Is 209 really better than 417?

For today’s assignment, Professor Price instructed us to cut our previous post in HALF. 50%. Woah. This was so much harder than I expected. I found myself emotionally attached as I made cut after cut. And I am still not convinced this 209-word, edited version is better than my original, but wordy, 417-word post.

Everything went quiet. The world seemed to stand still. I have never felt so alone in a bustling room full of people. I sat still in the Wilmington International Airport as the world rushed by around me. Announcements were made over the loudspeaker. People hurried through the gate. Workers sold pretzels and cookies snacks. The TV newscaster rambled on about the weather. And I sat still. I sat still in that navy blue, fairly comfortable, plush chair and began to weep.

Had I made a mistake? Would the people even like me? Would I be strong enough to handle the 8-hour workdays? Would I be able to be away from my family for 9 weeks get homesick? Would I be overwhelmed by the poverty I encountered and my inability to fix it? Would I connect with the middle and high school students I would be leading and make an impact on their lives? Would my emotions get in the way of distract from the work I was trying to do?

I had just said goodbye to comfort. I had said goodbye to control knowing what was to come, to knowing anything really. This next 9 weeks would be a summer full of unknowns and questions. But I did not know, on that day in the airport, I didn’t know that this summer would be one that very literally changed the course of my life.

I would meet people that allowed me to be unapologetically me. I would see places with such extreme poverty but also such extreme beauty. I would experience God in a new way I never had before. I would be humbled. I would be strengthened. I would learn and I would listen. I would be cared for deeply. I would lead and I would serve. I would discover myself, who I was made to be. I would get disgustingly dirty and sweaty and disgusting, but I would learn to love it. I would learn how to love people freely with no obligations. I would see the purest kind of joy. I would be crushed by the brokenness of our world but I would be encouraged to heal that brokenness hopeful for healing. I would have a summer that will forever be a part of the story that is my life.

But, as I sat in that airport and wept, I did not know what was to come. I only knew that I had left the comfort to which I clung. And the unknown is a scary place to be staring at through an airplane window, all alone and full of fear.

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