Goodbyes

Lots of goodbyes lately.

On Friday the school year ended, and I said goodbye to a fabulous group of students. (I cried! I will miss those kiddos!)

Today it was goodbyes to friends, until I’m back in August. One or two goodbyes might have been okay, but there were so many to say that it led to tears again.

(If you are a friend of mine and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to you today, know that I will miss you very much while I am away!)

I am really blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community, and to have so many people to say goodbye to. Thank you, friends! Thank you, church! Thank you, God!

Many friends told me how excited they were for me. I needed that today, because my excitement is finally matched by nerves. Up until this point in time, I have been able to say that I am more excited to walk the Camino than nervous. As my departure comes closer and my terror has grown, my excitement has grown, too, so that I’ve always been more excited than terrified. But now, with just days to go, they’re pretty much at equal levels.

Many friends also told me they would be praying for me. THANK YOU! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Please keep praying!

When I remind myself of the purpose of my trip and of God’s faithfulness, I rest in God’s peace that passes understanding.

And here’s the verse I’m clinging to today:

And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38 NLT)

 

In Which I Start Worrying

Deep breaths now.

Today it is two weeks until I leave. In fact, by this late in the day, my plane will already have left Toronto. (Stopover in Montreal, then land in Paris the next morning.)

People have made several comments to me about how I must be getting nervous, and I have countered that I wasn’t really. And I don’t think I really was. Partly that was because I was procrastinating on several tasks that really needed to be done, and therefore procrastinating the worry, too. But today, waking up and realizing that departure day is getting really close… I kind of panicked. I still had a lot to do!

I have now spent too many hours scouring the Internet looking for plane or train tickets, hotel rooms, RER and metro information. I have resisted the urge to call my older sister at each turn to ask for advice on travelling through Paris. I have reminded myself that I am brave and I can do hard things, no matter how scary they seem. I have reminded myself that I have lived in France and travelled through Paris when I was 11 years younger and less wise than I am now (I hope).

 

I spent a lot of time worrying while looking for various details. I wanted the best trip, time-wise and price-wise. I wanted someone else to give me some advice so I didn’t have all the responsibility lying on my own shoulders. Despite earlier delight at a trip that really requires little planning ahead (mostly walking however far you want and then stopping in whatever albergue you can find), I bemoaned having so many options. Take the TGV? Fly? Leave Paris right away? Stay for a day to see favourite places? How long does it take to get across Paris on the RER/metro? How long should I factor in for making it through customs and collecting my bags when I first land in Paris?

Eventually I realized I had to let go of “the best way” to do things and settle for “a good way”. In the end, the smaller details won’t make enough difference to stress over like I was. And my time has got to be worth factoring in here, too.

And so, praying over the choices and committing my way to the Lord, I bought a plane ticket and a hotel stay. The train and bus ticket will be purchased along the way – I’m confident that I can do those ones easily!

 

I’m thankful for God’s reminders today:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7 NLT)

 

I just got a fortune cookie.

Image

I laughed when I first read it – my upcoming vacation is what is causing my worries. But this fortune is like a little inside joke from God. Don’t worry about your worrying – I’ll teach you not to worry!