The year before was one of the hardest.
God did some big things in my heart on that trip, but it's taken me the entire past year to fully embrace this freedom. (Although I think this state of "freedom" is something that we all have to constantly be re-evaluating because there is SO much in this world that we so easily allow to hold us back.)
I'm so fascinated by the idea that life is a journey. Where you are today is a result of where you were in the past and the decisions you made there. Likewise, the decisions you are making today are going to determine where you go in the future.
I've learned that it's the not-so-fun seasons of life that make the sweet things in life even sweeter. You learn not to take the good things, no matter how simple, for granted. Those not-so-fun seasons can change you. Let them soften your heart, open your eyes.
Here's my encouragement to you (and I speak to myself): embrace your season. I realize that some things about it may be less than ideal, but if you let it, this season will make you a better person, better prepared for whatever it is that lies ahead.