The year of 2013 was full of learning and growing experiences for me. The first part of 2013 was one of the toughest times of my life for many different reasons, but it also helped my relationship with God grow stronger. I have found that being a young adult can be extremely confusing and stressful. It’s a time where we are trying to figure out who we will be and what we will do for the rest of our life. We try to be responsible, but we lack poor judgment when it comes to making responsible decisions. We are easily distracted by our friends, and not as focused on the important things that will impact the rest of our life. This has been my experience so far as being a young adult, which lead me into the trouble I experienced in the beginning of the year. Because we are so easily distracted and taken off course from the plan God has for our life, Satan takes advantage of this time, and we grow apart from our Savior. But thankfully we serve a Loving, Forgiving, Healing, Delivering, Restoring, Trustworthy, Amazing, Real, Extraordinary God.
Psalm 50:15 says “Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
On the third Thursday night of April at the Deeper service at Church 29:11, God showed up and answered my prayer. I had been praying for God to have his will in my life. I had no direction, and I was working towards nothing. Yes, I was in school, but I lacked vision and motivation. After the service I was talking to a friend about a mission trip she was going on to Romania. She was telling Pastor Rick that she had prayed about it, and she felt like this wasn’t the right time for her to go, so I eagerly volunteered to take her place. I knew this was God beginning to work in my life, and an answer to my prayer. The next Sunday, I was at Christway, and Brent told me he was planning a trip to Hope House in Honduras, and he asked if I wanted to go on this trip. Again, I eagerly accepted the invitation. I felt in my heart that both of these trips were God’s answer to my prayer, but my parents and grandparents were looking at the reality that I am a college student, with no job, and only two months to raise $3,000 so they all told me I should choose one trip.
I prayed about it, and I really believed that they were both opportunities that God had given me, and I couldn’t choose only one. So, I agreed at the end of May I would see how much money I had raised and if it wasn’t reasonable for me to raise that much money I would choose one trip. Just eight days after I agreed to go to Honduras, my roommate from my freshman year at UAB called, and said that her uncle was looking for a full-time babysitter during the summer. I talked with her uncle, and I told him about my two trips and asked if I could be off the last three weeks of the summer. He said it was fine, and for me not to worry about my trips, that they would make sure I was able to go on both. Again, another answered prayer.
So, I started babysitting these two precious kids from Homewood, Alabama. I looked forward to seeing these two kids every day. God not only answered my prayer, but he blessed me with the opportunity to spend my summer with these precious children. I began to realize and experience the reality that God’s plan is way better than any plan I could ever have myself. With the job God provided and through obedient people giving me donations, I was able to go on both trips at the end of the summer.
My trips to Romania and Honduras gave me the direction I had been looking for, and I know it was in God’s will for me to go on both trips. During my trip to Romania I got a glimpse of what God’s calling is over my life. I still have many questions and prayers that need to be answered but I am continuing to pray, and seek God’s plan. During my trip to Honduras, I got a glimpse of how God can use one person to touch so many people’s lives, just by being willing and available to let God use them. Angie was called to Honduras, and she listened to God’s direction, and because of her willingness and availability God was able to use her to change many children’s lives.
Now that I look back at both trips, if I would have chosen only one, I would have missed a very important part of the lesson I learned this Summer. In Romania, God showed me what he has planned for me to be a part of for the rest of my life, and in Honduras he showed me how being willing, available, and listening to his will he can use anyone.
When I got back to the US I knew I wanted to go back to Romania in December, but I knew I couldn’t do it by myself. I prayed that God have his will, and I knew if it wasn’t meant to be that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to go, but the opportunity came, and I was determined to go back. However, I was in the same position I was in at the beginning of the Summer, but this time I was also going to school full time. Once again, God came through. One of my friends from UAB introduced me to her aunt who was looking for a babysitter every Thursday night for her small group. So through the opportunity to babysit for this small group, and the support from this small group, friends, and family God provided a way for me to go back to Romania.
The Christmas trip was completely different than the Summer trip. I was able to deliver shoeboxes and experience the celebration of the birth of my Savior with my Romanian family. None of my trips can be put into just a few short sentences, because they all three heavily impacted my life.
When I look back at the beginning of 2013, I can’t help but to be overwhelmed by God’s love and mercy he has on his children. 2013 was filled with lessons that I needed to learn, and experiences that I never could have dreamed up myself.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28