The Trip I Didn't Know I Needed / by Louis Holstein

The Holstein Clan (currently consisting of Ashley, Alana Grace, and myself), took a trip to Greenville, South Carolina last month. Ashley had a wedding to photograph there. Typically with any out of state weddings, Alana and I will tag along. So this trip didn't have my expectations notably high. What began as a typical wedding trip ended up being an amazing time of reflection, rest, and inspiration. 

Note: I am not the photographer in the family. That would be Ashley. However, I thoroughly enjoy the art of photography and like to play around with it. Whenever we travel I take my little Fuji asdjfkasjdkfaj and capture our adventures through my eyes. While Ashley is the queen of portraits, my work will consist more of local art installations, architecture, and landscapes: you've been warned. 

Alana Grace, my sweet sidekick. 

Alana Grace, my sweet sidekick. 

On Saturday, Ashley had the wedding, which left Alana and I to explore. The wedding was right on the South Carolina, North Carolina border, up in the mountains. Through the winding roads I noticed quite a few cars parked along the side of a turn. As we were passing I noticed a little bridge that led to what looked like a cliff. I had to see more. So I turned the car around and parked with the other cars. This is what we found.

To say I was blown away is and understatement. I could look out that overhang for hours. I truly enjoyed feeling small. It made me feel free, though I'm not sure why. 

From there we decided to explore this little town called Traveler's Rest, and yes, it is as cute as it sounds. This small town was thriving with craft coffee shops, locally owned lunch eateries, and the quirkiest boutiques. It gave me so much hope for the small town of Mulberry, FL, we currently reside in. 

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After getting lunch, coffee, and chatting with some locals, we moved on to Greenville. This is where my heart became full. Upon entering I began to see signs for "Downtown Greenville" and I had to see what was happening. We found a parking garage and began to walk. Words can't describe what I felt as I walked down the main street filled with local eateries, bars, boutiques, art installations, and theater show signs EVERYWHERE. (I swear there has to be 15 shows happening at once between all the different theaters they have). We came up to what is known as "Falls Park," and I was sold.

Falls Park- Greenville, SC

Falls Park- Greenville, SC

The amount of families out and about was stunning. Alana and I fit right in. We had no where to be, nothing to do, we were able to just sit. I didn't realize that was exactly what I needed in that moment. I was in a town that felt so big, yet so small, where I knew I wouldn't stand out, but it was so intimate that it felt like my life mattered. "This is a dream City," I thought. Gratitude began to overcome me. I'm so thankful to the Lord, because He is constantly kind to me. I'm so undeserving and yet He pours out gifts that only He could give. During this trip He poured out a realization that it's not that I am ungrateful with where I am in Mulberry, it's just that Mulberry is not the ideal town for me. And that's not a bad thing! I have felt so guilty in the past, when I feel like I am missing something in the Polk County area. I think, "this is where God has me, I should have a full heart!" But very quickly this trip showed me what my heart has longed for. Don't get me wrong, I am convinced that I have blossomed where God has planted me in Mulberry, but Greenville showed me that there is something more. God reminded me, He's not done with me yet. 

Praise be to God that we serve Him who knows what we need, even when we don't.