In July 2011, I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland. [Quickly, though this isn’t the topic of this writing, I’ll tell you why I’m in Scotland. I am here helping a church plant do outreach to university students.]
Also, I’m here to see how many rainy days and American girl can survive without losing one’s mind. So far? Mid-30s and mildly losing it.
In July, I had to move out of my apartment in Nashville. Every one of my personal belongings had to be put in a category:
2. GIVE AWAY
Sub-categories then came into play….
1A. Keep but leave in Nashville in the storage unit
1B. Keep and bring with to Scotland
Categorizing was relatively easy. Making everything in Subcategory 1B fit into the appropriate suitcases, not so much. Mind you, our airlines [bless ’em I know they just want to keep us safe] limit to 50 pound bags. So not only did it have to FIT, everything also had to be distributed evenly between suitcases as to not go over weight.
I’m pretty good at tetris, but this was a challenge.
I needed shoes. Come on, wouldn’t you? I’m here for multiple seasons and so I needed flip flops and boots and every need in between.
I needed trousers. [Though we would say “pants” in the US, here that would refer to your, um, unmentionables. So. Let’s go with trousers.] I needed tops- long sleeve, short sleeve, cardigans. I brought pajamas and socks and sweatshirts and leggings.
Layers, people. Scotland weather requires layers.
I also brought my pouch of fingernail polish because ladies, I have needs that only OPI You Don’t Know Jacques can meet.
Once the clothes were packed, and a few toiletries that I purchased in bulk, there was little room left for my favorite books, my softest pillow, or a Chick-fil-A franchise. [Though I have found myself wishing for all three.]
I closed my suitcases and stood them by the front door. It was then, as I surveyed the final products, my carry-on stuffed to the gills and my suitcases tipping the scale, that I realized a few other things I didn’t pack.
I didn’t pack fear. I don’t have time for it or space for it. Too much living to do.
I didn’t pack comfort. And I’ve looked for it here, those things that are labeled “run here when you need to be soothed” – things that look like dipped cones from Dairy Queen or television shows that let me escape. But I don’t have them. So my flesh freaks out and my spirit says “run to the One who is your comfort.” And it hurts so good.
I didn’t pack worry for the future. I’m in a new season where God just turns the page when I get to the bottom of the one I’m living, versus seeing the end of the chapter. So I don’t know what is next, I’m too busy loving this page I’m on.
I packed my Bible, my journal, and my iPod. I stuffed my prayers and plans in my carry-on and heart for this nation in the blue suitcase.
I won’t leave you hanging. I’m going to spoil the ending. After many hours in the air, through customs, to my pal’s car, to my flat overlooking Arthur’s Seat and the university, it all arrived safely in Edinburgh.
Including some new hopes and dreams I didn’t even know were packed.
by Annie Downs // AnnieBlogsLeave a Comment