One of my favorite books is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. In it, Liz (as I so affectionately call her because I feel like I know her) recounts how she ate, prayed, and loved during her 12 months of travel to Italy, Indonesia, and India, respectively.
Me, having the Type A personality that I have and always being the one to try to make sense of things, decided it would be a cool idea to categorize the experiences I had in Greece just as Liz had in her book. I mean, what a cool theme for a trip?! I was going to 3 different cities— Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. In my mind, it was a given that I could perfectly label and associate each city with each action— eating, praying and loving.
Here were my findings:
In Mykonos, Greece we ate. Oh how we ate! We ate bakalava, crepes, gyros and skewers the size of our heads. We had delicious salads paired with amazing wines, appetizers that made you close your eyes and do a little dance. I even tried fava for the first time and loved it. My most favorite restaurant in Mykonos Village was Marco Polo. Everything about the dining experience was amazing here. We even had the chance to meet one of the owners of the restaurant! How cool was that?
In Santorini, Greece I prayed. I prrrraaaaaayyyyyyed. I prayed going up the mountain cliffs; I prayed walking through the beautiful cobblestone streets; I prayed on the patio of our Air BnB cave house (it was so cute!). I prayed on ferries and planes. I prayed down on the rocky black beach. I even prayed watching the breathtaking sunset from the peak of Oia.
Whew! That was a lot of praying now that I look back on it lol. What did I pray for exactly? Well, I’m so glad you asked. I prayed for:
- To be a better daughter, sister, friend, and therapist
I not only asked for things, however. I also THANKED God. I thanked Him for all my many blessings that I am so undeserving of but especially the opportunity to travel to see more of His Masterpiece/Creation.
But even after I ate in Mykonos and prayed in Santorini, I kept saying to myself “Wait, I haven’t loved yet. I haven’t found love”. Did I miss the “love” part of the trip? Was it in Athens? Was my love in Athens?!
Let’s be honest here: Had I actually been looking for love in the form of a Herculean Greek man? No, not necessarily. But I figured I would at least end the trip with some profound revelation about love… maybe who my one true love was or when I might be ready to receive love again….something! lol.
I felt the urge to write or email the author of Eat. Pray. Love Elizabeth Gilbert herself and say, “Excuse me, Liz (because that’s what I call her, remember? Lol), there’s something wrong with your formula. I have flown halfway around the world to come to Greece. I’ve eaten until my heart and tummy is content and I’ve prayed without ceasing. However, now I am packing up to leave this beautiful country and I have yet to find love, to actually love, or to be loved. What’s up with that?”
However, just as soon as this thought entered my mind, it went away. It was as if God at that very moment revealed to me the answer that I NEEDED. God is so intentional and He is such an amazing teacher. He is that cool, calm, and calculated Father that I picture waiting up for me in the Living Room chair reading a book by lamp after I sneak in from a night out as a teenager with friends. (You all remember the tv shows and movies like this, right?). lol.
This is what God ultimately revealed to me regarding LOVE in my 2018 Girls’ Trip to Greece:
Love was in the handshakes and hugs from strangers in a foreign land. Love was in the compliments we gave each other as we were getting dressed for dinner. Love was in the preparation of each meal we ate. Love was in the customer service of the local merchants we bought from. Love was in the sunrises and the sunsets. It was in the wind as it breezed through our hair and our long flowy sundresses. Love was in the laughs we shared, the smiles between strangers, the countless times we made sure everyone was safe and accounted for. That was love and love was everywhere, all around us…. Because God is love and God was indeed with us in Greece.
So did I eat in Greece? Of course!
Did I pray in Greece? You know it!
Did I love in Greece? Most definitely……
* Enjoyed this post? To read Part 1 of “God in Greece”, click here.
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