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  • Writer's pictureBrooke

I'm Going On a Trip

I'm going on a trip and I'm taking my banana, my book bag, my hula hoop, my water bottle, my scuba diving shoes...

Have you ever played the game "I'm going on a trip"? My dad and my brother used to play all the time. It's a memory game and the list of things you are bringing just gets longer and longer.

But just like this game, how things just keep accumulating, things in our life start accumulating in our minds. Every stage, every journey affects us differently.

We need to choose what we want to keep carrying in our backpack from these different stages, different stories, different places we have been through.

We get to choose what thoughts we will continue to think on, which patterns we will continue to deepen. We don't get to choose what happens to us but we do get to choose our response and what we will do with the life we have in front of us. That life is precious and valuable- every moment, every day, every relationship we make.

What am I going to take with me from my life and hold with me forever from high school? High school was an extremely lonely and difficult time in my life. I want to remember that God was my friend, that He was my companion. I want to remember that what other people say about you isn't always true- other people do not define your identity. I want to remember that I was more than ok going solo. Honestly, I grew so much internal strength and confidence through high school because I didn't always have so much external validation and friends. High school was a time of so much transition and growth for me.

From my year in Peru, I want to treasure the strength God gave me to conquer my medical fears. I know that I never would have become a nurse if God didn't first send me overseas as an 18 year old to help in the Amazon jungle. I want to treasure the amazing and beautiful friendships that I made there- the authenticity of the love that was shared to me and the freedom to be exactly who I was without judgement. I will forever remember the sweet beautiful Peruvians as well as my fellow missionaries who spent so much time laughing with me, cooking wonderful food, and teaching me many medical skills.

From college, I want to remember the boldness and bravery it took to become a Gym Master and learn so many new acro skills. I want to remember the way God provided for me to to make the team just so I could try something new and take my juggling skills to the next level. For the nice guy, that helped me learn two highs and told me to keep trying. For the coach that saw potential and let me perform circus acts. In college, I want to remember the difficulties of nursing school and how God took me through it. I want to treasure the friendships God gave me. I'm so grateful that I went to Southern Adventist University for college as it was some of my most fun years.

From working as a nurse after college on night shifts, I want to remember the patient who told me I was her favorite. The patient that became a nurse herself because I took care of her and told me I was the reason why. For this and this alone, I can always remind myself that becoming a nurse was worth it. I want to remember the patient who wrote a book herself and gave it to me for taking care of her and said I inspired her. I want to remember the good patients, the good memories, because on night shift there were many hard, difficult memories. I want to remember tucking a couple of sweet princesses goodnight and reading them a short story before bed. These will always be my favorite memories of nursing.

From Kenya, I want to remember that I can be brave and that I am more competent and smart than what I give myself credit for. I want to remember the first baby I ever delivered with my own two hands- the beauty and glory of that moment- which of course I give God total credit for. For how beautiful, how miraculous is a birth of a healthy baby. I want to remember the Masai warrior women who live difficult lives but choose to perservere against the odds daily.

These are just a few special memories...tokens of growth that I will take with me. These are gemstones I will tuck into my backpack and luggage to remind me of who I am and who my God is, no matter where in the world I may be.

No matter what this life throws against me, I know that with God, I am protected against the strongest storm. I have power through Him to walk on waters and soar over mountains. With Christ as my Savior, I can overcome the strongest adversaries because Christ gives me strength.

I encourage you to spend some time sorting through some of your memories- and some of the things you carry with you from different seasons in your life. Think about what is in your backpack or in your luggage as you live on. Evaluate if you want it there. If you are carrying something that is not bringing joy in you or in others and is not drawing you closer to Jesus, have the strength to re-surrender it to God and release it.

Our life is full of travels and we have to have a backpack to carry our things in but not everything is meant to be brought along. Some things are only for a season =) May Christ give you strength to carry only what you need.

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