It’s hard to believe that 4 months have gone by so quick, and in less than 24 hours I’ll be boarding a plane back to the USA. Yes, I’m excited for proper iced coffee and the hugs of familiar friends and family, but I’m also sad to be leaving a place that has come to mean so much.
This trip hasn’t been easy by any means. I stumbled in my walk in so many ways because of obstacles that I’m not faced with back home. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve disobeyed God. I’ve gone through seasons characterized by wishy-washy faith and a rebellious heart, seeking adventure over God’s straight and narrow road.
But I’ve also had great moments. Moment’s filled with joy and wonder, discovering how God is ever-present in new places, new people and new experiences. I’ve had moments that nearly brought me to tears as I felt God’s never ending grace in the midst of my stubborn spirit, like a soft landing for this whirl wind of a semester. I’ve watched God build relationships up, and redeem ones that I had damaged.
The truth is, I’m not done making mistakes. The more I learn how to follow God, the more I’m combatted with the harsh reality that I’m simply not good enough on my own. Through the good and the bad this semester, I found peace and comfort in the Psalms. I had barely read this sizable book prior to life in Italy, but many of the chapters became an echo of both my joy and my sorrows in ways I would never have been able to describe on my own
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. – Psalm 1-2. 10
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. – Psalm 48:5
These two passages became particularly special to me, and I would often read both every day. It’s amazing to see how scripture so relevant to the time it was written can be just as pertinent and meaningful today.
In the wise words of my youth pastor, “Be grateful for the experience God has given you. End well with some time spent with Him. Hang out and have fun, but end your time there with a thankful heart that sticks close to Christ.” Through the good and the bad, I’m grateful God placed me here, and thankful for the relationships he’s fostered along the way. They’re not perfect, but they’re blessings, and I wouldn’t have spent my time here any other way.
With the last weekend in Rome coming to a close, my friend Sam and I decided to visit all of the big places one last time. Living here, you begin to overlook the crazy beauty that is right before you. Thank you God for these cool monuments and landmarks!
No matter your mistakes, keep pushing towards God and live life with a grateful spirit! He’ll always meet you no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done. Until next time, stay trendy!