Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) (02/19/09)
TITLE: The Fog That Was Europe
By Johanna Anderson
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When I traveled to Europe as a college student, I was lost and confused. The Lord had his hand on me, protecting me, even though I was not yet a Christian. If it had not been for Godís covering, I surely would have died. Drugs, sex, and mental illness filled my days. I felt at times that I had left my body and was hovering over it, disconnected.
Scotland and England were scary enough; France was terrifying. Being in a country where I did not speak the language was like visiting another planet. People were a blur, and I always seemed to be walking in the opposite direction from everyone else.
Years later, after I had become a Christian, I went back to Europe, this time to Romania. Mental illness still dogged my every step. I seemed to be hanging on by a delicate thread.
Am still hanging on by a delicate thread? I donít really know, because my life is so ordered and secure here at home. I donít take a lot of chances these days. However, when I do venture outside of my comfort zone, panic is never far away.
I homeschool our three children, and sometimes, I feel as though I donít really exist at all. I could use a little Europe in my daysÖ.or could I, really? I remember being in a psychiatric hospital in France and another in England. THAT was the tenor of my European experience. Is it that to which I want to return?
I know that I donít want to be insane. Home,however, seems empty at times, bereft of adventure. I sacrifice every day. I feel, along with Paul, that ďI am being poured out as a drink offering.Ē The precious moments of my life are ebbing away. Iím pouring them out, and Iíll never see them again.
Iíve been to Scotland, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Romania. While I was in Europe, my head was in a buzzing whirl.
Life now is a process of giving, giving, and giving some more. Of the confusion and the sacrifice, which do I prefer?
Perhaps the freakiness of Europe is not so different, after all, from the dolor of being a homeschool mom. After all, what is the difference, qualitatively, between monotony and sheer terror?
Perhaps one day, something will happen to make me feel that I am truly alive. Until then, I will keep forging ahead into the fog of predictability that is my life. And I cannot, will not forget the fog that was Europe.
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