Here it is! My last evening in America, before I head into the great unknown. Well, I mean, I guess it’s not completely unknown… if I’m honest with myself, when it comes to knowing about all things Great Britain, I have significantly more knowledge than the average person (this is code for “IT’S MY OBSESSION, OKAY?”). Ha.
I have saved for this trip for years, prayed about this trip for months, packed for this trip for days, and I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s FINALLY HAPPENING! The Lord has blessed me with an amazing opportunity to serve people in His name across the world. I’m trying to think of as many adjectives as I can to describe how I’m feeling right now. Delighted, ecstatic, overwhelmed, giddy, jubilant, light-headed, jittery, abounding with elation!! Enough adjectives to prove me a decent English teacher? ;) Haha.
A few days ago, I was driving to the store and I asked myself, what is it that I want to ask God to teach me during this trip? Here’s the thing, last summer, prior to resuming my job teaching horseback riding at a Christian camp in North Carolina, I prayed ceaselessly that the Lord would teach me what it meant to be a “servant-leader”. You know the expression, “be careful what you wish for”? Or in this case, “be careful what you pray for...” Boy, did I come to understand that! The Lord thrust me into servant-leadership in ways I never imagined (if I had imagined most of them I probably would have changed my prayer!). Yet, despite how hard the lessons were, God answered my prayer in incredible ways! I’m glad I didn’t know what would happen in response to that prayer, because I may have missed out on so many blessings, in addition to, a deep strengthening of my faith. I learned so much about service, selflessness, and leading by example.
Therefore, as I drove thoughtfully I pondered what it was I wished God to teach me this summer while in the United Kingdom.
Suddenly, like the people of Troy looking out upon an empty beach to see a large, sculpted, wooden horse abandoned in the place where hundreds of Grecian warships had been the day before, I knew what my prayer would be. My prayer for this trip is that God would teach me how to love. More specifically, how to love like Jesus.
And in the same manner that the legendary Trojan Horse bore a great and painful secret within its rough-hewn shape… so I believe that asking God to teach me to love like Jesus is going to cost me. Hopefully, it will cost me any pride, indifference, or apathy I may harbor in my heart. Inside this Trojan Horse of God’s love will be challenges and conflicts that will chip away the parts of me that don’t reflect my loving Father. It’s not going to be easy, but I cherish the trials and opportunities that God is going to give me to learn to truly love like Jesus.
Now, some of you who understand my Trojan Horse metaphor are saying, “Love can’t be the Trojan horse because the Trojan Horse brought destruction and death to an entire city!” You are right, but my English major self is going to salute my “Great Books” professor, Dr. Deborah DeCiantis and assert, “People, if Troy isn’t destroyed then we never get Virgil’s book “The Aeneid” and the Trojans never set up a new home in Rome!” Therefore, without the Trojan Horse… no pizza, guys. Just kidding…. but really! There’s so much more to that story! The tale doesn’t end there! The destruction of Troy can be seen as a tragedy, but it is also the start of new adventures. New hopes. New discoveries. If the Trojan Horse is the love I’m praying God will teach me, and the soldiers hidden inside are the tests and trials that are going to wipe out my sinful nature that is not naturally inclined to love…. then to them I say, bring that horse within these walls! I’m ready to discover God’s love in a whole new way! I’m ready to daily become a new person who loves people like Christ!
I apologize if I have gone full English major on you, but you realize I’m traveling to a the land of my literary passions, right? I just can’t help it! I’m so so so so sooooo eager and more than a little wired to get on that plane in a few hours. A toast to my next big adventure! And a toast to my Trojan Horse of love, may God change and transform me in ways I’ve never envisioned!
Thank you for keeping me in your prayers. Be sure to check back here for updates! Please comment and stay in touch!
(P.S. Dear God, please keep me from freaking out or becoming tongue-tied every time a person speaks to me in their Irish, Scottish, or British accent… because it’s going to be really hard for me not to either scream in delight OR lose all coherent thought. Neither of which is really all that advantageous. Amen.)