Life Update: Four Month Recap Living in Spain

Hi friends! Well, I realize it has been almost a whole four months since I’ve published a blog post and thought it was about time I would share a little update with you guys haha please forgive me. Life has been a little crazy - in the best way possible because God has done SO much and finally made time to write down my thoughts and reflect on everything that God has done since moving here. (You can read about our moving abroad story on this post here)

I thought I would give you guys a break down of expectations before moving abroad, first, second, third + some stuff that has been going on this month… if I can remember correctly haha. So let’s get to it! ;)

BEFORE MOVING ABROAD - THOUGHTS + EXPECTATIONS / FEARS
As we were getting ready to leave behind family + friends in Austin (and in Tennessee), selling our belongings (cars, clothes and anything else that didn’t fit into a suitcase) there were A LOT of emotions. Some days I was really excited and other days were just really hard, especially since I knew that I wouldn’t be state side for awhile. But despite the fears and anxious thoughts that filled my heart, God gave me an overwhelming since of peace. I had faith that no matter what happened, God would be with me. He wasn’t going to leave me or forsake me. Of course it was hard to say our “see ya laters” to family + loved ones, but we know that they will come to visit us next summer/fall and we are excited to see them and give them a big ol’ hug.

FIRST MONTH
We moved here June 8th and the first month (or 6 weeks) was filled with us trying to get into a routine and just adjust to a new country + totally different culture than America haha. We spent the first week in prayer and fasted on Wednesday and Friday just seeking The Lord. During our time, we were praying specifically for community here in Barcelona, wisdom, clarity and direction. That week was honestly one of the most life changing weeks because that Friday, we connected with a local couple here who is fired up for Jesus and who deeply desires to see others fall in love with Him. After about three weeks we moved out of our shared airbnb (with two other couples from TX) into our own places just a few minutes from each other. I was really nervous about finding a place, but God provided sooo quickly (just two weeks!) and when I told people how fast we found a place, they were shocked! It was all Jesus! During the first month we started a church in our home where we have people from all over the world come over, eat a yummy dinner, read the bible together and learn about what it means to be obedient to Jesus. It has grown from the six of us Americans to over 20+ people from all over the world! There are people from all walks of life and has been the highlight of our week. We also witnessed a guy come to faith and be baptized during the first month being here - which was another HUGE prayer request Jesus answered! JESUS YOU ARE WORTHY OF ALL OUR PRAISE! (You can read more here!)


SECOND MONTH
The ladies and I started Spanish classes at a language school for 20 hours a week and was a nice way for us to get into a routine and really fun to do together! It’s been a great way to meet people from all over the world, build relationships with our classmates and of course, learn the language haha. This month was a sweet time spending together, building deeper community and just seeking the Lord and being obedient to wherever He called us.


THIRD MONTH
I feel like the third month (to be totally candid) was when I just felt stuck. I’m not sure how to really explain it other than that. I felt like I didn’t really have any friends (aside from my two friends who moved here with us) and just felt like I didn’t really belong. I started to get really homesick, missing family and friends, and our life back in Austin. Since I’m not doing photography as a full time thing (just for fun here), I wrestled with what it looked like here and spent a lot of time praying and seeking The Lord, asking Him what He wanted me to do and what my purpose was here. Over time, God answered prayers and towards the end of August, I started using my photography as a way to meet other creative women here in Barcelona. Not only where they creative, but they were also believers so it has been sweet to do life with them, encourage one another, and share the love of Jesus with one another! It’s been so fun spending time with these women, getting creative and just doing life together! The Lord is so kind to surround me with such amazing women! We also got to witness three more people accept Jesus into their lives and saw two baptisms! Praise Jesus!

FOURTH MONTH
So far, this month Jesus has been teaching me a lot about the importance of community and what it looks like to really care for people. How would Jesus love them? He’s been giving me His lens and has allowed me to see people the way He does. I’ve heard His voice loud and clear, He’s given me peace and a joy that is ever lasting. Every day that I’m walking around this beautiful city, I’m so thankful that I get to live here, serve Jesus, love His people and know Him more. It’s been so cool to meet people from all over the world, to build friendships right off the bat, to see God transform lives and to experience God in ways I haven’t before.

Barcelona was never on my radar or agenda. Heck, I never wanted to move outside of Austin haha, but here I am, thousands of miles away from home and with a heart so full. Each day I’m EXCITED because Jesus keeps me on my toes and each day I’m learning so much!

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My prayer lately has been: “Here I am Jesus, use me.

Thanks so much for reading + following along!

Stay tuned for more updates! I’m trying to get better about sharing more on my Instagram :)


Julia Mann