This is a challenging question to answer...let me tell you!
Of course the trivial answer is: "amazing." But that word does not even begin to do justice to the things I learned, the friends I made or the experiences I had. It doesn't do justice to the greatness and the faithfulness of God.
There is so much that I could share, and so much I feel like I'm still processing in my head and trying to sort through in my mind.
While studying at Ellel our group was given a free-writing day near the end of my time there. They said we could write on whatever we wanted. My mind raced about all the things I could write about, and the things I felt like God had been teaching me, but I didn't know quite where to start. The woman leading the session said if we were 'stuck' we could pick up a slip of paper from the front with some words on it, to use it as a sort of prompt. So that is what I decided to do.
The words were these: distant. pathway. whisper. As soon as I saw these words, I knew instantly where God was leading me to write.
The result is what follows. I decided I would share this here (for those interested) as it is just a good window into some of the things that God was speaking to my heart during the sweet season he had me in England.
I've been walking on a pathway for as long as I can remember.
Straight and narrow the path has seemed to be.
I have strived to keep you in my sight and guard your words in my heart,
And yet you've often seemed so distant. You've seemed far.
I am told time and time again that you are near- that you are close.
But I can't quite grasp that with my mind.
The creator of the universe near to me?
Choosing to dwell in me?
You who set the moon and the stars in place,
You who spoke with the patriarchs throughout the ages and the saints of days gone by.
Can I be so bold as to wait with similar expectation?
With a longing in my heart for the God of creation to speak with me?
Your Word says you speak in whispers, in a still small voice.
Is that it Lord?
Have I looked for writing on a wall,
When instead you have written the answer on my heart?
Have I longed for you to part the raging seas of my life,
When instead you have walked me through them, holding me by your mighty hand?
Have I wanted to see your glory in a burning bush,
When instead you have given me a blazing passion in my heart?
Have I demanded a sign like a wicked and adulterous generation,
When instead I should see that in my life you have never left me or forsaken me?
Distant you cannot be. I will believe this lie no more.
On this familiar pathway I will remain.
Listening for your whispers.
Knowing they are all around.