like that, especially when you want Him to, and a person can’t be touched by Someone that immense and not be fundamentally changed. I literally am just sitting here, **feeling** and trying to think of some way to describe it…
Something that I think is an amazing and tangible difference is that, in all of the little miracles which God worked out for us (which I’ll blog about later :D), He has increased my faith in such a small and simple way. Honestly, the daily choices to follow God in each occurrence, and just invite Him in with transparency and trust make all the difference! We can make ourselves so distant from the One Who loves us the most for who knows how many reasons, but He is the Good Doctor, our most intimate Friend, and our only Savior. To quote the dear Bl. John Paul II “Be not afraid!” No matter what God asks of you, He is there, and whatever He has in store is honestly, completely, wholly better than whatever we have in mind, and will totally fulfill! I totally admit that this doesn’t make it easy to give up my will every day, but reminding myself of these truths helps me to keep the end in sight, and suffering becomes bearable.
Okay, preaching is over (for now…for this segment..)
I never thought that it would feel so good to be back in the US! I almost cried when I got off the plane from Helsinki! I was completely surrounded by people who looked SO Finnish and spoke a language which I understood not ONE lick of (which was weird, because with Italian, French, and Polish, I at least knew some basic phrases). But I did get to watch movies like the entire time on the flight, and it made it go by really quickly – andplus everyone was super nice, and I forgot to ask for gluten-free food, but somehow they had a meal for me! That was the best overseas flight I’ve had (out of two, lol :D) OH, but anyway, I was saying all of this because I really just wanted to mention how much more I appreciate America as well as Europe after having left. There is no place like home, but the Europeans have a lot of practices which I’m a huge fan of 😀 I’ve only been here like an hour or so, but I’m quite sure it’ll take a while to get used to our culture again!
I like snow. It snowed in Otwock and Lublin. I felt like I was living in a beautiful dreamland of amazing Christmassy Polishness.
Ok, so, yeah. I’m just really excited to see what God wants me to do with this semester, because we all agreed that we were totally spoiled like little children. I’m glad God delights in our delight, because this semester was so full of wonder and adventure, it was unreal! One of the best parts was the family we formed while we were in Rome – it would have been so different (and less beautiful) if any one of us had not come. I am so impressed by how awesome everyone there was, and looking back, I can see the immense difference that the little choices to respond to grace made. The entire semester was just pervaded by joy, faith, and SO much charity. As one of the guys said at our Christmas party “You all really taught me how to love,” and I completely agree with him – I use words like “brother, sister, sibling” because that is really how my classmates related to each other, and it was like living in a refreshing paradisiacal oasis. I hope that we will never forget, never give up, and always remember the reality of our time together.
Up next: I’ll recount my trips over the span of Christmas break – I can’t promise they’ll be long and involved, but I’ll put up pictures and captions at the very least!