Since the dawn of our precious union, Loren and I have been saving for two colossal dreams: adoption and a trip to Germany. We fundraise most of our income to be employed at Corvallis Church, so the money supporting us each month is precious and very much not ours, but His. That is something that I have learned time after time: it is not mine, so why would I worry, and why would I be careless with it? The money is His and so am I, and He cares more for me more than nickels and dimes.
Each month we have done our best to set aside $10-20 towards each of those substantial desires. With our first tax return, we eagerly put 3/4 of it into a savings account with the hope to save enough over the years to travel our little butts to Germany on our 10th year anniversary - that was the goal, though we knew it could be ripped out from under us at any moment. We weren't entitled to this ambition, we weren't clinging to it for dear life as if we owned it, we simply saved with the hope to make it there someday, but also knowing the reality that it may need to be used towards something greater.
You guys. Some way, some how, some reason, a couple in our family decided to generously gift us with the remaining balance to send us on our merry way to the grand land of Germany. This year, this month, THIS WEEK. Seven years earlier than we would have been able to. My mind freezes flabbergasted at the phenomenon that I am flying to Europe for the second time - this time with my beloved husband. This year of 2015 has handed me grief, knocking me to my knees which I will later unravel...but what a treasure to uncover rest and unfold adventure in a country that I have never been to? Plus, I will get to greet new faces with bright white teeth, nothing but warm smiles, because, hello, LANGUAGE BARRIER.
The tickets for this trip were booked last fall, thank you family. We placed it in the back of our minds and planned to plot the trip when the time was near. Like a June-bug on a windshield, April 1 hit and someone said, "Hey aren't you going to Germany soon?" At that point we thought, "WE NEED TO PLAN THIS THING!" As we began to prepare to leave, a deep and unwelcome sense of guilt and shame began to settle in. This sense of shame had been nagging at the back of my heart whenever I thought of this trip, but now it was unfurling itself ten fold with the approaching trip. Who am I to think that we can go to Germany so young in our marriage? Who are we to just up and leave our church community for a few weeks? What will people think of us? Are we so spoiled that we get to go to Germany? We do not deserve this. We could be giving this money to the poor. GUILT GUILT GUILT GUILT SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME. One day it dawned on me: whether I choose to carry this unnecessary shame with me or not, I am going to Germany. It would be a shame to not fully enjoy the trip, because I am allowing the sin of fear to creep in. And who says that God isn't in Germany, who says that pastors and ministry leaders aren't allowed real vacations?
Oh unnecessary lies that crop up and attempt to steal, kill, and destroy.
Three days remain, full of meetings and to do's and appointments and bible studies and precious people that I adore, before we step onto a plane for 10 hours. At the end of that 10 hours we will set foot in Frankfurt, Germany and our adventure will fully begin. We will meet family members, visit friends, and stay a few nights here and there in Air B&B's. I will turn 23, TWO-THREE, such a baby I feel and yet at the same time how am I 23 and married for 3 years? We will ride bikes and snap photos and write and rest and refresh and reset. We will see Him in Europe, in His people across the ocean, in His creation that is radiantly glorious, shouting His Name.
bis später, meine freunde