Cyfarchion o Gymru! (Greetings from Wales!)
I am safe, sound, and settled in to my new temporary home and can’t wait to tell you all the details! However, when I sat down to write my first update from abroad, this is what spilled out of me. So today, I’m going to be vulnerable and share a bit of my heart and struggles with you.
Last time I posted, I talked about my word for 2019 being ‘Believe.’ Since I chose this word as my focus point for the year, let me tell you, it has been insane how many times I have been faced with scenarios where I had to make a conscious effort to choose what I am going to believe. We always have a choice. We can choose to believe the lies, the negativity, the fear. Or, we can choose to believe the truth and the positivity. We can choose to believe in the amazing possibilities available to us.
I’m not going to lie. I had a small panic attack mid-way through my flight to London for this study abroad program. Surprisingly, not because of traveling alone or because of being away from my comfortable hometown community for four months. Honestly, I was freaking out that I didn’t have the chops for my selected program of study. The voice in my head was throwing its typical barrage of doubts at me . . . “What have you done?” “There is no way you are at a good enough performance level as that of your fellow classmates.” I could have chosen to believe that and walked into these next few weeks with an attitude of insecurity and defeat, and honestly, I have done that in the past. However, I knew this time had to be different. So, I immediately put my headphones in to block out the background sounds on the plane and turned on some worship music and got out my Bible and began to cling to His Word:
• Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. – Galatians 1:10 (NLT)
• So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. – Galatians 5:1 (NLT)
I choose to believe that I am set free by Jesus Christ’s love and I am not bound to the opinions of others or to slavery of fear. I choose to move forward in boldness knowing that no, I am not perfect, but I am made for a purpose and I intend to walk in it. I choose to embrace the constructive criticism as a learning and growing experience and to recognize that past failures do not define who I am forever.
After choosing to refocus my thoughts instead of letting them spiral out of control, I have felt so much peace, and have truly had a wonderful time so far. I have already met some peers from my acting program and we have discussed areas of excitement, as well as, discomfort with certain upcoming modules. Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive and I am looking forward for courses to begin so that I can learn and grow in a subject that I have enjoyed since I was very young.
So, what’s the point in this post?
To say: Hey friend, if you’re struggling with negative thoughts and fear . . . you can choose to reroute. You get to choose what direction your journey goes next and where you want your mind to dwell.
This year, let’s get out of our own way!
I know this post was different than a typical travel update, but sometimes you just have to bare the messy bits in life too. That’s how we make it through together.
Stay tuned for a more detailed post on packing tips for an extended journey, as well as, some of the exciting sites and people that I have already gotten to experience!
This is only the beginning . . .