amtrak thoughts

life in motion.JPG

i’m on my way back to pittsburgh today! it’s always bittersweet saying see you later to my friends and family back home, but it’s also with a thrill of excitement that i step onto the train platform (and then a thrill of panic when i realize i’m on the wrong side and rush to the other just as the engine comes steaming in. always an adventure, friends.)

within the past couple of years, trains have become my favorite mode of travel. they lack the airport stress and inner ear discomfort of flying, and while the views may not be quite as spectacular as seeing the world sprawled out like a map beneath you, they’re still something to marvel at. i love the hours of peace, solitude and reflection they provide, their gentle invitation to spend time with the thoughts i’ve often been neglecting. they’re an opportunity to let go of the hustle-bustle for a period of time and allow myself to gaze out the window at the mountains and rivers rolling by — without feeling guilty over the fact that there are a hundred more productive things i could be doing instead.

the place i’m currently in is a lot like that. i have a month and a half left of undergrad before i’m tossed into what people call the real world. i’m subletting a room in a house full of gracious and quirky friends until the end of the summer. i’m living and working in the city i’ve come to call home, but my internship and my apartment have a deadline.

after that, i’m back to square one. or maybe more accurately square zero, since this is the first time i’ve ever had not the slightest clue what comes next.

for the longest time, the thought of graduating college and being thrust into actual adulthood filled my stomach with dread. i refused to dwell on it long enough for it to become a reality. i’ve never been a planner, but i also don’t like having an empty schedule. i find comfort in opening up google calendar and seeing the rainbow of little boxes telling me what to expect for the upcoming day or week or month, and knowing that those colorful boxes turn white after august is downright terrifying.

however, recently God has been teaching me how to live this life in the inbetween. he has been showing me what true rest looks like after four years of full schedules and last-minute study sessions, of panicked paper writing and tearful all-nighters. (don’t get me wrong, education is great. procrastination is not. if you know me at all, you’ll know that i am a master of the latter.) he has been opening my eyes to see that i’ve been fumbling around in the dark for the longest time, trying to find the light switch on my own when he’s been holding out a lamp all along.

he’s been teaching me to trust him in the waiting, to put all of my hope in his love for me and and to offer my fear of the future into his hands every single day – moment by moment, breath by breath. he’s been helping me to embrace this time of transition as a gift, not a curse or a failure or something to be ashamed of.

he’s teaching me to enjoy the train ride.

“eternity is not for later. God weaves eternity into our minutes. every day, he is creating minute after minute, and he hands us the grace we need for each one as they come. worry and anxiety show up when we try to rush ahead into the minutes that haven’t been made yet. there is no art in anxiety.” – emily p. freeman, a million little ways

– ktl


One thought on “amtrak thoughts

  1. Roxanne Holcomb

    Katie, thanks for sharing your “train” post. I love trains and backpacked Europe using the Eurail pass from 1975-76. My husband and children have enjoyed trains here and in Europe and our son is an Amtrak Engineer…so, I guess I’m a train geek.


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