I’m going to India next fall. I’ll be there for at least four months. The application process has been fraught with more snags and snafus than I anticipated, but its official now, or as official as it can be until I step onto a plane, and my heart has been humbled and awed by the process. God is so much bigger than any plans I could have made for myself, and it leaves me astonished by his grace and tender care of my heart when I look backwards and realize how he prods and crafts my days into a plan much wiser and more creative than any I could have made or envisioned for myself.
I don’t necessarily know why India. All I know is that I have watched this country transform so many lives around me. The dust of others’ travels has filtered back across the ocean to leave a trail upon my life, a trail I want to follow and see and taste and touch for myself. I don’t know why India, except that when I close my eyes and think about it I hear God laughing and I feel his pleasure over his children and my heart. I don’t know why India, except that she keeps trying to filter into the stories that I want to write, and so I go to listen and watch, taste and smell, touch and learn what I cannot yet sense. I believe that India has a lot she wants to tell me, secrets she wants to whisper in my ear, lessons that can filter their way through my heart to the pages of my stories and the lives of those around me. Except for these, I don’t know why India—just an inward feeling I don’t think I can find words for, at least not yet.
I don’t necessarily know what in India either. It’s hard to make plans for India, or so I’m told. I’m going to work in the slums, but I don’t know what that looks like for individual weeks or days or hours, and even if I did, it would probably change. But that’s okay. I’m preparing myself to be unprepared, to set aside everything I think I know about India and let her introduce me to herself on her terms. Until then, I like dwelling in the unknown.