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be Golden

In the late fall of 2018, my husband, John, and I were accepted in to Martha Beck's African STAR. We were poised to go to South Africa and the Londolozi Game Reserve in the early summer of 2019.

When we applied with only twelve available spots, I didn't actually think we would be chosen. Applying went against my natural default setting of fear. Let me put it another way, I avoid grocery stores and crowds at all costs, and flying and I are not friends. At the time my mind could barely imagine being in the savanna surrounded by unrestrained beasts.

I immediately set out to text close friends and family. I'm sure most were shocked to learn of my impending African adventure as it was so out of character. One friend could not compute, "Who are you? And, what have you done with Diana?" she asked.

I couldn't explain it.

There was something within me greater than the sum of all my fears. I determined I could continue my anxiety-ridden life on my regular Target runs or I could load up my back-pack and take my anxiety-ridden self to Africa. Either way I was going to be anxious. Staying at home on my couch would not change this so I might as well eke out some adventure along the way.

In this peace-making with myself as-I-am, I found enough courage to board the plane. Of course having John as my stalwart travel guide was an integral part of it, but at the bare bones essence of it, I still had to make the choice to go.

What I learned from the subsequent trip is the risk was minuscule in comparison to the wonder. I am more alive, more free, more true than ever before because Africa extended its majesty like a branch of possibility and my soul grasped onto it with all its might.

May we all find the heart of a lion beating within and let ourselves be Golden.

Inward & Onward

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May 15, 2022

Yes Diana! Through the road of adversity you arrived at a life changing experience that will build in quantum over the years. I hope to do the same on a mission trip oversee. Others? Lets hear it :)

Diana DeVaul
May 15, 2022
Replying to

I look forward to seeing your mission trip dreams realized❤️. I never knew how much travel could change someone from the inside out until our trip to South Africa. I know you understand the meaning and impact, and how it continues to unfold even years later.

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