Giving Up Control & Learning Trust

I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

My City

In less than one week I will have finished my semester here in Málaga.  I knew from the beginning that 3 months wasn’t a long time, but I didn’t expect it to go quite so quickly. I remember how nervous I was getting off the plane in Madrid, how painfully bad at Spanish I was, and how sure I was of my future plans.  3 months later, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve changed.

I read somewhere that something like only 6% of all American college students spend more than a month abroad studying/working/volunteering. I am so proud to be part of that statistic, but so sad to realize that so many of my peers can’t or won’t take the same opportunity.

Here’s just a few reasons why study abroad was such a wonderful experience for me.

1. My eyes were opened to a whole new mindset, a different culture, and benefits of different lifestyles. This wasn’t just from the Spaniards that I lived with & encountered, but also my ISA friends who are from every part of the US. I’ve learned so much about being tolerant, accepting, and empathic to so many different ideologies. I have been so blessed by many of the people I have met and become friends with here.

2. Daily I was pushed out of my comfort zone to do something I didn’t want to do, e.g. speaking broken Spanish. And guess what – in the past month my Spanish comprehension has skyrocketed! I’m so excited!

3. I learned a new language. I can’t underline enough how vital it is to learn another language! The power of communication is so amazing! If you ever have the opportunity to learn a new language – do it! It’s one of the most worthwhile things you’ll ever do.

4. I learned to be independent. Nothing like living 5000 miles from home with limited communication to teach you that one.

Finally, 5. I learned that I don’t have all the answers, and that I need to trust God. That’s where Jeremiah 29:11 comes in. I came into this semester with a 2 year plan that was based on what I wanted, and failed to include God’s plans for me.

Although my plan wasn’t very detailed, it did include this: summer internship, awesome senior year, job offer in advertising/marketing after graduation. The ideal dream, right?

Well, none of the internships I looked at worked out, but God provided a job for me this summer anyway! I’m going back to my old job in a sense, but I was offered more responsibility and a wider range of experience. Add in that the benefit of getting to live with my family (possibly) one last time before graduation.

As for post-grad plans, I always said that I would never ever ever teach. Well, I came to Spain, and re-discovered my passion for Spanish, and now… I’m considering teaching Spanish, or teaching English in a foreign country. I still love Marketing, so it’s my first choice – but my first choice isn’t always God’s choice. Go figure. My mom always said that she would never be a computer programmer. What was her job for 7+ years? Computer programming. One of her friends said she would be a missionary anywhere – except Uganda. Where did she end up for her time abroad? Uganda.

So that being said, trust is a journey. But I think I just might be making some progress.

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2 thoughts on “Giving Up Control & Learning Trust

  1. That’s phenomenal! It’s great that despite all the doubts that you seemed to have gone through, it seems like it was worth it in the end. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and vicariously experiencing being a tourist and travelling a lot, something I regret not really doing when I had the chance.

    Also, it’s neat that you’re considering teaching (of course I’m biased). I think everyone should at least try teaching, if only to make them better students in life. If you would like any advice about TEFL, feel free to contact me.

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