Stress butterflies.

Whew, there are so many butterflies all over my stomach right now. We’re talking monarchs, painted ladies, and at least one giant swallowtail.

Why?

Because, packing, that’s why.

Deep breaths. One, two, three. There, that’s better.

I have 5 tabs open on my computer about what to pack for studying abroad, how to pack light, how to know what the weather’s going to be like, what I should bring, what I shouldn’t bring… along with a tab about how to make the best fondue and my facebook account.

Then there are 4 lists on my counter of things that I should bring or need to buy before I go or when I get there. I have a list of things to put in my carry-on. I have a list of things I need to do before I go. I have a list of things I need to do today. There a cup of coffee to my left and the pot to my right.

The coffee is probably part of the cause of the butterflies. Or maybe just aggravating them.

I’m going to Austria in 15 days and 21 hours and 34 minutes. And that’s just about two weeks, which is short. And I need to pack now. And I need to finish my book about Austria. And I need to finish knitting a scarf for my sister and those other crafts. I need to buy more underwear and see people that I love and finish my taxes. I need to be mentally prepared. I need to know everything I possibly can know.

If you aren’t catching my drift, this is stressful, in the most joyous and wonderful way. It’s scary, too. Because traveling alone to a new place is always scary. It probably should be a little scary. That’s normal.

Do you ever need to just speak truth to yourself when you forget? I do. I forget to, but I should do it all the time.

Here’s the truth I need today:

I am not in control of my life. There is nothing I can do to make myself in control. Jesus holds everything, and he’s completely capable of handling all my difficulties. And when I walk through those, he’ll be right there to guide me and calm my nerves. He will plant friendly, English-speaking people along my way. He will give me wisdom (and my mom as she helps me decide what stays and what goes) as I put things in my suitcase.

He will be present. And he will help me be present exactly where I am. He will help me to maximize my time with the people here and there.

He died and rose again to have a relationship with me that includes the daily, the mundane, the stressful, and the victorious parts of life. He’s not going to abandon me now.

It will be good. It may not be easy, but it will be good.

Now, go finish reading your book about Austria. Be still, and know that he is God.

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