As you might have heard, my team and I have now embarked to England. Its rolling hills and numerous breathtaking views are enough to make anyone’s soul shed a tear for its wonderous beauty. Although England’s green landscape is quite similar to that of Ireland, you can still appreciate God’s creation through each day.
The day we got here to England, we left the place we were staying in Ireland at 7:30am. Our plane left sometime after 10:30 and we got to England around noon. One of the shortest flights I have ever experienced and it was not too shabby. As we stepped foot into a new country I’ve never been in, I got little butterflies in my stomach at the anticipation of what experiences were before me.
At our first Quaker Meeting House we met a man named Ben Pink Dandelion…(I know, coolest name EVER) I was intrigued with his knowlegde about George Fox and began to see Quakers in a more intensified light. Actually sitting in a place that many Quakers years before had sat was mind blowing to me. I was able to visualize what it might have been like for them rather than just hearing about. Right after, we went to a very famous place among Quakers in regards to George Fox called Pendle Hill. Man oh man, was I not expecting what lay before me. I imagined it being a little hill in a field somewhere, but no. We hiked up a mountain of a hill which was so steep as to make me beg to God to have me live through the beautiful ordeal. I may have been slightly dramatic with my prayers as God giggled by my side and held my hand each step of the way. Everytime I stopped to catch my breath, I was struck by the view becoming more and more amazing with every step. I can only describe it as being from a movie….but better! Once I reached the top, I again dramatically thanked God for sparing me my life and was amazed by the neverending view before me all around. So, this was where George Fox had his vision of a great gathering of people? I’d believe that.
Today is our third day in England and I feel as though I have had a sort of revelation. We started out giving ourselves rest. We had a time of exploration and quietness where we all went off by ourselves and reflected in God’s prescence. I felt extremely close to God in this time as I usually do when I explore the beautiful and unique parts of the wilderness around me. Every flower and plant with its own detail, separate from one another, catches my eye in wonder. I even passed by a small pool filled wth tadpoles, just beginning their new lives in the life God created for them. I went on to explore a creek on the far corner of the grounds where we are staying, stopping only shortly to make faces at the cows, to which they replied with a stare and a simple “moo.” The creek was fun, skipping from rock to rock and looking at the various garlic plants and wildflowers and then I stopped. I looked up to a towering tree surrounded by purple wildflowers and light green moss. I felt as though God was telling me to climb up to it and sit. And sit, I did. I stared up into its umbrella like branches where rays of light were seeping in through the leaves, illuminating the ground below. I felt so at peace with God in that short time and I will always remember that place of awestruck beauty.
Later on today, I sat in my first ever, completely silent, unprogrammed Meeting for Worship. Beforehand, I was nervous that I would be the one to bust up laughing for no apparent reason and just because I would feel incredibly awkward. As it started, I was terribly focused on doing the silence “right.” Quite quickly my mind got distracted and started racing with various thoughts and I had to force myself to pause. I started to ask God to tell me something, anything. I told Him how I had been feeling very confused about my future lately and whether I was making the right decisions. I begged Him for answers and just wanted Him to tell me anything that He felt I needed to hear right now. I sat and sat and all of a sudden started to think about a boy I use to tutor in high school. I remembered being apprehensive about starting the TA position because I had previously never worked with any special needs students before. Eventally the doors to the positon opened up so wide that I couldn’t ignore it. Quite quickly this student became like a little brother to me. I no longer looked at the day ahead in fear of messing up or wondering if I made the right decision, I was at home there. As I sat in that Quaker meeting, I started reflecting over all the good times he and I had and how it had been so long since I really thought about that time. The last thing that floated through my head were the words that warmed my heart every day. He would say, “I love you, Anner,” and then I would say, “Love you, too, Buddy.” I suddenly became aware of my thought process and couldn’t remember how I had started thinking about something so random. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t trace back my thoughts. Was this God? Is He telling me that someting so small I did in high school was my calling? I can’t tell you for sure, but I definitely got emotional with the overwhelming sensation that God was speaking to me. Now, lemme tell ya… this does not happen often or as clearly as I felt today and man was it awesome. I still don’t think I know for sure what I should do with my future, but I feel as though I was given a sort of clue and for now, I feel at peace.
So, I just want to say, thank you God for today and this whole trip in general. For the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had, I am extremely grateful.