In just about 12 hours I’ll be traveling from DEN to EWR and finally to TLV. The airport has become a second home of sorts for me over the last six years. It’s been over three years since my last Passages trip and over two years since I’ve in Israel. The gravity of all that has transpired and changed over these years is quite a bit. It’s more than I have the capacity to recall. And yet I sense God is beckoning me to return with these eyes of mine; to steal a phrase from a dear friend, with “grief healed” and “grief filled” eyes. I’ve lost track of how many trips I’ve taken to Israel…we’ve made it to the double digits. And God is consistent in meeting me in only ways that He can.
Over six years ago I took my first trip to Israel and spent a semester studying in Jerusalem. It changed my life, in more ways than I can really say. It changed my heart, my eyes, my capacity, my mindset. In the years since, I’ve had the privilege to be involved with and work for Passages. It’s been one of the greatest gifts and honors of my life to call such incredible people friends, co-workers, co-laborers, and the ultimate dream team. The last time I led a Passages trip was over three years ago and I went to Croatia for a week afterward. I remember the palpable gravity of that journey. My last trip to Israel was a little over two years ago in March of 2019. I had just moved to Croatia and had the opportunity to be equipped with discipleship training in Israel. My life looked so different then. I was living in Europe, doing youth ministry, adjusting to a whole new life that I was in for the long haul. Tomorrow I leave for Israel again. Except now I’m living in America, living a life I never expected to. Yet, I’m grateful; on the precipice of some holy ground, walking by the leadership of the Spirit, with these grief healed eyes. I’m believing I’m seen, known, and loved on this grand journey.