Yesterday, I was walking around Aix after two exams, and thinking about the life that happened here. I laughed uncontrollably at things that Katie and Hannah did. I cried because I missed my US people more than I thought possible. I ate pizza that is probably better than any pizza I’ve ever eaten. I gave a one and a half hour presentation on French secularism. I walked to the bus station at 5am. I bought probably 30 madeleines from the market. I walked home from Bible study for 45 minutes and got stuck in the pouring rain. I ran a color run that was supposed to be a 6k and ended up being a 2k. I experienced the horror and sadness of a terrorist attack on the country I love. A bird dumped a week’s worth of poop on my head five minutes before class. I lost my iPhone in a cab and went on an adventure through Aix to find the sweet girl who had picked it up. I went to a Christmas Carol concert with hundreds of French people and we sang (in English) about Jesus’ birth.
That may seem like a random collection of things that happened, but that’s the point. The last three and a half months of my life have been awesome. I travelled to places I never thought I’d see and made bonds with people I never would have known. But it was life. A collection of moments. And whether I like it or not, this chapter ends and a new one begins on Thursday, as I head home for Christmas and then face the scary reality of being a second semester junior in college.
All that to say, I wouldn’t trade this semester for anything. Even the painful, sad, scary, lonely moments. Because they made the other moments all the more beautiful. I’m thankful for a God who is bigger and more faithful than I, who never left my side as I took on this scary adventure in Europe. And I am thankful for my parents for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity.
This post us a reminder for you, and for me, as I look back, not to discount the moments that I am currently living. Life is beautiful and painful and fantastic and tragic. And as all the craziness swells, life keeps ticking by. And before you know it, you have one paper, three finals, and five days left in a country you’ll probably never live in again. I guess I want to remind future me (and maybe current you), that one of God’s gift to us is this life. Don’t wish it away or squander it wishing you were someone you’re not. If I’ve learned anything this semester, it’s that He can do immeasurably more (Eph. 3:20) with our circumstances and life than we can ever imagine. Live into that.