I’m on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic, and even though I know that I should be counting my blessing for having had such an amazing experience, I’m just numb. I’m going home, but to what?
You see, while in Europe I was able to leave behind the monster that had been looming over my shoulder for over a year: my dissertation. I’ve tried every angle possible, but have been unable to get it off the ground. I know that as soon as I get home, it’s going to hit me in the face. It’s going to say, “I’m here, I’m big, I’m scary, and I’m insurmountable.”
My heart stops as the pilot tells us to fasten our seat belts for landing. In a few moments, I’ll be stepping back into a world where my inadequacies are on display and where I have a daily reminder that I’m not enough. I’m not strong enough, I’m not good enough, and I’m not smart enough.
I turn my head and pretend to look out of the window so that my seatmate won’t see the tears streaming down my face.
And I pray.
“God, where are you?”
“I’m right here.”
“I don’t want to go home. I’m scared.”
“I’ve been working really hard and I’ve gotten nowhere with this dissertation. I’m so tired of it.”
The next thing I know, I wake up to the sound of seat belts unbuckling. I must’ve fallen asleep during my prayer. As I wake up, I realize that I’m just as afraid as I was before, but something is different. The dissertation is still looming, but I have the knowledge that my God is here and that He knows. And that means something.
I gather my things, deplane and walk to immigration. As stand at the counter, I can’t help but smile a little. The officer smiles back as he hands me my stamped passport.
“Happy to be home?” He asks.
“Yes.” I say. “Yes, I am.”
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