Last Friday

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A week ago today was a great day.

It started with a tour of Ljubljana, which was just okay. I can only take so much translation from Slovene to English without my mind wandering. Still, I saw some cool things and learned a bit about where I’ll be living for eight months.

Afterward, I went to have food with some classmates of mine at the open market. The food was savory, the company was sweet, and the weather was sunny. Conversation flowed easily and there were many laughs shared.

We went down to sit by the river on some steps to bask in the early afternoon sun and had more good conversation. One by one, people left to carry on with the rest of their day and it was just me and my two friends from Sweden.

We went to get ice cream and ate it on our way to the park where we walked, talked and got to know each other better.

My heart felt so full by the time we said goodbye and I rode the bus home. It hadn’t even been a week, yet I felt as though I had already made some really good friends.

Back at home, I was given all but 30 minutes to pack my bag before my two cousins and I headed off to Murska Sobota for the weekend.

That two hour drive held some of the most blissful moments of my life. An endless array of green hills dotted with orange roofs. Ashy mountains with a hint of snow resting in front of us. Quaint villages made up of colorful houses. Tunnels aglow with dim amber light. The sun setting behind us, giving the air a golden hue. The music adding to an already perfect vibe.

I was completely at peace. But it wasn’t your average peace. You know, the kind you feel when you doing something relaxing or are in a quite room.

It was the kind of peace that “transcends all understanding” (Phil 4:7 NIV). The kind of peace you feel enveloped in, that you can feel in every fiber of your being, an assuring kind of peace. I could feel God whispering to me, “you are right where you need to be.”

For the first time in a long time, I noticed my heart wasn’t pounding out of its chest. The tight grip, the heaviness, was no longer present. The sensation of being light as air, not a single burden bearing down on my shoulders, was ever-present in knowing I was smack-dab in the middle of the Lord’s plan for me.

This feeling, along with joy, has carried over into my week and is still with me today. Do I still get nervous about silly things? Yes. Do I still have a lot to learn? Yes. Do I still overthink everything? YES. But it has been a long time since I’ve felt this good about where I am in life. Since I have been this content and this fulfilled and this sure.

One of my small group leaders once asked me how I felt the Lord’s direction in making the decision to come here, and I didn’t really know how to answer her then. If she asked me the same thing now, I would tell her that I always felt peace about my decision. Even in those moments where all I wanted to do was cry, I still had peace about being in Slovenia.

I would also tell her that my excitement and anticipation in waiting to get here was through the roof while my dread and fear was nonexistent. While it may sound terrible, I don’t miss anyone, at least not to the point of feeling sad. I feel completely secure, and I am never alone.

Making friends and having cousins here has made all the difference too. Those first few big changes that had me feeling down made me realize that resting in the company of other people is so important! It’s true that the people you’re with make your experience so much sweeter.

There is still a lot of unknown that lies in front of me, but I feel confident in facing it head on knowing I have friends, family, and Jesus by my side.

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