I sit here on a cafe’ patio, with my iced coffee, journal and laptop, overlooking the ocean, in absolute awe. God is so, so good. How did I even get here? This doesn’t happen. A girl like me with a broken past, with a trail of mistakes, from a crazy background, does not get this lucky… which is why I’ve come to the conclusion: it’s by the grace of God, I am so incredibly blessed.
Let’s back pedal a little bit. This time last year, I was living at my boyfriend’s house, running away from my problems. I worked a meaningless job, in the highest position offered, with a ’97 Barbie car, and had an amazing boyfriend to adventure with, yet I was still broken. I wanted family, I wanted a different past, I wanted to be a “good Christian”… whatever that means.
Fast forward to 7/15/14. I am in class, having anxiety attacks; it’s the day the list of nations is released. Night before I had vivid dreams of Costa Rica. In class, as they are listing off the nations, I wait for my calling… Okay it’s going to be the next one… maybe they’re saving it for last… *last one is listed*… What the HECK, God?! WHY IS IT NOT ON THE LIST! In anger, I marched over to the world map, and picked the two closest nations: Brazil and Argentina.
On 7/17/14, we had a lovely surprise: the teams have been completed. By this time, I’ve accepted my calling to Costa Rica was true, but “not yet.” Staff could send me anywhere, and I would love to just go love people. We walked into our class room, and staff had us find out our team members ourselves… then we collectively figure out who our leaders are. Soon, we realized we were one of nine teams that were smallest in numbers. Three men, three women. As soon as we established our team, we knew: God is sending us to Argentina. Keep in mind, I had no idea Argentina existed, nor where it was on the map until the “List Day.” I google’d it THAT morning and my first thought was, “Mountains?! Snow?! Are you trying to kill me! I’m from the suburbs of California for crying out loud.”
Rumors had it that the “Argentina Team” had one leader: Ike. Ike is the man’s man. He could lead me to The Shire, and I would be his elf without a doubt. As we waited for him to be revealed officially as our leader, something amazing happened. I looked around at my teammates. This was intentional and full of purpose. All of us were strong in different ways. We had endurance, self-confidence, joy, and best of all: willingness to travel through the ends of the Earth to love others. Our team was stacked with ambition and strength, and when Ike stepped out in a snow suit and hiking equipment, every ounce of fear from the world vanished. Our family hugged for the first time.
So again, as I sit here in a cafe. I have a family, I love my testimony, and all I want is to love others like Jesus. It is by the grace of God, and all of you amazing people who believed in me when I didn’t know how to believe in myself. Where will God send you a year from today?
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Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5