Studying in a coffee shop is something that I find comfort in. I love the smell of espresso, with the display of muffins and scones at the counter. Get some good music, your laptop and anything else you need and you are good to go.
Out the window behind me is a busy street with students in school uniforms, busy cars and buses driving all around. Clouds cover the sky, with little patches of blue that fill in the gaps.
Across the street is a breathtakingly beautiful building covered with numerous windows and bricks that are multiple shades of red. The rooftop is lined with multiple pillars. The building itself looks ancient, but strikingly elegant. Then it dawns on me once again that I’m gazing at Queens University. In Belfast, Ireland.
People always tell you to go where life takes you, but I never thought that life would take me here. For years I’ve hoped and dreamed of studying abroad. Now, that dream is my reality.
Leaving my home and the places that I feel most attached to and comfortable in seemed so easy in theory.
Yet, I bounced back and forth between being so upset about leaving and then feeling excited and ready to start on my new journey.
Honestly, I was terrified of leaving. Goodbyes to those you love are never easy, and my fear of flying did not help me feel any more confident. But with my two best friends, I got on the plane. My new journey was waiting for me overseas.
We all have been here for a little more than a week now, and it is as difficult as I expected. From the day we got here, I have battled being sick with a fever, losing my voice and fighting a mild eye infection. I found myself tempted to give into my frustration and allow those circumstances to burden my spirit.
But are we not called to find joy in everything? The Lord has blessed me with this incredible opportunity, and that does not change whether I am sick or not.
The Lord has blessed me with an absolutely wonderful group of people to be here with. I can see the Lord working in everyone while we are here. He has already brought us closer as a group, and I am so excited to see what the rest of the semester will look like.
There will undoubtedly be hardships. Then again, what worthwhile things in life are easy to acquire? The second I walked on the plane, my heart ached for those I left. But He has shown me that this is where I am supposed to be this semester. So as I’m sitting here, breathing in espresso and living life oversees, I am hopeful and joyful.
The Lord has humbled me with immense blessings in life, and I wouldn’t trade those for the world. I’m ready to continually be stretched to my limit and to grow in Him. So bring on the adventure, and let this chapter begin.