3 More Days

It started to hit me on the drive home...today was a series of first "lasts".  3 days from now I will be soaring somewhere over some ocean or land mass on my way to India.  All throughout the day I kept getting hit with waves of emotions.  Sometimes I was so excited to journey to India, and yet in that same moment I felt like I was going to puke...a tangled ball of fear and anxiety.  And the waves keep hitting me.  

Over and over again.

The first time I journeyed abraod I was completely taken back by the diversity and complexity that existed.  Quite quickly I learned that life is not as simple and sweet as it can seem and I found myself feeling guilty at times of how naivete I was to the things happening across the globe.  It was through those experiences that I decided I wanted my life to mean something.  I didn't want to be the type of person who came back from those experiences unchanged; someone who seamlessly slips back into the routine of life. 

I wanted to make change.  I wanted to be change.

This desire or dream or self-proclaimed purpose is the reason I feel the need to go abroad.  I want to be able to be a resource for people, like myself, who know they were called to created change, but have yet to find the fuel to keep the fire burning.  

In all honesty, I know that my circumstances won't always be comfortable or glamorous.  I know that I will be forced to change a lot of the ways I have become accustomed to living and I will be pushed out of my comfort zone.  I know I will probably become sick from something at some point and that I will be homesick a time or two.  I know that because I am away I will be missing out on some memorable and fantastic moments in the lives of my friends and family.  I know that I will be away from anything and everything familiar.  While there is a lot about my upcoming trip I don't know, of these things I am sure.

However, I also know this; that in some of my most uncomfortable circumstances I have been able to find peace and rest.  In the times where I was forced to change my lifestyle habits, I have found that some are worth losing and others worth keeping.  I have found that outside of my comfort zone lies situations that have refined my character and have brought to light qualities in myself that I had yet to discover.  I have found that away from my biological family lies other beautiful, smart, kind, talented, warm and loving people who have allowed me to join their families for a short time.  And I know that though I will be missing out on the things happening in the lives of the people I love, God is going to allow me to be a part of someone else's life for a little while and I get to become part of their story as they will become part of mine.

I don't know if this post is supposed to be negative or full of excitement...or maybe just honest.  In the same breath that I share my excitement, I also exhale a lot of fear and doubt. But I think it is when we are able to be honest and real and raw that we can also reach a level of humility.  One that reminds us that we do not have it all together and once we are able to admit that, we can begin some real life transformation.  Honesty that allows us to take risk and try new things and draws us to foreign places.  A realization of our faults that forces us to depend on God with everything we have and follow Him with reckless abandon.

It all begins...in 3 days.

Ashley Sider