I’ll start with the basics.
If you’ve ended up here (hey mom!), you probably know me, so I won’t go to much into who I am logistically, but read on to see what God’s been doing in my life lately.
My sophomore year (the one that just ended) was one of a lot of growth and change in my life. For a while, I had been feeling God preparing my heart for something different than my “normal”, but I wasn’t sure what that change would be or how that would happen. I am, after all, a college student. I had gotten super involved on my small college campus at the beginning of my freshman year of college, signing up to do anything and everything that was offered. By the middle of first semester this year (sophomore year), I was burnt out. I was busy for the sake of being busy and wasn’t really enjoying any of the activities that I was committed to. I hadn’t spent real time with Jesus in months, and church had become a check on my full to-do list. I was a member of Campus Activities Board and an officer in my social tribe, two positions that I let define a good deal of who I was at Mississippi College. I quit CAB in October, partially to allow myself to be available to run for Vice President of Laguna (my social tribe, it’s kind of like a sorority-baptist style.). I really wanted that position. I told God that a lot. In the weeks before elections, I heard God telling me that this wasn’t what He had for me, but I was stubborn. It was what I wanted. With that said, I shouldn’t have been surprised when we lost the election, but I was. I remember hearing Him telling me to pray for something bigger. I kept having this feeling of a calling to missions but didn’t know how that could fit into my life, being on a college student’s schedule. I began to seek after what that nudge towards missions would mean and pray for something bigger. Almost immediately, He began to show himself in my life in ways that were so obvious.
The first week of second semester I broke up with my boyfriend of two years. It was a hard but right thing. I now realize that God wanted to take the place that was rightfully His, a place that I had been giving to many other things in my life. I prayed for God to change my heart to reflect His will instead of simply giving me the things that my human heart wanted right then. The next weekend, my roommate Kristen came back from a weekend away with the news that she was going to Africa for two weeks this summer. I was thrilled for her but impatiently wanted God to reveal His plans to me like I saw Him doing in Kristen’s life. My small mind couldn’t see past the immediate present to what He was preparing me for.
In late February, my mom sent me a link to a blog that God has since used in incredible ways to focus my heart as well as change my parents’ hearts. KissesFromKatie –if you haven’t read her story, stop now and go read it. This girl has faith.. and fourteen daughters.. in Uganda.. at the age of 22. I digress. Well one thing led to another, and when spring break rolled around I sat down and had a heart to heart with both of my parents seperately.. in which I told them of my desire and maybe calling to go to Africa for at least a semester.. and in response my dad said no to Africa.. and asked me to pray some more about even leaving school in the first place. The one thing we agreed on was that God would have to do something incredible to make him change his mind and allow me to go to Africa. So I prayed really hard that he would, and less than a month later through a series of events that I had no hand in and could literally be nothing less than divine appointment (extreme short version of this story. i’ll explain in more detail one day maybe.), my dad’s mind was changed, and I had a green light to explore the options of going to Africa.
Through another divine appointment involving my parents and our associate pastor, the Rafiki Foundation was brought to my attention. I knew it was familiar for some reason but couldn’t remember why. I went back to Clinton that evening and was telling my roommate about it, and she reminded me that the reason that it sounded familiar was because that was the same organization that she was going to Ghana with this summer. I knew almost immediately that this was probably the organization that God had in mind for me. My parents wanted a stable and reputable foundation that we had connections with. Rafiki had all of the above. I filled out a missions application and emailed it in. A few days later, I got accepted to be a mini-missionary and invited to training in May.
Clearly, this isn’t the whole story. There was an entire semester–a very full semester– of life lived in the midst of this story–and a very full life that has led up to this point right now–but for our intents and purposes, this gets us to today. This weekend I’ll be attending training outside of Orlando to learn more about Rafiki. Hopefully, if everything works out, we will have solid trip plans in the next week! I’m so thankful for His big plan and that He doesn’t give up on me when my faith is smaller than a mustard seed. I can’t wait to see what the next few months hold and invite you to join along in this crazy ride! If you’d like to hear anything more, let me know. This whole process is something that is quickly becoming my heart. I love to talk about it!
In Him. Always,