Creativity. Adventure. Wholehearted Living.

It Hit Me Driving Home For Christmas


'The highway sets the travellers stage' a poignant line from one of my favourite road trip songs and the perfect access point for this post that is staged on a 'highway', or if you're british, a motorway. Yesterday I spent five and a half hours on the road, 'driving home for christmas' in my trusty beast, Mufasa the Landy who cruises at a steady 60mph making my journey home slower than most. Doing this drive alone with my limited 6-disc-CD player, allowed my thoughts to run wilder than usual, which usually isn't a good thing, but on this occasion, I am grateful becuase it got me here...


"Lights will guide you home" - Coldplay knew what they were doing when they sang these words. Although Chris Martin and I might be driving home different points (pun intended), here is how this one line has never made more sense to me than it does right now.

2016, as previously mentioned, has been wild. From finishing my undergrad-degree, to starting a masters-degree and trying to relentlessly figure out life as an 'independent adult' while simultaneously working towards building a future, figuring out how to change the world, end poverty and corruption, find a way to undo brexit and trump, as well as find time for cross-country adventures with the people I love has been all kinds of crazy. Phew. A lot of that was meant to be funny. So.. ha. Anyway.

The biggest change in my life this year was getting to a point of no return with my faith. Surrendering myself and my desires to God, and then admitting publicly that I was ashamed of this choice in a blog post was a line in the sand for my life.

It marked the start of a new journey. Despite what the world said about Christians and church, I would choose to live a life following Jesus boldly in order to show the world, alongside so many other incredible christians, that a life with God is not only the best life, but an adventurous one, full of mystery and fun.

In all of this, the biggest battle has been trusting the plan God so evidently has. I'm always going on about how He is in the detail, becuase time and time again, this is what I experience. However, this year has been a long road full of twists and unexpected turns, which cause me to doubt and worry no matter how many times I see each turn work out far better than I could have imagined it in the first place. I am learning to trust God because it seems that His way is better suited to me than my way.

In my daily decision to seek God's face and hear his whispers, I can confidently move forward with my life in the direction that is right. Us 20-somethings are permanently battling with "the-world-is-your-oyster" syndrome, one that is shaping an entire economy of freelancers and nomads. We are all looking for the best life, and terrified of making any permanent decisions in case we miss out on whatever we're leaving behind.

My drive home yesterday helped me make sense of why having God in my life eliminates any anxiety over this.

If you're familiar with the A30 heading out of Cornwall, you will know that when the sun sets, the only thing showing you where to go are your headlights. Tuesday evening isn't exactly a peek travel time so it comes with no surprise that I was one of the few cars on the road. Driving in complete darkness for miles when it hit me. No not literally because I am a great driver. ha. But figuratively, a metaphor dropped out of the sky and smacked in to my moving vehicle.

The road was my life. And Mufasa's headlights was God shining just enough light on the road in front of me to keep me in the right lane, safely giving me enough time to make the next turn and continue home. Every now and then giant trucks slowed me down. The rain came and the rain went. I witnessed both roadkill (those poor bunnies) and horrendous driving. Yet through it all, I was safe and able to see exactly what I needed to in that specific moment of the journey.

As Christians this is the kind of life journey we are blessed with. We aren't promised a life without rain or roadkill, but we are promised comfort and peace to deal with it all. We are gifted with 'confident hope' and in that we should rejoice.

12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. (Romans 12:12 NLT) 

So let's take this confident hope home with us for Christmas, knowing that God holds the map to our heart's desires, He placed them there and wants nothing more than to see us reach those desires and while birthing even bigger dreams within us.

So as you drive home for christmas, I pray that you experience this confident hope, and of course, that you never lose your wander!

Ash xxx

Ps. My intention for Beyond Paper Planes was never for it to be a blog about faith, it was intended to be about travel and culture, but the more I am learning about life, the more it makes sense that soulful conversation needs to be had and meaningful issues need to be discussed. Posts like these seem to hold more importance to me than 'what to pack when planning your trip to paris' and therefore are a priority... Although now that I type it, Paris deserves to be written about too! ha. I hope you've enjoyed my terrible humour and have a brilliant few days leading up to Christmas.