England

I will write shorter posts from now on, as I want to say something important but with fewer words. Blogs are supposed to contain posts with shorter word counts anyway, but I did as I pleased.
In fall 2013, I became excited because two of my friends were planning on studying abroad in England at the same university during the same semester. Europe had always gnawed on my heart, some peculiar thing across the Atlantic, but now here was an opportunity to travel with friends. I was elated; fists squeezed and eyes wide open.
It was the perfect plan—I would go with my two friends, and we would have a most splendid semester in England, living together and traveling…it was such a dream. My fingertips were starved coyotes howling for food and digging vigorously into the dirt. This had to happen; I was sure of it.
The plans fell apart, of course, the university we were planning to attend did not have the classes I needed. I was excommunicated from the England trip, such an impossible dream. Gradually, my other two friends revealed they could not go for other reasons—a cousin’s wedding, and a sibling’s high school graduation. Only one of us went to England, and she visited her father’s family and took a Shakespeare class.
I realized something critical in regards to this studying abroad venture. But first, some scripture.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
“The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121

During the spring of 2014 numerous tragedies fell into my life—my health declined, my classes demanded a lot of work, my uncle committed suicide, my sister and I’s flower business was getting started, and my dad had a manic episode that lasted for two weeks.
Spring 2014 semester was supposed to be when I and my two girlfriends were in England. What if that had actually worked, and I went to England? My health would have declined far away from home, and the multiple doctors I needed to visit. I would have most likely needed to dropout because God knows I would have been having panic attacks like nobody’s business being away from home, taking classes, and then having health problems. I would have been away from everyone when I heard the news about my uncle Paul—when I heard such news I wept into my mother’s shoulder. My sister could not have handled the flowers by herself, and my dad’s bipolar disorder? That alone would have been enough for me to dropout and come home.
The Lord guided my thoughts today to reflect on this information. If I had gotten what I wanted, if I had gone to England, I would have been in a hell of a bad place to deal with all of these things. But instead, God had me stay at my current university where I had access to my family, where I was near the hospital and doctors I needed to visit, and where I was present during my dad’s mental health episode.
I had to see a Christian counselor for many weeks, get on an SNRI medication for depression and anxiety, and I had to stay home in relative peace and quiet for many weeks in order to heal from these terrible atrocities. I’m still dealing with trauma symptoms. Now I am in a better place, but that is because the Lord prevented me from going to England.
I am so grateful, Jesus. I am so thankful that I didn’t get what I wanted.

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