Faith, Life Musings

Change of Plans

I’m finding it difficult to write anything right now. I haven’t been on Twitter, or Facebook, or anything resembling social media. I’ve been listening to the same Rhianna song on repeat for days. (I don’t even really like Rhianna). I’m tired. I’m unbelievably, emotionally exhausted. My mind is a carousel of revolving thoughts and I’d do anything to hit the off switch. Spinning, and spinning, and spinning. 

I’m staying in one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen during my journey. It’s quiet. There are birds singing, water rushing. Yesterday I watched two deer leap through a field of dandelions in complete freedom. In the last week, I’ve seen more cows than people. The air here is so fresh I can actually smell the grass growing.
Moulin Bousset: Population 4
Bousset France, 2014

Yet. Yet, here I am, drowning out the noise of birds chirping and bees humming, listening instead to conversations I’ve rehearsed in my mind over, and over. Hearing the fears and doubts clamor for attention, smelling the distinct odor of rubber on pavement, going a million miles an hour with an unknown trajectory.  

Be still. Wait. You couldn’t ask me to do two more difficult things right now, and I’m failing miserably. The more peaceful my surroundings, the louder the chaos in my head and heart become. 
TheBarefootBeatMoulin Bousset, France 2014

Rest. Stop doing. Stop planning. Do you hear me yet? Do you get it, yet? 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my plans failing. I had no way of knowing just how hard they’d fail, or how loudly the Universe was trying to get my attention. Let me explain: I had an amazing opportunity to go to Thailand to take a TEFL course for free in order to write about the experience here on my blog. I’d been discussing this opportunity for months, gearing up for a new country and a hopeful new future teaching abroad. I excitedly bought my round-trip plane ticket to Bangkok, ready for the next phase in my adventure. 

Or so I thought. Two days later I was told the deal was off. The TEFL program I’d been communicating with changed ownership and all was null and void. I was crestfallen. Disappointed, frustrated, stopped in my tracks. 

And then the bargaining (and back-up planning) began. “No problem,” I thought. “I’ll still go to Thailand. I’ve always wanted to go, and I can travel with a good friend of mine who’s already there. I can do some Workaways and visit the organic farm in Chiang Mai I’ve always wanted to see. I can meditate, chill on the beach, eat some good food.” 

Not yet. A few days later, I got an email in my inbox from the airline telling me they’d never reserved my ticket. There was a problem with my transaction, even though I have more than enough money in the bank to cover the cost. Even though I’ve been traveling for over a year and have never had this happen. If I wanted to go, I’d have to call and re-book my ticket that had me leaving for Thailand next week. 

Something (Providence) kept me from buying a new ticket. Apparently my plans are not God’s plans. And I’m starting to get take the hint. With two months left before my Schengen visa expires, and three months before my best friend gets married, I’m headed home. I’m not exactly sure when, yet (I’m honestly terrified to make any plans before hearing a clear and booming voice coming from the sky telling what I should do, exactly). But soon. Sooner than I expected, sooner than I wanted. Soon.  
TheBarefootBeatThis is what home looks like: My grandmother’s backyard in summertime.
Missouri, USA 2009

To be honest, I need a moment or two more before I’m on board with this change of plans. I need some space to kick and scream and drag my feet. I want to sit in the spilled milk and cry for a bit. I want to complain and whine, and tell life it’s just not fair. I want to shake my fist and stubbornly hurl my way through and over the obstacles. I want to try harder. 

But I’m ready to turn it all off. I’m ready to stop struggling. Like a tired toddler with a runny nose, sobbing in her mother’s ear, I’m ready to let go. I’m ready to stop fighting. I’m worn out. I’m ready to relax into Grace. To fall, only to realize I’m already on solid ground. 
TheBarefootBeatMoulin Bousset, France 2014

I’m ready to stop listening to my anxieties (and Rhianna). I want to hear the birds sing instead. I want to sit by the still waters and green pasture. I want to notice the wind whispering through the trees and playing with my hair. I want to be present and know in my heart that everything will come to pass and fall together, just as it should.
TheBarefootBeatMoulin Bousset, France 2014

“I’ve got voices in my head and they are so strong
And I’m getting sick of this oh Lord, how long
Will I be haunted by the fear that I believe
My hands like locks on cages
Of these dreams I can’t set free

But if I let these dreams die
If I lay down all my wounded pride
If I let these dreams die
Will I find that letting go lets me come alive

So empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with you.”
-Tenth Avenue North

P.S. Thank you to those of you who have listened as I’ve whined and pulled a fit each time my plans change. Your patience, love, and unconditional support have carried me when I needed it most. Thank you for your prayers.

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  • Reply katie featherstone April 8, 2014 at 2:36 am

    I hope it all sorts itself out for you. 🙂
    katie featherstone recently posted…International Women’s Day- Why is Feminism a dirty word?My Profile

    • Reply Mariah April 8, 2014 at 6:28 am

      Thank you Katie, me too! 🙂

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