Looking Back at Where I’ve Been

June 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

The spring is gone. My summer is…busy. I managed to go from sitting at home all day, to only seeing my house long enough to go to sleep and maybe say hi to Mom and Dad. Life has a funny way of doing that to you.

I am beginning to realize now how amazing last semester truly was. I always knew that it was an incredible experience, but it was reality. Reality is normal; it is what you live in day in and day out. I couldn’t understand what I was living, because I was there. It was all first hand, a thousand memories and feelings to sort through each night as I tried going to sleep. I enjoyed myself immensely, it’s just that not it is really starting to sink in. The Adventure is moving from reality to memory, with it returns that sense of wonder and awe at all the people I met, the ways they changed me, the things I saw, and the steps I took to becoming a stronger and better person.

For anyone who may not know, after being in school in Florence, I traveled to Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Bern, Venice, Rome, Southern Italy, Apennines, Cinque Terre, Munich, Prague, Berlin, Luxembourg (to catch a train), Brussels, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London before finally heading home. It was a long journey, but one I am so glad I took.

I really am so grateful for every single person who spent those three months in the villa with me. Each person brought something new and interesting to the mix, each person had their special place. For the most part, we all got along wonderfully. There was always someone there to encourage and support you, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to laugh with. We really turned into a family. Everyone had their own struggles throughout the semester, and each time, people jumped at the chance to help their brother or sister. I had the most wonderful roommates. WE talked and teased and stayed up way too late, but it was all fun. Our room was probably too small to have the three of us crammed in there, but we survived, even with a bathroom built for maybe half a person. And it was fun. When life got tough, there were always two girls who would be there to put things into perspective. I have so many wonderful memories of the people I spent last semester with. Climbing up into the shadowed heights of Vernazza after a beautiful seaside devotional. Dancing on tables our last nights together. Running around Florence in crazy costumes for the Carnivale that apparently wasn’t celebrated. Sipping hot chocolate at Abetone with as many people as could fit around a table. Sitting in the basement and singing, praying, and praising God with such a beautiful group. I could go on and on. So many people that just made my heart feel so light. I know that every single person, student or staff alike, was a blessing I can hardly comprehend.

I saw things I never imagined. I think back now at all the places I went, all the images that will be forever in m memory. Why was I so blessed? I saw the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Coliseum, Park Guelf, Big Ben, Pedro the Bernish Bear, the market Easter Sunday in Prague, the Berlin Wall, and finally the image that will never leave me, that of the Doumo in the heart of Florence. That’s only a few of the wonders I saw. I never really imagined getting to see so much in such a short time. So beautiful. All the Churches, Cathedrals, Crypts, Monuments, and fountains that seemed to rise majestically around every single corner. Sants Chapel in Paris is still something that makes me marvel. Thank you God for such an amazing opportunity.

And I definitely gained a new appreciation for my family through all of this. I missed them a lot, so it’s nice to get to see them more than once a week now. I never could have gone if not for their financial and emotional support. I love them a lot, and it was hard to be away. But, sometimes you have to get away from all you know to finally appreciate who you are and what you have.

My greatest blessing for this trip was definitely the one that has been a blessing in my life since I met him. Sam stood by me for all of this, watching me run around the globe, sometimes disappearing for days on end so that I could finish my adventure. Thank you, Sam. You were always a ray of sunshine in my day, especially when I started to feel homesick or tired. You never let me give up on this experience. You always encouraged me to take hold of it with all I had and enjoy it to the fullest. If I had a dime for every time I cried missing you, I would be set for life. But, through all of that, we came out stronger. You are one of the greatest things to ever happen to me, and I am so thankful that God saw fit to put you in my life. Thank you for waiting for me to come back, even though the waiting was never easy. Thank you for all the things you had to put up with from me, the frustrations and annoyances that I vented to you. Thank you for taking time out every day to talk to me. Thank you for caring about the stories I had to share. Thank you for being a phenomenal boyfriend.

So, I have finally gotten a chance to look back. It was good. It was an experience I needed. It was difficult. But, God put me there for a reason, just like everyone else. And in the end, I just have to thank Him for leading me safely through it with a smile (most of the time) on my face.


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