This Romancing

As I reflect on this summer, I can only sit here and marvel at everything we have seen and done. I think everyone here has experienced life through this program and can agree that we have already seen more than any of us could have ever imagined; and I am grateful for it all. Despite these seemingly satisfying visions and awe-inspiring moments, I have come to realize something that makes me view these captivating scenes drastically different. This monumental truth is wrapped up in God’s glory. Without seeing the earth’s beauty as God’s creation, these sights and experiences are void. As I give up my agenda and selfish heart’s desires for this summer, my Father continues to open my eyes to things unseen- things more beautiful. 

This realization and answered prayer reminds me of a book I read two years ago. From Stasi Eldridge, “Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you from the One who has been pursing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. God’s version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners come in the form of sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying trees, lush gardens, and fierce devotions.” Is this not in accordance of our reality here? This romancing is immensely personal… as if it had been exactly scripted for your heart. 

I feel known and satisfied in Ariccia, Rome, Budapest, Barcelona, Sorrento, and Paris. This is because I know my God is whispering love through the visions He gives me as I travel from place to place. Through the nature He has designed for me, He speaks, “You are known. You are loved. And all this is for you.” Through the little moments where I doubt Him or entertain a negative thought, He shows me an intriguing color or pattern in nature and I laugh at my wayward heart and thank Him for anchoring my soul to His goodness. I know that He alone satisfies the world. This is why I am drawn to experiencing this summer’s adventure with Him within me. He coddles me in His glory. I never want to leave. And I never have to. 

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:1, 3-4

In His love, Virginia Ramsey

Ninfa Gardens, described as “the most romantic gardens in the world”