Since my friend Kristin and I didn't have class today, we decided we would take a day trip to get waffles and chocolate.
It was just perfect.
Last night when in prayer over how to best spend my summer to further God's kingdom, I was overwhelmed by the Spirit with the idea that I am in an incredible place where God's light is clearly fading, and I am not doing everything I can to spread the gospel right now, which is just so wrong! Then this morning when waiting at the train station because I forgot my Eurail pass the first time around and had to go back, Kristin and I got into conversation with a woman who was having a hard time with a man she was with and was trying to figure out where she wanted to live for the rest of her life. She described the beauty of a simple life to us, allowing us to slow down our thoughts of big city adventures and imagine the loveliness of life in the countryside. After listening to her share her story with us in her broken English, Kristin asked her if we could pray for her, and she gratfully let us. It was so cool for us to have the chance to share Jesus's love with her before hoping on our train and heading out on our midweek daytrip! If I hasn't forgotten my Eurail pass, we would have never met her. It's crazy how God uses situations.
In Brugges, we decided that instead of looking through a camera lens, we wanted to look through our hearts (quote credit to Kristin) as we saw the beauty that surrounded us. So whenever we came across something beautiful, we stopped and just admired it, chatting about it or standing in silence. We didn't take pictures of the magical places we went to, but we really witnessed the magisty with our hearts and it led us to praise God together. The unphotographed beauty I witnessed today that will be forever engrained in my memory as perfect without trying to capture it in a picture includes a gorgeous canal with beautiful bridges and windowsills looking out onto the water, quaint streets of beautiful brick buildings of all different shades of red, the most incredible gothic cathedral I have ever set foot in with jawdropping sculptures and architecture even when under construction, a fantastic city center of cobblestone streets surrounded by cafes and shops of every variety, tons of chocolate shops that ignite all of my senses simply by the smell when I walk in, the secret gardens of a secluded convent from the 1300s that look like they came straight out of a beautiful movie, a park by the river full of incredible swans swimming peacefully, and a monestary in which God's presence was clear.
Since it's a Tuesday in the middle of February, basically the most untouristy time of year possible, we got to really see the little city as it is, and we absolutely fell in love with it. We got to talk with and buy chocolate from the cutest little old chocolate shop lady I have ever met. We talked with the woman running her handmade Belgium lace shop about how she made it, and she gave us a little demonstration and left us with the simple yet powerful remark that "making something is always fun." We stopped in the middle of a monestary and prayed for each other and our future husbands. We wandered in and out of any place we thought looked interesting, talking with locals (even just asking for directions) and eating lots of Belgium chocolate all the while.