There (And Back Again?)

By Aaron Ullman

“Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit” ~Virgil, from The Aeneid

While there is no real English equivalent to Virgil’s famous Latin phrase, some have roughly translated it to “Maybe someday you will rejoice to recall even this.” The words are powerful and emotional in the context of the epic—Aeneas and his nomadic followers have washed up onshore, shipwrecked after being forced from their homeland. The melancholy of the bittersweet moment bursts through the words; the clan has seen much trials, tribulations, uncertainty, and loss. But there is a hint of hope packed into the line as well—that they should not forget the journey they’ve been on, because it has led to a new beginning.

While I haven’t been outcast from a war-torn land and shipwrecked, my journey to New Life has been filled with similar sentiment. Out of grad school I went on a wacky, wild, and ultimately depressing year of unemployment—one that forced me to leave a community I truly cherished in Washington D.C., and move back home with my parents in Ohio. But in May of 2015 I was finally hired as a forensic chemist by a private lab here in Willow Grove.

Even though I knew no one in the area, I somehow was providentially introduced to the Crossroads young adult group before I even moved here. The biggest, scariest move of my life was met with like-minded friendly faces that truly made me feel at home. I have made so many deep friendships with those in the group, and am ever thankful for all of them. God’s faithfulness has never been more evident in my life.

But there is a twist to my narrative, however. Once again I have to move to a foreign land—Texas to be exact—as my company is deploying me to a lab there. I again have been uprooted from a community I’ve grown to love, and again will have to start from scratch. But amidst my wanderings and nomadic trekkings, I know the grace and sovereignty of God goes before me. Meeting the Crossroads crew (before I even moved to Philly!) was no coincidence or random serendipity—it was God showing His faithfulness to me once again. And once again, when I wash up shipwrecked on the shores of Dallas, I hope to mumble Virgil’s famed phrase knowing that one day I’ll look back on this Bedouin journey of my life thus far and smile. Because God goes before, and has been faithfully directing my journey.