It’s been a few weeks since my last post here, and there is a reason for that. I’m going to explain that reason by way of an update.
While I was in Barcelona, I wrote a post called “Embracing Uncertainty”. That post was difficult to write because of the circumstances in which I was writing it, but it was one of the most honest things I’ve written. I took a real look at what I was doing. I questioned my motivations, my reasons, and my understanding of the situation. I accepted what was going on and drew what conclusions and lessons I could from it. More than this, though, I trusted that God had a plan, even if I didn’t know exactly what it was.
If I made it seem like it was easy embrace my uncertain circumstances, it really wasn’t. At multiple times throughout those days, I asked myself what I was doing here in Europe. I was frustrated. I wasn’t working. I was spending a lot of money. Why? Having fulfilling experiences is great and all, but that can’t be everything. There has to be more, and, at that point, I wasn’t sure what ‘more’ looked like.
It took a willingness to accept uncertainty before I could find the certainty I needed.
The day after posting “Embracing Uncertainty”, I was sitting in a hostel in Valencia working on another post, still possessing no idea as to what, exactly, would come next. As I was writing about the name of this blog, specifically where ‘Shelter’ comes from, I went to the website of L’Abri Fellowship so that I could post a link to their site. While reading about L’Abri and looking at their site that I had the thought, “What if I went there?”
There are times when things, for one reason or another, just seem to make sense. An epiphany. A spark of creativity. A moment of clarity. Whatever you want to call it. In that moment, going to L’Abri made sense. It made more sense than anything else I was pursuing up to that point, even teaching English. Thus, after receiving a response to my application email, I started making plans to go there.
It’s funny to me how it all worked out. I wrote and posted “Embracing Uncertainty”, and I was really following through with the spirit of what I wrote. I was ready to continue on with little idea as to what would come next. Within less than 48 hours of publishing that post, I had plans to go to Switzerland to L’Abri for four weeks. I decided I would go to Switzerland by way of Italy. I booked a train ticket from Valencia to Madrid for a day and a half to see some friends. From there I would fly to Rome (you can read about my misadventure to the Madrid airport in “According to Plan”). It took a willingness to accept uncertainty before I could find the certainty I needed.
I plan on writing a separate post about my time at L’Abri, especially because I’m still processing it. However, I do want to address why I haven’t posted in some time. Internet access at L’Abri is purposelessly limited because, in the spirit of promoting community, they are trying to limit distractions. They believe the Internet can be a distraction, and I couldn’t agree more. It is a distraction, and disconnecting was a breath of fresh air. That’s why it’s been a while, but I plan to get back on a regular schedule again now.