If you've had any deep conversation with me over the last year of my life then you know that my heart has been yearning for an adventure. People have asked me (especially now that I'm graduated) where I want to live/find a job. My answer...anywhere. Then that question is usually followed up with well what do you want to do? My answer...anything.
This was absolutely not true of my life a year ago. I pretty much had every day of the next 5 years planned out perfectly! I knew where I wanted to live, what I wanted to be doing, when I was getting married, and I most certainly wouldn't have a dog! (Sorry Sal.)
Every day I'm more and more thankful that the Lord is all about breaking and restoring us for His glory. The amount of grace He's poured over me this year is UNREAL. Nothing feels the same to me anymore. Nothing in my life is even close to how it was a year ago. I have completely new friends, a new job, a saving account, I'm out of college, I cherish my time in the Word in ways I never thought possible, my skin is tougher, and my heart is softer. Oh yeah-and I have a dog, who I absolutely LOVE! Hard year...lonely year...but so necessary and so rewarding. On to the rest of the story...
I went home after graduation for 3 weeks before I had to be back for my last month in Tyler to work at camp. In between cooking dinners and remodeling the upstairs, I started putting together my official resume and looking for "big girl" jobs online. When I finished my resume I just kind of laughed. I mean...who would hire me? I've always had a job, but all my jobs were things like camp counselor, soccer coach, fitness attendant at the gym, etc. So when I start applying for jobs all the descriptions are requiring things like internship experience, high GPA's, academic achievements...surely the companies that looked at my resume just laughed! At the end of the day, I felt so inadequate and out of place. I was applying for jobs that I'm not qualified for and don't even really want! What I wanted was to work with people, to share God's love with them, and to constantly be active and stay challenged. I don't care about a salary. I'm not an 8-5, sit behind a desk kind of girl. And I don't thrive if I'm not doing something I'm passionate about.
So I closed my computer that day and just cried. Lord, surely there's more than this! Surely...
Fast forward to the next day- I'm applying for the World Race. I've heard about it for years, known a few crazy people that did it, but there was always too many fears keeping me from doing it:
-Leave my friends and family for a whole year? My family needs me and I have incredible friends. Surely they'll all get married or start new lives while I'm gone. I can't lose my friends.
-Raise $16,000?! I can barely afford groceries. You must be crazy.
Or here's one of my favorites- Live outside and sleep in a hammock? I don't do bugs. Or mice. Or anything that crawls. Impossible.
Truth is though-
-My friends ARE incredible and I know they will be a huge source of support, encouragement, and love through this whole journey. And my family will survive just fine without me...despite what I might think!
-I'm absolutely confident that the World Race is something the Lord has called me to. He's called me and He will provide...that might be my mantra over the next 6 months :)
-And lastly, there have been 3 mice in my apartment over the last week. I still think they are awful creatures but I'm learning to handle them! Surely this is the Big Man's way of preparing me! Ha.
Today I got the phone call-"Leah, we would love to have you as a part of our squad in January!" Interested? And with tears running down my face and complete joy in my heart, I said yes. Philippines, China, India, Nepal, Swaziland, Mozambique, South Africa, Moldova, Romania, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. 11 months-11 countries-1 God.
THIS is what I was made for :)
I will carry Your name
Carry Your name
Jesus, Your name forever
For all of my days
In all of my ways
Jesus, Your name forever.