As a child of His, I choose to live with faith, trusting all He does in my life, the ways He leads, the opportunities He allows me to pursue...are all part of the desires He has given me. God knows my heart better than I ever will - He made it after all!
Many of you know about my heart for mission work and loving and serving people overseas, as well as meeting and serving internationals here. I remember first realizing that passion in high school, and feeling excited as God provided continuous opportunities for me to pursue it. In college I went on my first international trip to Senegal West Africa, and I knew then that God was putting it on my heart to go back for a longer time. I prayed for a long time about when that would be and thought it might be when I graduated college...but then knew I needed to wait and teach here awhile first.
So - last March I began the lengthy application process through a company related to my church denomination to go overseas. I finished the whole process in July, gained medical clearance (which you must have to go) in November, and waited until January when I finally found out I was accepted. I had shared that with many of you too! The final step after being accepted is to go for an interview conference on their campus where they get to know you and match you with a job somewhere in the world. I was supposed to leave on Wednesday to fly to the conference. In January, I had a health concern come up. It is nothing too major now- the doctor even said she didn't see it being a hindrance to me going overseas. Unfortunately it is a change in the health clearance I had before. I didn't know until Friday I would not be able to go. There was a miscommunication, and I didn't receive a message until then. This is not a definite "no." They are very good about keeping applications on file when things change, and this could only be a "bump in the road." They will definitely consider me for this Fall or next Spring if I receive health clearance by then. Of course my heart was...and is...disappointed, a little confused, and unsure of how to process this.
This has been my dream, my passion, and my biggest desire over the past five years. Wait - notice how I'm saying, "my" a lot? Well...while I know it truly IS my heart to go, and I know God has given me that heart, I believe every hope, dream, and desire I have belongs to Him. This is one of the things He has shown me over the past few days. He KNOWS my love for internationals. He KNOWS I long to go and to share His love and joy with others all around the world. And I know He won't leave me hanging on to those dreams and desires with no way to use them. But they belong to Him...they shouldn't just be "my" desires. So things are just on a different timeline now. Maybe even in a different way than I had ever imagined.
When I began this process last year, I knew it would mean being a little "impractical," in the world's eyes - giving up a job I have here, and many other things, and stepping out in faith. But, now I see that even this program was very lined out for me, very planned, and very structured. And it may still be something I will be a part of later, we'll see! But - I can also see maybe God is calling me to step out in faith in a different way. Into the unknown and unstructured. The impractical, and the uncertain. I feel as though this was just a stop on the roller coaster ride to take a deep breath, and now I'm ready to jump back on, throw my hands up in the air, and say, "Let's go!"
I know God is good, all the time. I truly believe that with my whole heart. It is aching for what I am missing now, but longing for what God does have in store! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement through this entire process. Please continue to pray for me as I seek God's direction, clarity, and wisdom in where to go next.
"For God is working in you, giving you the power and the desire to do what pleases Him." -Philippians 2:13
Still Filled With HIS Joy,