Sometimes when we travel, where God takes our heart is more significant than where He takes us physically. Read on as Carmen Brown shares how God used a bold decision to travel out of her comfort zone to comfort her heart.
In 2012, I was anxiously waiting on the floor of a international airport for my flight to be called when I realized the date.
I never dreamt of traveling. I was a homebody by nature. Home was my safe place. It was familiar, easy, and convenient. And since I was terrified of flying, traveling was definitely something that did not interest me.
Eight weeks prior to me sitting in a international airport, my parents expressed to me that taking a trip would be the best thing I could do for myself. They knew my forced three week vacation from work was coming and suggested traveling.
My mother was just weeks away from another international travel and told me how exploring had given her a new perspective of God’s creation.
By the end of dinner, flights and hotels were planned.
I was terrified. I thought there was no way I could do a ten hour flight by myself. Let alone, travel through Europe without knowing anyone or anything.
As the day of departure loomed larger so did my anxiety and fear. I did not sleep for three days prior which secretly I was happy about. I thought if I got onto the plane sleep deprived, I may sleep through the flight.
It was now minutes before boarding. My palms were clammy and my stomach couldn’t hold anything down.
I was anxious to get through the next ten hours. But as I sat on that floor waiting to board, I looked at my phone and saw the date.
It did not hit me till that moment that I was boarding to an unknown place and facing my fears the same day I felt my life crashing down one year prior. It was the day I was served with divorce papers.
As a young Christian wife, it was a day where my fears came to life. Divorce from a man that I had loved. The man I desired to serve God with was leaving me for another woman. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, grief stricken, and abandoned by him and God.
Minutes later I walked onto the plane pondering the date. I buckled in and the strangest thing happened. No fear or anxiety.
I prayed fervently for God to show me what He wanted me to learn from the trip.
He spoke to me immediately, “I will take you to unknown places. I will restore you and your land. You will see the great depth of my love for you and how far it will go. You will see that I have never forsaken you and never will”
Once those words hit my spirit, I received it. I was at peace.
When I woke up eight hours later I looked out my window and saw one of the greatest views. I was staring down in awe of God’s wondrous works. The ocean was as far as I could see. The land before us had the richest green I have ever seen. The view of the two coming together reminded me of the words God had spoken to me hours before.
When I stepped off the plane in Paris I received my first stamp on my passport. From that moment I walked with boldness and began my tour of Europe.
Within fifteen days of traveling I received four international stamps to places I never thought I would see. A train ride from Paris to Florence showed me the most majestic views. No words could ever do justice to the views I have seen. To this day the beauty of it is too deep for me to express.
The mornings I woke up to jog around the Eiffel tower could never be described as anything less than of renewal and peace.
Late night walks through the streets of Italy could never be expressed without a deep sigh of relief and freedom.
When I landed at home fifteen days later, the past was the past. My depression and anxiety was of the old. I was renewed and full of hope for the future. I felt beautiful and worthy for the first time. My confidence as a woman of God soared that day. I was excited for the unexpected plan that was coming my way.
Carmen Brown is the creator of Married by His Grace blog. She actively writes to women who are desiring to build their home with the Word of God. Her passions involve staying connected with her family, drinking an immense amount of coffee daily, and developing content that will help and encourage new Christian Bloggers. You can connect with Carmen on her blog, Instagram, and Pinterest.
[widget id=”text-15″ title=”0″]
Linking up with Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement, Susan B. Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart
Carmen, thanks for sharing your story — I’m reminded that everything that happens in our lives is raw material for God to use in the transformation process. May He give us eyes to see and willing hearts to cooperate in the process!
Yes, Amen! It truly is for a transformation. It’s funny how we don’t even see it while it is happening but thankfully if we allow the process we get to the reap the goodness of it all.
This sounds like such a tremendous experience. How beautiful that God orchestrated such beautiful redemption one year to the day of that fateful day. Happy you had such an amazing God experience my friend?
I am blessed beyond words for that experience. I never imagined traveling. It was something that was never a thought to me but to think that God planned it the way He did made me appreciate everything that happened on that trip even more. I realized it all happened because of Him and only Him.
Such a beautiful message! And, when we were stationed in Germany, Florence was one of my favorite places to visit!! I loved it all…except for the climb down from the top of Il Duomo! Love how God took you out of your comfort zone to show you how to be comforted by Him. I have a feeling that’s what this next move is about for me! Blessings!
Wow, Germany! I bet that was beautiful! I hope to travel again when I know its Gods will and hopefully see more of Europe. Now that I knw getting out of my comfort zone wasn’t so bad lol. I hope you enjoy what God has in store for you!
Wow, thank you for taking me via Europe. I felt each of your emotions getting transformed because the Lord promised to do a new and good thing for you and yes ,He indeed did it for u,Carmen.
I have been to Paris as well and it is beautiful but nothing can be more beautiful than our Lord who brings peace and restoration in our lives.
Thank you Rachel for hosting !!!
God bless you both:)
Diana, You are so right about nothing being more beautiful than what God does in our lives. I love thinking about those amazing sights in Europe but none of those memories are without feeling Gods presence because I know that’s what made my trip even better!
Thank you for sharing your strength and hope. Our church has been in crisis for a few years now. Recently where the truth has hurt the majority of families. My struggle is to work through the emotional roller coaster. I like the last sentence you wrote, “Our words and actions need to point to God instead of showcasing our humanness.” It brought to mind my al-anon days and the three encouraging words I heard on christian radio… showcase hope, compassion and discernment putting God’s principles before personalities.
Exodus 14:14 will be my new mantra. I have been using 2 Thessalonians 3:5, May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Jesus Christ’s perseverance. Keep up the salt and light. Miriam
Thank you Mariam for your encouragement and for your reminder of Gods word. My prayer is that Gods word and truth will encourage your church and will strengthen you as you endure with your church. A hurt within our church is one of the hardest things to bear but prayerfully the transformation you all are processing through right now will be well received and appreciated once the growing pains of it all is over.