I write from a sunlit (not to be taken for granted here in Scotland) staff room in a small, ministry-oriented Christian hostel in Edinburgh.
The lounge area at the Light House Hostel where I lived this past week+
I arrived in Edinburgh last Tuesday, still unsure whether I’d be able to stay or study; still unsure whether this was where I was supposed to be or if it was all a wild goose chase. At this moment in time, significant hoops still remain fixed between now and being able to call Edinburgh home for the coming year. However, the underlying conviction that Edinburgh is where I am meant to be for now persists. My only choice is to keep edging forward and doing my due diligence and asking God to come through.
…(Concluded from a coffee shop in Edinburgh’s International Airport.)
I have reached the conclusion of nine packed days in Edinburgh. Getting to walk the streets of an esteemed, classic, truly international city steeped in history and pulsing with students and activity was a unique pleasure. There aren’t many cities like it.
Dark and stormy, but a taste of the architecture in Edinburgh
They say you can experience all four seasons in a day in Scotland, and even in the short span I experienced, it seems true — a day could start out enticingly warm and sunny and, in a matter of minutes, drop 15 degrees, become completely clouded over, and pelt you with icy rain, and then flit back to beautiful again. I’m interested to see how winter intensifies conditions. It gives me a new appreciation for the Scottish population.
I look forward to the days (hopefully coming soon) when the frenzied dust-devil that is my life settles and I’ll be able to simply write reflections or musings to post here rather than hastily try to catch everyone up on the last week or two of countries, airports, updates, and continents. For now though:
Upon my arrival, the student visa I hoped to procure while here in Europe proved much more slippery and unattainable than I had hoped based on preliminary reading (moral of the story: Always read any government literature pertaining to visas MANY times, CAREFULLY, and preferably with your friendly neighborhood consulate employee by your side to help interpret and make sure you don’t come to mis-conclusions.)
Some of the fantastic folks I’ve met here
Though my introductory week in Edinburgh helped confirm for me that yes, this is where I feel that I am supposed to be this year, it also waylaid my visa process. Thus, instead of having arrived this week with all the other bright-eyed students outfitted with crisp new rain jackets and painstakingly-obtained student visas gleaming in their passports, I am flying back to the States and fervently praying that God would grant me wisdom, favor, and basic comprehension as I jump through visa hoops. If all goes well, I am scheduled to fly back to Edinburgh next Friday the 21st and arrive on Sunday in time for the second week of classes.
The University of Edinburgh’s clubs and activities fair this week
The other missing puzzle piece that’s leaving a rather gaping hole in the center of the image right now is accommodation. Though there are lots of possibilities, connections, and networks through which the word is being circulated about my need, I do not yet have a place to live when I arrive back in Edinburgh. Thanks to multiple circles of incredible, hospitable people I got to meet and live with while in town this past week+, I don’t foresee resorting to sleeping under a bridge or anything when I arrive next week if something doesn’t come through. However, I fervently pray that the day will come soon when I have a shiny new student visa in my passport and a long-term home arranged — something I have realized that I have waited a long time to find. I don’t even need the crisp new rain jacket.
P.S. — I’ll be in Chicagoland until Friday the 21st. I don’t have my phone number, but hit me up online (or just come find me) if you want to connect while I’m State-side!