Today I was reflecting on my time in Ireland thus far, and then I realized….I got here exactly 8 months ago today!
I just read through my journal from last year, and on October 10 I started working on the application for my Irish visa. That means that a year ago, I literally had no idea I would be here. God opened every door for me to come and I am still so, so thankful.
In honor of my anniversary, here are 8 observations/things I have learned:
1. I don’t totally fit in with Irish people, yet I’m more like them than my non-native English speaking friends with whom I spend the majority of my time. So that leaves me caught in between two worlds, not really fitting into either.
2. I miss American English, specifically the Texas variety. I miss saying “y’all.”
3. For 23 years, I was living in a Christian bubble. I learned a lot of great things growing up and attending church, being homeschooled, and attending a Christian university, things that have certainly shaped my life for the better. However, living inside those confines is not real life. Jesus didn’t isolate himself from non-Christians like I did (mostly) for 23 years. For the record, I’m still attending church regularly here, but God has so radically changed my mindset about what it looks like for a Christian to engage with the world that I still can’t put it into words. I just know that when that when I go back to the US, how and who I love needs to look different.
4. I love walking. It’s so energizing! Living in Dublin’s city centre means that pretty much the whole city is accessible by walking.
5. I can live with a lot less than I thought I could before I came. This is another principle that I am praying carries over to my life in the US.
6. Somehow I managed to meet a Mexican who is now my boyfriend, have 2 different Spanish-speaking roommates, and go to countless gatherings where I am the only non-Spanish speaker. Let me remind you that I am in Ireland. God is so good to me. He knows that I love the Spanish language and Latin American culture, and I am more convinced now more than ever that they will be a part of my life forever.
7. God knows exactly what I need. When I needed a job, he gave me one. When I needed friends, he sent them. When I needed rest, he’s given it. That doesn’t mean that I sit back and don’t do my part, but it’s been amazing to sit back and watch God work after I have done my part.
8. Ireland is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth. I feel lucky to have seen its lakes, mountains, valleys, ocean, hills, blue skies, grey skies, green fields, and rainbows.
This is me at home, before I set off for Ireland. Who would have known all of the adventures that awaited me?