In 2012 my family spent two months in Hannover, Germany, while I taught a graduate class. It was an incredible trip. One we continue to talk about as a key part of our family history.
Yet it wasn’t until we were about to come back that I learned the contract for Shadowed by Grace was on the way.
Why would that matter? Because we only had one free weekend left before we flew home, and we choose to spend that with friends we had made, rather than force a trip to Italy into the plans. A part of me has always regretted that. I spent so much time researching and writing about Tuscany during World War II, that readers who had traveled to the area couldn’t believe I’d never been. But I hadn’t.
Still it has been a deep desire of mine to visit. So much so that I teased Eric our 20th anniversary would be in Italy. I just knew we had to come see this amazing place.
Now we are here. Sunday evening I had a welcome dinner with 29 undergrads I’ll be shepherding the next 4 weeks. Two weeks I’ll be with them every day as I teach. The rest of the time, I will be connecting with them frequently and attending day trips with them.
The incredible part? We are in the heart of Tuscany. The heart of where Shadowed by Grace occurred. And it’s only a few months after our 20th anniversary!
And it got me thinking, what if God gives us the desires of our heart?
You see, the first trip to Germany, I spent so much time focused on what I was supposed to learn and how I was supposed to change as a result that my dad finally had to remind me that sometimes our Abba Daddy simply gives good gifts. And now it’s happened again. In the realm of eternity, does it truly mattered that we spend these four weeks here? I don’t know.
But here we are. Exploring and growing as a family with the help of a language barrier and new experiences. We’re back to learning how to use public transportation, find the grocery store, the laundry, etc.
And it’s wonderful.
What’s the quiet what-if in your heart? What’s the dream you almost don’t dare to hold up to God? What would happen if you dared to voice your dream to the God who already knows it. What if He gave it to you? What if?