Summer catch up: Nashville!

Days abroad: 175

We are almost at the end of our catch up posts for tonight!

After one night back in Austin, after Haiti and another brief upset stomach in Atlanta, I headed to Nashville to visit an old childhood best friend that I had not seen in 14 years! I was nervous that it was going to be an awkward visit and so I arrived in Nashville on a one-way ticket, but quickly decided that I’d found home and was going to stay for two weeks.

My first week in Nashville was largely spent serving at VBS in the mornings and napping in the afternoons – the kiddos really took it out of me! (Pro tip: if serving at two events/trips, plan off time in between…) It was so nice to come home to a family that understood me, knew how I do life and knew my story. It felt like home in a way Austin never has, because it contained my past and my family. Being given my own space and the freedom to spend hours napping or just chilling in my room was so necessary. At first it felt rude, but I realised that I had not spent any time with myself, taking care of myself or resting, in three weeks. I will forever be thankful to my Nashville family for providing me with a space to recover from the last month’s ups and downs. We visited the farmer’s market and Franklin Factory where they took me to a South African butcher for some biltong! Talk about really feeling at home!

I attended bible study with my friend three times while I was in Nashville and God moved so powerfully each time. One week I was sobbing before the Lord so badly that I had snot everywhere – TMI but unfortunately very real, it got ugly fast. It was great to be in a church environment similar to the one I have back home where the Holy Spirit is free to move and minister as He needs to, which made Nashville feel that much more like home. The people were so welcoming and immediately pulled me into their community; one that I already miss and would give anything to go visit again!

The second week in Nashville was spent touristing, resting and dog sitting in Franklin. It was so much fun! It was in this week that I really got to spend time with my friend, get to know her and really enjoy how similar we are despite growing up a world apart with minimal contact. Nashville is a beautiful, busy, classy city and Franklin definitely deserves it’s title as one of the best small towns in the USA – I would go back in a heartbeat for sure! The south really has stolen my heart, it’s not just Texas but the entire South. I honestly don’t know how I am ever going to go back to Dunedin and freeze my butt off for two more years…

Nashville you will see me again! Nashville family, if I don’t catch you again before you go back to Christchurch I am overjoyed to say that I will see you at home and thank you so much for having me!

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