Being Present

This is a weird time for me. In 23 days I leave for Italy for 3.5 months. I am 80% of the way prepared, but I still have a chunk of the details left that I need to figure out too.

I haven’t been thinking about Italy that much at all until someone mentions it and asks me about it, which is interesting to me because of my past experience.

When Austen was planning and preparing for Germany, that was the ONLY thing I could think about, especially when I was with him. I would think about it for a little too long, and then just start crying. I was a super fun girlfriend who kept things spontaneous, obviously. Austen was a gem and just sat there and let me have my (many) moments and reassured me that everything was going to work out. He was right.

However, this time, as I am preparing to leave for my semester, it’s been in the back of my mind and I’ve really been working on being present in the moment. I didn’t even freak out about getting my visa until my sister and I were sitting IN the consulate (which is in Chicago) waiting for my name to be called. I was hyperventilating and Dani goes, “Leese, take 3 deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth, now.” And I did. And it helped. And then I looked at her and said “Oh yeah, I forgot that’s supposed to help.” She laughed at me and reassured me that everything was going to be okay. She was right.

Now I’m back home in Minneapolis, to waiting to go, but treasuring all my moments spent with Austen and my family and friends before I experience life without them all right next to me. It’s been really nice to not have my brain be overwhelmed with anxiety about this trip. I really have been making a conscious effort to remind myself that God is going to go before me and work out the details, as He says in the Bible – SEVERAL times in fact. Let me give you just a few of those verses:

  • Isaiah 45:2 “I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.”
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
  • Isaiah 52:12 “But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go as fugitives; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”

It’s really encouraging to know that my increased trust in the Lord to work all of the details out for me has really paid off. I know there will be a lot of anxiety when the day comes to leave, but right now I’m just working on staying in the moment and enjoying my time with the people I love most. It has really been a wonderful summer so far, and I still have 3 weeks left at home until I say ciao to Minnesota and hello/ciao to Italy (because apparently that means hello and goodbye – lol gotta work on my Italian just a little bit)!


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