Sorry it has taken me this long to make my last post about this amazing opportunity that the Lord allowed me to experience this summer. I want to say that the lessons I learned and the experience as a whole cannot be put to words, but I suppose that would be dumb to say right before I blog all about it :) But, I'll do my best!
I want to start from the beginning because how God planned this entire thing could not be more perfect. As some of you know I went on a two week trip to Thailand last summer with MacTrips. This trip was amazing! But, my feelings for Thailand just were not quite as strong as they were on my previous trip to Romania the summer before. But, nonetheless an awesome trip in which God worked in some huge ways. After returning home from this trip I was curious about what God had lined up next for my life. I knew that he wanted more. I knew that he wanted me to see the foreign mission field for more than just two weeks. So I contacted Bro Dave Manary who I had met the previous summer and told him about what I felt God was telling me. He told me that him and his family would love for me to come and stay with them for as long as I wanted.
I was extremely pumped about the summer that was to come but I had to stay focused on school. Around December when finals week was approaching I really felt God was trying to tell me something else. He had rid me of a couple aspects of my life right before school had started and I was probably as close to him as I had ever been that semester. But, when finals week rolled around I was really worried about my grades and really just told God that I was going to do all I could but I was going to need His help if I was going to bring these grades up like I needed to. I told Him that if He would just help me get them up I would do whatever He wanted. Long story short the grades came up and I knew God was up to something in my life. Shortly after He revealed to me that He wanted me to surrender my life to His ministry. After talking with my youth pastor and much prayer I did just that. I haven't regretted one second of it since.
So there I was knowing I was supposed to do ministry with two years under my belt at the U of A and headed to Romania for a month in six months. A tad bit confusing honestly. But I knew it was what I was supposed to do so I was extremely pumped. As the spring semester drug on and the weeks got closer and closer to me heading to Romania the more excited I got.
Finally June 20 rolled around and I got on the plane headed to Romania. Honestly, I really had no idea what to expect. I knew that I loved the Manary family and I knew that the Lord had told me to go. That's it. I didn't really have any clue what I was going to be doing day to day nor did I have any responsibilities lined up with Dave. I just went. And I was completely at peace about it. Looking back now it is completely clear why he had me go. I learned so much and experienced God like never before. I saw what it is really like to live a radical life as an American on a foreign mission field. I saw what true faith really is all about. If you have read any of my previous posts you know that I really did see what it is like to live as a missionary and see the struggles that they go through. The faith and trust that the Manary's have truly is second to none. And they portray that through every aspect of their life.
So you are probably wondering why I told you all that stuff about my life leading up to my trip. Well it had everything to do with the main thing that God taught me through this trip. Sure he showed me that if He ever were to call me to a foreign mission field, whether that be Romania or anywhere else, I would be completely fine and He would take care of every need, but there was something else that was much bigger in my opinion. He showed me that his timing is perfect and flawless. I am sure you, just like me, have heard this your entire life, but until you experience it first hand you just simply agree and move on with whatever else the person who told you that is saying. The way that He sent me to the U of A and then told me He wanted more the next summer and then revealed that he wanted more for my life blows me away. Had He told me that He wanted me to do ministry while I was in high school I honestly doubt I would be at the U of A. But I know that is exactly where I am supposed to be. And had He not allowed me to go to Romania with Mactrips and my sister the summer after I graduated I never would have met the Manary's or been able to have the summer that I did. The timing of all these events honestly blows me away. Every time I think of this I keep going back to the scripture I've shared with you one or two times in Isaiah 55. It tells us that the Lord's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. The difference between His ways and thoughts and ours is as far as the heavens are from the earth. This scripture has really hit me hard and proven to me that I honestly have nothing to worry about.
Another scripture that I'm sure you, just like me, have heard your entire life that has become so real to me is Jeremiah 29:11. I have heard this verse time and time again at high school graduations and various places. But, until this summer I have just heard this verse and never really thought much about it. I have always know that God had big plans for my life but when He showed me up close and personal the awesome plans that he has for me. While I was in Romania He opened up another door for me to walk through in my college ministry Thrive. I am being brought on as an intern this semester and couldn't be more pumped. I will leave you with this verse from Jeremiah, but I challenge you to read it and truly believe what it says rather than just acting like you already know.
"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
P.S. Thanks again to every single person who prayed for me or helped me financially. You are the ones who made this trip possible and I could not say thank you enough!!!