So many years ago I envisioned myself being a world traveler. I was supposed to be on stages and on platforms and in churches, preaching and ministering the gospel. I was supposed to do this all over the world. But instead, God said:
“Move back home to Cleveland, Ohio, live with your mom, end your relationship, and I will give you further instructions from there”.
What? Well, Ok God. But are you sure that this ministry out of state I’m looking at isn’t the right fit, because it seems pretty accurate to me? I mean, this would just be in line with the flow we are already in, God. Yes, I know I have a degree in business, but this summer we did that missionary trip, and on campus You put me in these Christian leadership positions. So I mean, isn’t this what makes the most sense here?
But of course God knows best and thankfully I did do what He said. But let me just say, it took a while for some doors to open in regards to my desire to travel, amongst other things…
It probably wasn’t until 2013 that I took my first international trip, ya’ll. A friend and I took a cruise to the Bahamas. I was 30.
Before my mom passed, she apologized to me. She was sorry that she hadn’t been intentional about us taking family vacations, (something she became privy to from her middle income class coworkers). I looked at her like she was crazy. How could she, a single mom who is just trying to make ends meet, be expected to store away finances for a family vacay? But that just goes to show her heart. She wanted me to have the best, no matter our financial circumstances.
And you know what? I think God is the same way. He wants the best for His kids. No matter the cost. Even if it costs His Son…
I’ve had the privilege to travel to many different places since that first cruise both domestically and internationally. I actually received a prophetic word about it. A woman who I esteem said she saw me on airplanes. I was skeptical because at the time, I was knee-deep in grief and did not see myself willy-nilly vacationing. But that was exactly what happened and ended up being a vital part of my healing.
The interesting thing that I hadn’t realized until recently was that I was never alone while traveling. These trips were always with at least one friend, or I was meeting a friend at our appointed destination.
This past birthday (which was about two weeks ago by the time you’ll read this blog) the need to do a vacation alone was stirring in me. I find this interesting because for so much of the single journey I have struggled with the fact that you are alone. So much of your life is lived alone. You can have friends and a community, but you go home alone. You pay your bills alone. You make life decisions alone. How is it that I should want to travel alone? But I did. And I think even that shows that there is a blessing in having your alone time. Just not ALL the time, LOL.
So, I booked my trip for one, paid for my flight and let all my peeps know that for my b day this year I was headed to Key West.
I actually had to turn down offers of people joining and almost caved. But then I was inspired by another woman I esteem who just so happened to be vacationing alone. And I knew, I have to do this. And you know what? I’m so glad I did…
Traveling alone was freeing and honestly it felt more of like a trip with me and God. Jehovah. The Almighty. The One who had brought me such a long way. My Abba. This was our time to celebrate. I was not really alone…
At 39 years old, I am grateful to be the woman I always wanted to become. I am grateful for those hard decisions that I made in my youth that I am still reaping from today.
I told a friend who is still in her 20s, as much as it hurts, to lean into those hard seasons. I get it. I’m still in some hard seasons myself. But looking back I can see that those are the times of growth and elevation.
We do not elevate when we are on the mountain top, we elevate when we are in the fire.
Even still, the mountaintop is for enjoyment. And God loves to bring us joy.
So much joy…
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