Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#TravelTuesday 4// Laying Aside Fears of International Travel

As someone who loves adventure and thrill, it surprises people to learn that international travel scares me. I am usually up for anything! But after Greece, international travel scared me and I never really had a strong desire or need to see other parts of the world. Fear told me that the United States was full of enough beauty for a lifetime- and it is, full of so much beauty. But being afraid to step outside my comfort zone, and cutting off anything outside the borders of the U.S., discredits the rest of the amazing world that God created.

What am I afraid of? I think mostly the unknown. I like knowing what to expect. Do I think other places are really any scarier or more dangerous than the United States? No, not really. I think all places have things that it is right to be cautious of, in their own way. I just know the things to be afraid of in the states. Going to a new place means not knowing the things to be that I should be wary of.

It also makes me nervous to not be able to communicate with people. A communicator by nature, I love to talk to people, I love to be able to share stories and learn more about them and speaking different languages makes that hard. It makes me nervous not being able to understand what those around me are saying and not being able to join in on conversations. But my trips to Costa Rica helped alleviate some of that fear. There is a lot that can be spoken with expressions and having interpreters helps and sometimes you just branch out, make a fool of yourself and try to learn their language on-the-go. People are generally kind and willing to be helpful, in between laughs at all the things you said completely wrong! It really is true, that the best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in the culture.


But if I am being truly honest, I think the thing that might scare me the most is how God will use this trip to change me. I believe that travel in the U.S. can impact my heart and teach me things, but I am not sure if those trips will ever have as high a probability of creating pivotal moments in my life that can truly change parts of my heart. Change and me, we have never really gone well together- change has a funny way of rocking your entire world off its axis. I don’t enjoy having my world rocked, but I know that anyway He chooses to change me will be for the better- for His glory- it just doesn’t make it almost any less terrifying. God has a way of asking big things of those who follow Him. He breaks our hearts, over and over again, for what breaks His. He invites us to be part of the story He continues to write and it is, all at once, exciting and scary! Pivotal moments in life are usually never easy; they come with challenges and heartache, filling your heart with things that can tear it clean in two. But God is there, always with you, holding you, helping you and mending your heart. I need to remember that! And so I tell myself that, over and over, because I refuse to NOT do things because of fear! Fear will not stop me, because fear CAN NEVER stop God and He is always on my side!!

And so I remind myself of that and of all the wonderful things I would have missed out on if I have chosen to let fear take the wheel... 

//The beauty of Greece & Turkey// Sure, I was already there when my fear kicked in, but if I had chosen to let fear define my trip I wouldn't have truly seen the beauty that the country had to offer! 

//This miracle moment// My first out-of-country mission trip to Costa Rica was all girls (at least those of us leaving from the states) to drill wells with Agua Viva Serves. We worked alongside those in the community where the well was being built and other Costa Ricans employed through Agua Viva. The team helped me learn some spanish and then showed me how to work the drill rig! Helping with the pipes made me feel a sense of strength I had never experienced before and gave the guys a good chuckle to see that a girl could do some of the heavy lifting (they were very wary when I first asked them to teach me, especially since, in the Costa Rican culture, manual labor jobs are seen as men only work). Then, in the midst of all the mud, and the sweat and shoveling, a pipe striped and that pipe, the others connected to it and the drill bit all broke off from the rig and disappeared into the (now very deep) ground. We were worried that we had just lost all the progress, a weeks worth of labor hours, as well as expensive material literally down the hole; but God showed up in a big way and the guys were able to find a way to get the pipes out of the ground, find the striped pipe, replace it with a new one and keep going! I would have missed the elation and praise and smiles of that moment if I had let fear keep me from getting on the plane! 

//Babe's first mission trip// That first trip to Costa Rica, proved to me that I can live outside of the fear I had created in my head! The God moments of that trip began opening a door in my heart which led to another trip with Agua Viva Serves, but this time WITH BABE! This was his first mission trip ever (I had done others in the US when I was in youth group), but this was his first. It was so great to experience that time together and to watch God work through and around him! (man am I going to miss that face while I'm gone!) 

//And now for AFRICA// God used each of those moments to open the door of my heart, inch by inch, to say to me, "You! Go to Africa!" It was small at first, a nudge on a nudge, and then He screamed it at me!! And so, here I am go! And I am ready; even if my heart flutters and my knees shake a bit! I am ready and open and anxious to see what He will teach me!! 


Any travel advice for this nervous girl? Anyone been to Kenya? 
Anywhere fun you've been adventuring lately? Or plans to adventure soon?
Join in for this month's linkup and let's travel together! Just add your link below! 
~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel destination and would love to see where you have been exploring! 
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest
~No real rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. Leave a little love where you like! 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
Excited explore the globe with you all!!

2 comments:

  1. When it comes to vacation, I still feel like I'd rather travel inside the USA if I had my choice--it's more comfortable and 'easy', relaxing, and convenient. I live in SE Asia and absolutely love it...but I wouldn't call it relaxing or easy. :) Sometimes travel should challenge you...and sometimes you're in the mood for a true vacation. Different trips for different purposes. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, definitely easier for sure! It was a bit more challenging than traveling in the US, but so very rewarding! It was such a wonderful trip and I am so thankful to have had the chance to go :) Different trips for different purposes are definitely good for the soul!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by for a bit!
I love comments, they make me smile :) Hope you are having a wonderful day!