Looking back at Jordan now a few weeks out is odd. While I was there, I was counting down the days until I could go home. After coming off a few intense weeks in Israel which was off the tail-end of an insane semester (and let’s be honest, what semester isn’t insane?), it felt like the end of what I could handle physically and emotionally. I kept getting sick, and I didn’t really have any reserves left since my body had been feeding off of the reserves for weeks.
Being in this intensely physical program with a high intellectual demand brought out the realities of living with an auto-immune disease. Having celiac isn’t only dealing with the prospect of getting sick all the time; it’s dealing with getting other kinds of illnesses much more easily. It means I feel pain more quickly and intensely.
What does that mean in the context of this trip? It means that it takes me longer to recover from things. It means I’m almost always in some kind of pain. But it doesn’t mean it has to rule my life. I could surrender to the pain. I could wallow in my misery.
But here’s the thing: I paid so much money to be here, and more than that, God orchestrated so many details for me to be able to be on this trip. The experience was not going to be this idyllic fantasy realized. The experience was a culmination of my failures, shortcomings, and hardships thrust into my face leaving me with a choice: depend on God or wallow in a depressive state.
I wish I could say I depended on God and I saw His goodness in everything, but the difficulties overcame me many times.
However, through all the difficult circumstances, God provided. There was only a group of seven Gordon students (including myself) that went on the Jordan extension. These six people embodied the love and strength of Christ for me daily. They understood my dietary needs and stood up on my behalf time and time again when I had no more strength to stand up for myself. These six individuals showed me the power of intentional community.
We are all incredibly different people who probably wouldn’t have been friends if we hadn’t been placed together purely because we are all following such different educational paths, yet we bonded, becoming known as “The Seven.”
The Guardian + Sting + Yeti + Bookworm + Goat + Ibex + Sunshine = The Seven.
Love you guys!