The end is nigh upon us. On the horizon the last steps we take in Europe, for some of us the last time ever, for others for a brief time before coming back. My mind is perplexed when I attempt to describe my feelings on this exit from Europe. There has been a profound touching in my life that I have been missing, and felt for over a decade in my time in the United States. There has been no place I have felt like I could truly call “home”. Anyone who knows me has heard me say I’m from a little bit of everywhere. Now… now only have I realized the catechism of my Russian schooling, my European city experience as a child. I’ve been in all good purposes taken by the wonders and culture of Europe. My citizenship may be with the United States, but my childhood home will for always be Europe. No greater sense of loss have I had since leaving Europe. I look back on all my mistakes, heartaches, depression, friendships ruined, relationships broken and I realize that my twelve year old self went through the most horrific experience of all… the separation from that which I called “home”.
I still have not seen Moscow, nor touched Russian soil since the last day I saw it. Promising myself I would return. One day to set my eyes on Red Square, to gaze at the Kremlin, to sit in the shadow of St. Basil’s cathedral and smile knowing I have seen my “home” one last time.
Though I have not seen it, this has been the closest to feeling at home I have been in a while. My second moment was when I had my own place in Wisconsin. Oh the beauty of Wisconsin, the complex notion of calling out someone to their own future to lay down your own roots by your own accord. These past two years have given me first, a glimpse that I can find a new place that I feel relatively comfortable in. Secondly, that No matter where I go, or what I do, some part of will always resound as a European. Not by birth, but by catechism, growth, and choice. I mourn in the light of leaving this continent. Yet I rejoice in the light of continuing my education in that which I purposed to attend Moody Bible Institute: Faith seeking Understanding, to know more about the God who through it all has been with me. Who even though now with further studies, and illumination I realize I did not grasp, or comprehend as I should have. Realizing that now I have started down this path that has sent me down the highs and lows but I’m overjoyed with the revelation of Jesus Christ.
My God, my Savior… who knew me long before I knew Him. Who loved me, even when I loved an idol and image that was mistaken from who He really is. Even in the dark, even in my ignorance and absolute stupidity decided that I needed to be nurtured, loved, and shown the greatness of who He is.
I know not whether I will see this wonderful land again. I know not whether I will see some of these amazing people from the trip ever again. Some I have purposed in my heart to love, encourage, build, and invest in. Others I have notably understood that this is the end of this relationship face to face, and perhaps all together but not the end eternally. Yet there are a few that I worry about. Ones that God has laid on my heart to pray for at least three times a day. Of those I ask that you, dear reader, pray for Moody Bible Institute and all other Christian colleges and universities. The study of Theology without the love for Jesus will and has created the worst cynics, and refuse of thinkers. Poison runs in their mouth, doubt, hatred, and utter blasphemous are their thoughts. Surely it is better for a millstone to be tied around their neck and them thrown into the sea than for them to destroy the faith of those around them. Therefore, let us pray, and pray fervently.
Never forget the life we have been given is to be lived to the fullest. Eat, drink, be merry. Jump off bridges into rivers, eat delicious food, savor ice cream, dance, and be hopeful. Work, be diligent, study hard, be encouraging, take on hard things, be active, and be discerning. For all our actions, taken and untaken will be held before us on the Last day. Christ came to give us power to redeem and enjoy our humanity to the fullest. Therefore be wise, quick to listen, slow to speak. Gentle, yet firm, as He was. Do not undercut or over speak on that which we have been given authority to speak on.
-From Regensburg, Germany – My favorite German city,