i arrived in switzerland saturday night, after a few very long days.

my final essay was turned in on thursday at noon. friday all day was spent debriefing. then the goodbyes began. i tend to experience things in waves. i will be calm and collected, then one little thing will trigger an upheaval. this made saying goodbye to some much more mental: hug, say goodbye, you won’t see them, act excited for christmas and sad to leave, repeat. for others, i would be mid-conversation when i would realize that i was really going to miss them way too much to appropriately express at the moment. what made all of the goodbyes so much harder was knowing that it was not simply for a few months until we all would be reunited. my entire way of life for the past 3 1/2 months is over. i will not return and find my roommates, live in the same house, laugh at the same inside jokes, walk the same routes, perhaps even shop in the same grocery store. almost everything will be new again in a month’s time.

friday night i began packing when i decided that i should check-in online for my flight. i went to grab my passport, but, alas, it was not in my top desk drawer.  after some rummaging and rearranging, i proceeded to inform my roommates of the situation. we all began searching, but our room was already in post-war condition due to packing. i was holding it together reasonably well, until the waves hit again. sleep deprived and emotionally vulnerable me did not receive this stress well. i called my parents and the moment i told them i lost it. they prayed. my roommates prayed. i prayed. my prayers were probably the most ridiculous: “God, i know i was probably careless and stupid, and accidentally threw it out three weeks ago, but, wherever it is, please just miraculously transport it back into my room!” i had a flight to catch at 7:05 pm the next day to switzerland. neither the uk nor switz are in the european union, so i would need my passport. it also contained the student visa i paid over 200 us dollars for – my key for getting back into england in january. all the weight of potentially being stranded in a foreign country, when i was no longer the responsibility of my program (as of a few hours earlier), kept hitting me.

after continuing to look-pack-organize-sift-pace for quite some time i told my junior dean that it was a possibility that my passport may have been lost. he got me in contact with our dean of student affairs who talked me through what i may have to do: go the embassy, get an emergency passport, etc. it was all very helpful, but it did not ease the throbbing vacuum fortelling that my life would stop short a few hours into the future.

in need of a break, some friends and i decided to play some music for a while. just after beginning, however, i hear my roommates shrieking my name and pounding down the stairs. hardly daring to believe what could be the cause of their excitement, i burst from the room and collided with their smiling relieved faces and hands holding my dear passport. grinning and crying (no longer sobbing), i proceeded to emit sounds reminiscent of a southern revival service. those exclamations were echoed when i called my mom and told her.

what really happened: while i was downstairs, my roommate had begun moving things around on my desk, then once again opened the guilty drawer.  she pushed things aside for a while and then found it hidden under something which i have distinct memories of picking up and moving multiple times. there were not that many things in this drawer and the thing it had been found under was not sufficently sized to cover the entire passport.

my theories:

1) i am an idiot

2) God answered my outrageous prayers and materially relocated my passport from a dumpster somewhere

3) i had been blinded so that God could remind me how much i need Him

whichever of these were the case, a miracle was performed that night. PRAISE JESUS!

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