Attempting a Graceful Explanation

Friends and Family:

I have news!! I have chosen to take part in a mission trip to Northern England with Operation Mobilization and will be gone from September through December 21.
You may ask: Wait...what? How did this come about? Why OM? Why England?

Well here is my attempt at a graceful explanation of the goings-on in my heart that led to this decision…

My life plans post-college have always been a blurry, vague, confusing vision...I don't feel called to apply my degree in the pursuit of a career in nutrition just yet, but that wouldn't necessarily automatically lead me here...however the Lord is always sure to guide, even when I don't realize it. Cue Matthew 28:19-20 and Psalm 27:4:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” –Matt. 28:19-20

“One thing have I asked of the Lord that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” –Psalm 27:4

I have always known that this world is not my ultimate home…it is a constant feeling of longing in my heart for something beyond this that reminds me of this truth. I was made to be on earth to bring glory to the Lord until He chooses to take me home. However, it wasn’t until more recently that the Lord really stripped my life of the things that make me comfortable here on earth and instilled in my heart a desire to have a heart like David’s in Psalm 27:4…a heart that longs only to be in the presence of the Lord and marvel at His beauty! It was with this heart transformation that I knew I desired to pursue Kingdom-related matters…to become grounded in that first and foremost before falling prey to my tendency to find a definition for myself in careers, relationships, etc. Before I “settled down” I wanted the Lord to turn my world upside down and be challenged to share the truth and hope of the gospel with others, like I'm commanded to in Matthew 28:19-20.

So here comes the rabbit trail that led me to this specific trip: my amazing roommate bought me a Christmas gift this past year which is a book called Operation World - a comprehensive prayer guide to the entire world which leads readers in needs-specific prayer for the world over the course of a year. I had been considering a trip with a well-known organization called YWAM which many friends had participated in, but after several months in this book I noticed that whenever the book mentioned the work of YWAM it almost always also mentioned something called OM. One day while stranded in Murfreesboro at school, I wandered into the library (a sadly rare occurrence) and while researching YWAM trips I decided on a whim to look into this OM thing...
Talk about a moment of clarity! I came across a trip called Lifehope Autumn and knew immediately that I wanted to apply for it...after spending months agonizing over where/if I was supposed to apply for YWAM, it took me less than a week to complete my application for the OM trip, turn in my deposit, and have my references sent in from church leaders. I had complete peace about this choice, and knew it was where I was supposed to be.

As for England, my choice for traveling there is quite simple – I have had a desire to go there for years now. I hadn’t even been there before until this past March when I spent a brief day and a half in London, but for some reason I’ve always felt drawn there.

So here I am! Addressing support letters, researching flights, applying for a visa…it’s all quite surreal at this point, but before I know it it’ll be September 1st and I will be on a plane to meet my team and 4-month-long family, none of whom I know. I am ecstatic, apprehensive, overjoyed and scared all at the same time. I can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do in and through me and how He is going to choose to grow, stretch & challenge me. I’ll be recording it all here on this blog for you, my wonderful friends and family, to read. Hopefully you can use it as a means to guide you in how to pray for me, because heaven knows I’ll need it!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this novel of a blog post, for loving me constantly through actions and words and for supporting me over the years.

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