Yesterday I sat on the train as Lauren and I rode into Glasgow for the last time. It was bittersweet. The sun was setting and the clouds glowed in vibrant shades of orange and pink. My heart was saddened by the fact that I will never again come back to Scotland in the same capacity that I did this semester. While this is sad, it’s a reminder that life moves on. I can’t stay here forever. My family and friends would definitely have something to stay if I did! These past few months in MET we have been discussing Ecclesiastes, in chapter 3 Solomon writes that for everything there is a season. My season as a student here in Airdrie has come to an end, it is time for me to go back to the states and continue my season of being a student at Geneva. Our first day here Andrew told us that we would blink and it would be time to go home. It was so true. I feel like I just arrived, but I also feel like I’ve been here forever. Being a part of the community in the church here has really made this place feel like home.
I have loved the classes I was able to take while here, and all of the places I was able to travel to, but my favorite thing by far has been the people. I am so thankful for being involved in Kids Club, MET, CY, and women’s events! Getting to know everyone here has made it feel like home, and it is what makes it so difficult to say goodbye. If I were to list all of the amazing people I’ve become friends with and how much they mean to me, it would get far too sappy. So I will just say that I am so thankful for all of you, for the food, fellowship, laughter, encouragement, and prayers. I love you guys.
There are many small moments from the past few months that stick with me: seeing a castle for the first time, singing in the kitchen with Lauren while we made dinner, playing football in the church hall with the kids, singing Psalms around the campfire in Northern Ireland at the Young Adults Weekend, driving through the Highlands with Beth, seeing Lauren fall into Loch Tay, looking out the window while riding the train into Glasgow, seeing London lit up in Christmas lights, wading through marshy highlands with Jimmy, sitting on the floor in the kitchen of the cottage with all the girls (and Fraser) after Thanksgiving, Andrew forcing us to try Irn-bu, singing Psalms at Beth’s, going to the rugby game with CY, and so many more things I will treasure forever.
There are so many little things about Scotland that I am going to miss: how easy it is to hop on a train and ride to either Glasgow or Edinburgh, gluten-free biscuits that are so much better and inexpensive here, being so close to mountains, coastlands, cities, and rural areas, watching movies at Beth’s and talking until late at night, Cadbury chocolate and how much better it is than Hershey, roundabouts and how they make so much more sense, Burger 7’s garlic fries and how amazingly garlicky they taste, going on adventures to unknown places with Jimmy and Helen, coming up with crafts for Kids Club, and so many more little things that probably won’t really hit me until I get home.
I have seen so many amazing things since I came here. I have been able to experience so many wonderful cities! I have fallen in love with Airdrie, Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, York, and most of all London. I have been all over the UK, all the way up to Loch Ness, over to St Andrews, across the water to Northern Ireland, and down to London, with so many places in-between! Glasgow feels like a second home here in Scotland, it has become one of my favorite cities. I stayed in Edinburgh for a week with my mom and got to see many of its amazing and historical treasures. York was Lauren and my first solo overnight trip, it was so exciting. London is by far my favorite big city in the whole world, I fell in love with it. In general I have fallen completely in love with Scotland, and I feel like there is still so much more for me to see before I leave. So I guess I will just have to come back to visit.
These past four months have been so wonderful, I am so incredibly thankful that God placed the desire on my heart to come here. I know that I have changed a lot in the past few months, I have gained confidence and maturity, grown in my faith both head and heart knowledge, and I have made the most amazing connections with fellow believers. I will never forget my time here. Lord willing I will be back in Scotland again soon. I don’t like goodbyes, so I will simply say, see you later…