When I was a sophomore in college, I studied abroad for a semester in England. I believe there were fifteen girls and ten guys in our group. We lived in two houses next door to each other. We studied together, shared all of our meals, traveled together, worshiped together, etc, etc.
It was a pivotal chapter in my life—spiritually and emotionally. I think it was for a lot of us. You could feel God working. So many conversations and experiences from that semester will stay with me forever. Whispered words between four girls on a late night bus ride from Oxford to London, watching a powerful thunderstorm roll in off the Mediterranean from a cliff in Cinque Terre, Italy, befriending a Australian in a Scottish hostel, watching a pack of wild horses canter past us during an Easter sunrise devotional…God was there in all of it, working in our hearts and creating an unbreakable bond among us.
I’m so thankful for the opportunity I had to share that time with that particular group of people. These days, I don’t see many of them too often. We keep in touch via Facebook or Instagram. Oh, that’s a depressing sentence for an old fashioned girl like me. It’s a good thing I’ve heard talk of a reunion in the works. I follow some of their blogs. Several of my study abroad friends are incredibly talented writers. No matter where they are or how long it’s been since we’ve spoken, I still care for each of them. The thing about shared history is that when you have meaningful experiences with people then you associate them with the emotions you felt at the time. Because that semester was such a positive, life-giving time for me, I think happy thoughts when I think about those friends. I will always feel a connection with them, but beyond that, thinking about them is truly uplifting. And I think that’s pretty cool.