Tuesday, July 4, 2017

I'm Back! (Life Updates)

Surprise! I'm back! 😱 And a lot has happened since my last post! Just to fill you in:

1. I got engaged to the love of my life.
2. I moved to North Carolina to go to grad school for marine biology.
3. I got married to the love of my life.
4. I graduated from grad school in North Carolina.

That's pretty much the big updates. I can't believe I just summed up the craziest 2 years of my life in 4 sentences. Wow. Anyways, it's been a while. Obviously I've been a little busy with life happening, if you can't tell. Still, I think about this blog a lot and I want to keep it as much up to date as I can because it's sort of therapeutic to me. Call me a weirdo.

Next on the agenda of, well, my life: get a job. Duh.

So...about that...ok guys, it's been harder than you think. I promise I'm not lazy! The city I live in (Wilmington) is absolutely the WORST place to find a job. Especially for someone who just graduated with a Master's in Marine Biology, apparently. I've had the worst luck trying to nail something down lately, and it's sort of depressing. I feel like if I were a lot weaker of a person, I probably would have just moved back home by now. Honestly. But I really don't see that as an option. It's not what God wants for me. I just know it. I feel like things will work out here in Wilmington. I just don't have any idea how or when that will happen. I just have to keep trusting that God will provide like He always has.

Funny story: I kind of had an epiphany the other day. This was about 2 weeks ago. And I am going to go ahead and apologize in advance because this is one of those stories that requires a lot of background information. But in the end it's a great story, if you have the patience to listen to all of it. Here goes.

I've been a member at a Southern Baptist church in Wilmington with my husband for about 6 months now. I had visited the church (not as a member) for about a year before we became members, so I've gotten to know a lot of the people there and we've made some great relationships.

The church has mission trips every year for anyone who wants to participate, and those include both domestic and international trips. Since I am a poor, right-out-of-college, newly married 20-something, I obviously wasn't considering going on any of these trips due to financial issues mainly. Also, when I was a grad student there was no such thing as taking time off.

Anyways, these past few months multiple members have told me about this mission trip to Africa that would take place in November 2017. It would be over Thanksgiving and we would put on a vacation bible school (VBS) for some missionaries' children during that trip. It sounded cool, but I was not interested...because of the previously stated reasons (essentially I'm poor haha). The option of going on this trip was not even an ounce of a thought to me. I had already made up my mind that I wasn't going. Period. Maybe next year, blah blah blah. Maybe once I get an actual job that pays me good money, blah blah blah. Maybe when we get a house, blah blah blah. The list went on in my head.

Here's the catch: I had never prayed about it. I never asked God about it. Never. Not once. Like I said, I had automatically made up my mind that this wasn't for me and I wanted to have nothing to do with it. Finally one day during a devotional, reading through Isaiah 5, I decided to get up the nerve to ask. "I mean, what's the harm in asking?" I thought. "It's not like God will all of a sudden call me to Africa during this weird time in my life." And then I thought, "Oh crap, what if He does?? Oh no. I don't want to ask. I bet that's what will happen."

Guys. That's what happened. I was driving to work, praying to God, simultaneously thinking those thoughts in my head (like He couldn't hear what I was saying haha), and listening to what God had to say. Mind you, I had been praying and praying and praying for an answer relating to my job crisis for months at this point. Months and months. And I had heard nothing. Of course, right when I ask the question in my prayers, "Should I go to Africa?" - it's like the heavens opened up and God was screaming at me, "YES, YES, YES, finally she asked me! YES, you're going to Africa! I've been waiting for you to ask me for so long!"

Yes. The answer was yes. So guess what, guys? I'm going to Africa. I had been waiting for so long to hear from God like I heard from Him that day. I was just afraid to ask the right question. Why on earth would He want to send me to Africa? Why, during this insane and unstable time in my life, would He tell me that I should go across the world? I can't answer that. What I do know is that the next day I read Isaiah 6, and understood what He had been wanting me to say:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking:
Who should I send?
Who will go for Us?

I said:
Here I am. Send me.

-Isaiah 6:8

Pray for me and the rest of the team that will go to Africa in November 2017. Pray that finances would work out to where all of us that have been called to go will be able to pay the amount to go. Pray for our safety. And of course, pray for those in Africa who God is already working on ahead of us. Updates to come.

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