Like many college students I am bombarded no less than two times a week with the question: so what do you want to do after college? I have always answered this question with an elevator speech about working in a rehab hospital; a job that is not uncommon for someone like myself majoring in therapeutic recreation.
But then something changed.
I traveled 27 hours on a bus that left from the University of New Hampshire and had spent less than 24 hours in Tampa Florida when I felt God tell me to listen. On our first day, we visited a few of the sites that our ServeUp Tampa crew was going to work at; we stopped at what looked to be an old motel. A woman named Keisha who runs an organization in Tampa called “Created’ talked about the work she does with vulnerable women in the sex industry. She talked about Nebraska Avenue where women are prostituted every night, she spoke about how her organization loves these women and shows them that love and healing through Jesus.
While in Tampa we stayed at our base camp just blocks from Nebraska Avenue. I remember praying all night for women that I have never met, not just in Tampa but in this world to know how loved they are by Jesus. I prayed that someone, somewhere could do something to help the women of this world who are exploited every day. I haven’t stopped this prayer.
My week in Tampa changed my life. We stayed in the Underground, an umbrella organization that has hero upon hero serving God’s people selflessly, willing to give up what is easy to go do what God needs them to do. I prayed a lot in the last few months that there would be more people like I met at the Underground to serve God’s people in other corners of the world. But then this idea came to me, what if I could do that? What if I could serve God’s people? What if this is my call?
That’s why I chose Urbana. I’ve heard God tell me to ‘go’ but now I need help with the logistics and unpacking what that means.
I am excited that Urbana can give me a chance to connect with people who have dreams that aren’t of this world. I want to surrounded myself with people who don’t question why I want to give my life to ministry despite it not having to do a lot with what I’m dedicating four years of my life to study. I want to be able to connect with people who have the same passions as me and learn how they’ve done the hard things that come with dedicating your life to ministry and to God’s full call. I want to be able to talk to organizations that are currently doing the work that my heart is leading me to want to do as well.
My fears about going to Urbana are the exactly the same as my hope: That I would hear God’s call clearly and have the courage to follow it to the best of my ability. Following God fully is scary because it means submitting your will fully to Him and going where He takes you, not just going where you want to go. As much as I want to just trust in that, it’s still something I’m afraid to do. I hope that during my time leading up to Urbana and during it that I can live in the Amen that I am called to.
For me the way that I connect with God is through writing, it helps me collect my thoughts and pray clearly to Him. I am excited that through this blog I will be able to not only connect to God but to share my thoughts, fears, and hopes with people who are feeling the same things and discerning the same dreams and goals as I am. I love writing, but my bread and butter when it comes to writing has always been sports. I worked as a sports journalist covering professional hockey when I was in high school but I will certainly do my best to spare you the sports metaphors. Well, at least I'll try to.
I am very excited to be on this journey that God has set before me and to be able to share that with you.