I recently went on a trip to Israel, and I began writing this post early in the morning after we arrived. My intentions were to actually blog the entire trip, but quite honestly it didn’t take long for my thoughts to be completely consumed by the enchanted land that I was in. Also, the internet got a little sketchy by the time we got to Jerusalem. So there’s that.

As you read this, understand that my thoughts about the entire trip, from the people we went with to the food we ate to the things we experienced, is still a little murky…incomplete maybe. I have so much that I’m still processing, and it will take a couple more posts to even breach the surface of where my thoughts would like to go. But let’s at least start here. Part 1 of…a few. 

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It’s 2am here in a sleepy hillside town called Tiberius that looks out over the expansive Sea of Galilee in Israel, and I have found myself awake and realizing just where it is that I am.

My husband and I set off a couple days ago on a trip with 20 or so friends, and soon to be friends, to Israel with a group called the Israel Collective. Unfortunately, as I was traveling to Newark, NJ, where we were set to meet up with everyone else before heading out, I managed to get myself neck deep into some pretty bad food poisoning, which has left the first 72 hours of this trip a little blurry. Hence, why I’m beginning to process where exactly it is that I am at 2am.

Going into this trip, I had no expectations, no idea what we were going to see, unsure of feeling like I would fit in, and then kicked in the gut (literally) with a nasty bout of food poisoning that left me miserable and wanting to go home. I knew in the days before we left for Newark that I was supposed to be here, but my head and heart were filled with anxiety about leaving my kids and just the long travel in general. On top of all that anxiety, I tend to not spend lots of time thinking about the Bible, wondering about the stories that fill its pages, and I definitely don’t spend a consumptive amount of time even chatting with God, so I felt a little weird.

To be completely honest, I was wrestling hard.

I could feel that pull into knowing more about God, and being right here at ground zero of everything that I believe in is not a shabby way to get started. Though my first 24 hours here have been a little blurry thanks to meds, exhaustion, and my focus being more on trying not to throw up, I have one major thing that sticks out to me off the bat. As we gazed over the Sea of Galilee, our tour guide said, “There it is…Jesus walked on that water right there.” I knew right then that this trip was going to be something special. This trip was like a homecoming, where I could watch the stories that I’ve been hearing for over 30 years come to life. Where I could breathe in the same air, touch the same water, and stand in the same places that Jesus did…that they all did.

Surreal is the only way to describe it.

So with an open heart, mind, and soul, I am here. Palms up and arms open. I know that sounds a little a strange to some of you, heck it sounds a little strange to me, but it’s the truth. I would be wasting a trip, time, and an experience if I was anything less.

{{{Cover Photo By Esther Havens}}}

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