T-minus 23 hours

Three hours until we head to the airport and I do not want to leave.

They said we’d pull an all-nighter, but when all-nighter only means three hours, it’s not really an all-nighter. It’s just the last three hours of the trip. And then there’s the plane and a layover and another plane and then a bus and then we’re home, only I do not want to be home.

Some people do not like planes or buses. Grace Chen, for instance, does not like planes. Bria, on the other hand, does not like buses. I like both those modes of transportation; in fact, I like all methods of transportation (so far). They say it’s about the journey, not the destination, and I couldn’t agree more. When I’m sitting on a plane or riding a bus, there’s nothing for me to do but look out the window and exist in a state of in-between, neither here nor there, not anywhere really. The journey may be long, but it is a lot easier than actually being somewhere.

It is tomorrow here in Budapest. Julian is playing the Star-Spangled Banner on Romanian flute while Matt is getting a haircut. Andrew is somewhere arranging a six-part harmony of the Doxology and Kira almost convinced me to chug two nalgenes of water, but I gave up halfway through the first one.

Giving up is easy. I like easy things (at least, when my pride isn’t on the line). Planes and buses are easy, as is dribbling a basketball really slowly (Cade), or sleeping (Adia). Going home is not. If I can’t sit in this room listening to Lief, Jimmy, Noah, and Leah sing “You and I” for the rest of eternity, then at least I could settle for sitting on the plane for a very long time.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t think God’s plan is for me to sit on a plane for the rest of my life.

The theme for camp this year was trusting in God. It sounds like a no-brainer, but apparently it’s taken me 18 years to realize exactly what that means (and when I say exactly, I mean I’m just at the beginning). I’ve leaned on my own understanding for far too long in what has possibly been the most presumptuous presumption of my entire life. Never once have I doubted my ability to rationalize what’s happening around me; even if I didn’t understand at the moment, I knew that I’d figure it out eventually. The foolishness was (still is) so real.

There are things I’ll never understand. Another no-brainer—how could I possibly know the plans of the Creator of the universe? Yet in my human folly, the answers seem so near, just out of reach, when in fact I can’t even begin to comprehend the bare beginning of God’s thought. I’m like a kid who spins a globe and figures that it’ll take approximately 20 minutes to walk from California to Florida, and then it also turns out that Florida is actually Austria. I bet God finds humans a hoot.

So I don’t know what life will bring. I mean, I always knew that, but now I know it again. I gotta trust in Him. Things’ll be hard, and I’ll have to trust in Him. The temptation to lean on my own understanding is going to be overwhelming at times, but I’ll trust in Him. I don’t know what lies ahead. I don’t want to go home. But I trust in God.

I’ll enjoy the journey while it lasts, but soon it’ll be time to get off that plane. Because that’s when the real journey continues.



Shoutout to my favorite sister: I love you. Just remember that when the heat gets hot, I’ll be there for you.

9 thoughts on “T-minus 23 hours

  1. Noah singing for eternity gets to be a lot… but man I feel ya. Praying for it all

  2. Hi Sweetie! So very glad to hear your voice. The H.S. is doing his work; we’re praying for you all. I am very thankful that God is doing a number on you (along with many others on the team) as that seems to be his m.o. You’re in the best hands for the next stage of your journey.
    And nice job with the shoutout. Nikki got it right away; I had to imdb it. You two are awesome that way.

    Praying for a safe trip for the whole team. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

    Love, Mom

  3. Wow, beautifully written, Kirsten…thank you! I can understand you not wanting to be home. Makes sense. Just know that there are a whole mess of us here who can’t wait to have you guys home! SO excited to see you all get off that bus tomorrow (or, today…or whatever).

    Also…don’t tell me Hannah talked Matt into letting her cut his hair!(?) 🤦‍♀️ [If so, Sharon, I’m sorry…she’s over-confident. And very persuasive. She probably did…fine…though. 😬]

    Love and hugs!…see you soon! 😊❤️

  4. Cars and buses were great inventions.
    And planes brought us whole new dimensions.
    But their purpose is to assist us in getting from A to B
    Not being a place a person is meant to be.

    So enjoy the journey home for the time it will last
    And enjoy the wonderful homecoming, which will come to you fast.
    And try to blend the two as best you can in your way.
    But don’t rush it or push it, let it come when it may.

    Welcome home and enjoy all your feelings and emotions in coming days and weeks. You were meant to feel all that you will feel.

  5. Kirstin, your dry sense of humor was priceless. Your comments about God’s plan not having you on a plane the rest of your life, and about God finding humans a “hoot”, had me ROTFL!
    I continue to be blown away at how the Holy Spirit has brought out such magnificent, heartfelt, and vivid writing from every single one of the Team’s blog-posters over the past 2 weeks. I salute all of you!

    To the Leaders: THANK YOU for being who God made you…and for leading these young people on this expedition!

    To Abigail & Andrew: Your earthly father loves you, misses you, and is looking forward to having “y’all” back home.

  6. Kirstin, you are an amazing writer! I’m glad you enjoyed the traveling!

  7. Amazing writing, Kirsten!

    Grateful you are all home safely…and praying for the real journeys you are on now.

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