Ashton RayComment

May 28th

Ashton RayComment
May 28th

i'm writing this from a corner in the international terminal of the Atlanta airport, waiting for the hours to pass and the time to come for me to board my final plane. i'm leaving for Spain today, flying through the night and passing time into a foreign world. 

Here's the thing though: i'm not excited. 

i know, it's nuts. i've been given this outrageous opportunity to spend the month of June learning Spanish and experiencing things i never dreamed of. i am getting to take a break from my monotonous life in the States and go to Europe. i get to call Salamanca my home for four full weeks. i'm insane. How am i not excited to go to Europe? 

It's important to note that i'm pissed that i'm not excited. (i can hear my therapist's voice now: "Ashton, don't be mad that you're feeling what you are.") But since airplanes make me incredibly introspective and i am incredibly introverted, i dove into my journal in attempt to figure myself out. 

To understand why i wasn't excited, i had to realize that i've spent three weeks resting at home. Since i left Jackson the first week of May, i've done everything familiar. i've drove on streets i could navigate with my eyes closed. i ran into my elementary school guidance counselor. i ate at the restaurant i worked at in high school. i spent an abundant amount of time alone. i read four, yes, four, books. Nothing was foreign and everything was easy. As an extreme introvert, it was peace. And leaving that, to do anything, even go to Europe, is hard. Knowing that i have to leave my introvert paradise is scary. 

As i was writing and praying i realized this: i would be incredibly boring if i weren't a follower of Christ. 

i have to face the facts and be honest with the world and admit that i only do exciting things because i believe i'm called to. Every time i've left the country, it's been to serve Jesus. Every time i've traveled in the States, it's been because of Jesus. He gives me the guts to buy plane tickets and get off my ass. Without Him, i'd just sit around and read and drink coffee all day. With Him, i get to read and drink coffee while on a plane to meet Him in new places. Heck, i wouldn't even have tattoos if i weren't a follower of Christ.

i am reading a book about living creatively. After i journaled my thoughts and allowed grace for the lack of excitement and started to believe the good in this experience, i decided that reading would be that airport-camp activity. And this book opens taking about fear and the writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, states plainly: "Fear is boring." Naturally, i laughed. She is so right.

Fear is boring. Ashton without Jesus is boring. Ashton without Jesus would also be drowning in fear. 

i have the word, "brave" tattooed on my left arm. i got it in September of 2014 after i spent two months in Guatemala. i felt like it was my word. Jesus told me that my bravery is His favorite thing about me. That's something that sticks with you-- so i got it permanently written on my arm. Let me state that my bravery is blindly following Him into situations because i know that my eyes won't do me any good. i had to remind myself of that this morning. He makes me brave (yes, the song had something to do with the tattoo). 

i'm about to go find my gate and wait for my plane. Spain is happening and i promise i am more excited now than i was when i woke up this morning. Jesus has things for me there, just as He will anywhere else He calls me. His plans are so much cooler than mine.