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Life

Why Going on a Trip With Complete Strangers is a Great Idea

When you go through a major change in life, you often feel like you have lost yourself. This lifelong trip that you had perfectly mapped out has come to a dead end. It can feel devastating and lonely. Whether you’ve just experienced heartbreak, a major move, loss of a loved one, or maybe a job offer, you can feel like you’ve lost your footing. In many ways the fear of change and losing yourself is worse than what you’re actually going through. Once you get over that big hump that is change, things end up seeming so much brighter.

I had experienced heartbreak not that long ago. It was not the first time I experienced heartbreak so I knew I would be okay, but that did not dismiss the pain I was feeling. I felt like I was just drowning in those moments. All I could do to keep myself afloat was have faith and trust it was temporary. For awhile there I started asking myself, was I in pain because I missed the past, or was I just fearful for the future? It did not take me long to answer that question. I was terrified of change and what it might come with. I was terrified to let go and trust that whatever was coming would be better. So, I made a decision that would ultimately benefit me.

https://www.buddhistmala.com/Mantra-Beads-for-Broken-Heart

I let go and embraced the change in my life. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do next, but I knew it would involve my faith. I knew I had to cling to it every day like I never had before. I was involved at my church; however, I felt their young adult community was fairly small at the time. Eventually I decided to reach out to an old acquaintance of mine and ask him if he could get me connected to a younger group of like-minded Christians. He told me all about the community he was involved in. It was shortly before Labor Day weekend when him and I met up and he mentioned a trip the group was going on. My desperation to connect with others and God on a deeper level outweighed my fear of the unknown.

Without much thought to what I was getting myself into, I signed up for this trip to Tucson. The anxiety I started to feel that morning was getting the best of me and I started wondering if I should cancel. Something in me was telling me to go on the trip regardless of how I felt in that moment. I am a natural introvert so going on a two-day trip with people I’ve met once was not an easy task for me. Nevertheless, there I was sitting in this massive room full of all kinds of different people. The older I get, the more I tend to force myself into more social situations that way I can form connections.  I was not even a couple hours into the trip and I was already counting my lucky stars that I did not cancel.

We all had so many differences, we came from different places and even spoke different languages, but we had this one important thing in common. Our love for Jesus and His people was what brought us together. The trip consisted of playing games, hiking mountains, watching movies, and so much more. One of my favorite parts of the trip was being able to spend time outside on this old swing that hung from a tree. I would just swing on it and look around, enjoying the beautiful landscape and the peace and quiet. It was in that moment that I realized Phoenix had nothing on the area we were currently in. The most precious part of the entire trip was the spiritual part of it. It consisted of devotionals, praying, testimonies, and just time away from the city to really connect with God on a deeper level. 

I would just swing on it and look around, enjoying the beautiful landscape and the peace and quiet.

https://ibc-churches.org/womens-corner-dont-give-up/

On one of the nights it started storming outside, and the lightning was far enough that we could stay outside and watch it. It was beyond quiet and the sky was so clear. My new friend Rebecca and I stood on the fence outside and just talked while watching the lightning in the sky. We talked about our journey as Christians, but specifically this one particular moment in time. We both described this point in time where we were going through some kind of struggle, and when we came to God, we felt this overwhelming presence. Nothing we had ever felt before compared to that feeling. That was a major highlight of the entire trip to Tucson.

There is so much beauty in getting lost and facing change. 

While on that trip, I tried curry for the first time. I always assumed I would hate it even though I never gave it a chance. Once I tasted it, I realized it was one of the best things I have ever eaten. Just like my assumptions about curry were wrong, my assumptions about going on this trip were so far off. I promise you the irony of this did not skip over my head.

There is so much beauty in getting lost and facing change. It doesn’t seem like it at first, but you must try it in order to find out. That might mean going to a new place and talking to new people, or sometimes it could mean just letting go of the extra weight you are holding onto. In my case, it was both and it has been that way for quite some time now. I have experienced years of constantly having to release something from my past and embrace something new. These have been some of the most terrifying experiences and yet the ones I am most grateful for. 

It just goes to show that when you are feeling lost in life, you usually end up finding yourself in the least expected places.

Source: Julie Reed

Julie Reed is 21 years old and an Arizona native. She is currently a freshman at Grand Canyon University majoring in Elementary Education. Julie is a Christian and very much involved in her church. She works two jobs including a teaching job within the theatre department at a K-8 school in Scottsdale. When she is not working or volunteering at her church, she can be found hanging out with friends, getting coffee at Starbucks, or playing with her dogs.
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