So, let’s talk about the best summer of my life. It was the Summer of 2015, and I got to work at the most magical place on earth, and do ministry with some of the most amazing people I had ever met. Leaving Summer Mission last year was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Post-project depression was hard. It felt like we all signed up for this awesome Summer Project where we would get to work at Disney World, and talk about God everyday, and love people the way Jesus loves them, but didn’t realize how hard it would be to leave it. I honestly expected to to fit in on project, that I wouldn’t find my niche, and half way through I would be questioning my entire decision to go on project. Instead, God blessed me with 47 wonderful best friends, and half-way through I was questioning my decision to go, not because I didn’t have any friends, but because I had too many! I really hate it when God does that.
Zoom out five months later, to January 2016. I still had days when I cried over missing my friends, but I was adjusting to a new way of life, keeping in touch with everyone I could, and focusing on finishing out school. I still missed the ministry I had done everyday, getting to wake up and pour the love of Jesus unto my roommates, my carpool-mates, my discipleship group, and anyone else I saw. Training for ministry in a classroom is entirely different than being out in the field doing it. Naturally, I was looking forward to what God was calling me to next: a summer long mission trip to Turkey!
Or, so I thought that’s where He was calling me.
The details were getting nailed down, I had just been joined with a partner, and I was sitting in my professor’s office listening to him tell me about the place I was going. The missionaries there sounded wonderful, and the city I would be living in was right on the beach! I imagined myself standing once again on a Mediterranean beach and should have felt joy – but I didn’t. Instead, I nearly started crying right in the middle of my professor’s office. Because it wasn’t Disney World. I was confused, because I thought this ministry was the one God was calling me to; I’ve had a heart for Europe and Muslim refugees for nearly four years now! But God changed my mind.
Pulling out of the internship I’d had in mind to go on for years one was of the hardest things I’ve done, but I knew it wasn’t where God was calling me. As I applied to go back to the Disney Summer Mission as a student staff member, I felt overjoyed at the notion that God was calling me back to the place and the ministry I held so dearly in my heart! I will once again get to wake up and pour into a group of college students who love Jesus, and who have a heart for serving Disney. I will get to encourage people who are at where I was a year ago, who will be adjusting to a job at Disney with all the ups and downs that brings, and who will be learning and growing in their faith.
Who knew faith and trust in God – along with just a little bit of pixi dust – could make a girl so happy? But I guess that’s what happens when your passions intersect with God’s heart for the world:)
I don’t know what direction God will take my life in after this summer. I graduate in December, and I have no idea if God will put me in a foreign mission field, on staff with Cru, or working in a local church with Global Outreach, youth, or college ministries. I know He had me training to be a missionary for a reason, but maybe that reason isn’t the one I thought it was. I’m open right now. I’m a book waiting for God to fill me with the story He has planned for me. All I know is I’m following His direction now, and that’s all I plan to do for the rest of my life.