In 19 days, I will be waving goodbye to Austria from my airplane at this moment, already an hour in flight away from here. As I drank my coffee and ate my müsli this morning (this is the bag of müsli I bought in my first two weeks, not realizing how many raisins were in it – I only like raisins in small amounts – but I can’t waste it, so I’m slowly making my way through the bag before I leave), I thought back to what I expected to feel like at this point in my time abroad.
I imagined that being abroad would make me more adult, that I would feel like a seasoned guru of all things international, that I would be able to throw around foreign phrases in my speech in languages other than German, and I’m pretty sure in my imagination I had a different face, too. Funny how you expect yourself to become someone else.
In actuality, I feel like, though I’ve learned much and experienced loads and had my horizons broadened in many ways, I know less than I thought I knew when I got here. Perhaps that’s what happens when you broaden the field of what it’s possible to know. You realize you only have a claim on a very small plot of land.
I feel less like an adult, too. In Chicago and Minnesota, the places where I have responsibility for other people as well as myself and have structure in my life, I feel more like an adult than halfway around the world. Now that’s a game changer. I expected to come back ready to move out of my parents’ house and prepared to graduate college. But really, I realize how nice it is to have people who are partially responsible for your well-being and that I need the time before I graduate to figure out where God wants me to be.
I think the only thing that measures up with what I expected is that God would do amazing things while I am here. He has. He’s given me friends that I will have for the rest of my life, experiences I didn’t know to dream about, and so many reasons to trust Him. Isn’t that just like God? To be the only dependable thing in my life?