Last Times

It’s strange to say, but this is my last night in Bath. My last night in this incredible country, one that I have fallen in love with. The last time I’m typing away from my SACO bed-cozy, safe, and warm. I absolutely cannot believe that I’m leaving this place in just 2 hours. It’s unreal.

The last few days have been pretty depressing. On Friday, the ones of us left spent time around Bath and had the Gaws over for dinner. It was a great way to end the trip, and we got to hear some good stories from them! This morning, we woke up and packed. Try packing up 3 months worth of your life; it’s pure misery. I went to Victoria Park one last time and had a hard time keeping the tears back as I looked over the city.

Tonight, some of us (the ones left), went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. On the train ride into London, God gave us the most beautiful sunset, which seemed like a fitting way to end our trip. Morale was pretty low because we knew what was coming at the end of the night: saying our goodbyes to Mary Kate, Sarah, and Evan who leave to free-travel tomorrow. As we watched the tube doors close to their train, I think all of our hearts broke a little bit. Saying goodbye to Paddington Station was another emotional moment of the night; it’s been a familiar place in a strange city. A place we’ve slept, ran to, looked forward to. The train ride home for Michaela, Rachel, Luke, and I was a sad one but thankfully, we were distracted by all the drunken antics going on with the other passengers.

It’s strange to know you’re in the middle of something big, something life changing, but to also know you don’t understand the magnitude of it yet. I can’t begin to imagine all the ways this experience will change my life, and I probably won’t know for many, many years. Dr. Gaw has said time and time again that this experience will probably be the one thing that is incomparable to anything else in our lives, and I believe that to be true. I needed this trip more than I knew. I will miss the flow of a British accent, the fog in the morning, the smell of sausage pasties on the walk to class. I will soon long to be napping on a train, sleeping on an airport floor, and figuring out underground systems. I will miss walking along the Avon, chasing sunsets, and breathing in the chilly, crisp English evening air. This is the place I have found myself again and found God in every place possible. God has constantly been saying to me, “I am here.” He’s here in England, explored 10 other countries with me, and He’ll be with me as I go home and continue this journey with Him. Every day of my life, I will be thankful for this experience. My life has been changed forever. I’m so excited to see this change in myself as I go home, and share the joy He has given me. To all my family, thank you for supporting me in this amazing experience. Thank you to anyone who has prayed over my journey. Mama and Papa Gaw, words can’t express how perfect you were for this group. And to my 23 other Bath 2013-ers, I love you all. You are family, and I can’t imagine this semester without a single one of you. God has blessed me with each of your friendships, and I am so grateful. He is so good!

Please pray for safe travels tomorrow…it will be a long day! One 9 hour plane ride and then only one short flight home to Nashville! All I can say is praise God for His amazing creation and blessing me so richly for the past 3 months. England, I will always love you but don’t worry, I’ll be back.

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