Confessions of a First-Timer 1


If the title didn’t give it away, this will be my first trip to Slovakia. Everyone I talk to about it asks me, “Are you so excited?” I always nod my head and agree that, “Yes, I am excited!”

But I’m also terrified.

Is it okay to admit that? I think it must be. I can’t be the only person who feels this way, right?

For me, this trip is a lot of firsts, and with any ‘first’ comes a pile of unknowns.

It’s my first…

*trip to Europe.

*time overseas without my family.

*experience working with EFL students.

I’ve had my passport for nine years, and by the end of this week I’ll get it stamped for the first time, too. All of these things are terribly exciting.

But like I said, all of these firsts come with so many unknowns.

Will I pack everything I need to bring? Will my nightmare of leaving my passport and one of my bags at home come true? What if I get lost somehow? What if I can’t make connections with my team or the students?

And before I know it, those unknowns can spiral out of control. I know this from experience. I’m a first-class worrier. Thankfully, I’m reminded of one of our team Scripture passages for the trip: Isaiah 43:1-2. The Lord says, “‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.'” 

He says to me, “Dana, you’re not going to forget your passport, and I won’t let you get lost. I’ve got this under control. Trust me.”

What a relief to know that we can trust the unknowns to an all-knowing God. He’s called all of us to this adventure, and He goes before us to prepare us for the tasks ahead. I might be a first-timer, but my God certainly isn’t!

I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel more confident about the work He’s called us to do, and I’m not as afraid. I can tell you with confidence that, “Yes, I am so excited!!” I cannot wait to see this beautiful country and meet these wonderful people I’ve heard so much about over the last few months.

Now packing, on the other hand, is an entirely different story! 😉

Isaiah 43:1-2a


One thought on “Confessions of a First-Timer

  • John Mcdonald

    So very cool, Dana. Thanks so much for sharing! With love in Jesus, His friend and your servant, John

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