Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How I Got Here - Part 1

But where is here? Here is the passion I have for God's children. Here is where I have nothing, and have to rely on God for everything. Here is the JOY I have in knowing that all my needs will be met and exceeded. Here is the utter contentment I have with this season of life I'm in. And here is the peace I have with God, because I know my future is in His hands. The song we sang at church the other day really struck a chord with me. The verses have examples of trusting God, like walking through the valley of the shadow of death and having Him be there, or having God lead us by peaceful streams and refresh our lives. The chorus really says it all though...

"Because YOU are in control.
Yes YOU are in control."

WOW! It hit me halfway through the song that this is exactly it. God IS in complete control of my life, and I have NO FEAR. NONE. The plane ride? NONE. The money? Pshhhh! God is in control of ALL the money. Culture shock? NONE. I know God wants me there, and while everything will be difficult, I know that through Him, everything is possible!

So how DID I get here? I'm glad you asked! I will tell you my(HIS) story in its entirety, leaving out nothing (except if I forget!), because even though it's a long, LONG story, it needs to be told. And because it's my blog :). So grab a cup of coffee (or a popsicle - gosh it's hot!), and stick around for a bit!

Up until May of 2008, I had my life all planned out. By the time I was 13, I knew that I would be an actress on Broadway. I had been part of a theater company since I was nine, taken ballet since I was ten, and loved, LOVED being on the stage. It seemed like a no-brainer, pursuing something I was good at and really enjoyed. So I kept at it, participating in all my company's shows, taking 4 dance classes a week (that only lasted a year, though I did continue to take multiple lessons), and planning for my glamorous life on the stage. I was acting professionally as well as with my company, and I was having a great time! But when I imagined my future, it was always only me. I was the center of my life's plans.
I did want to have a family - who doesn't want babies at one or more times? But when I thought about it, my plans included me hiring a nanny (I would be rich, remember?) and leaving for rehearsals and shows. Now, that may not sound too bad to you. In fact, you might be nodding your head saying, "It's good for you to have the freedom to do that. You go girl!". But I now know that when and if I'm married, I will be a homemaker and the primary caregiver of my children. This is the desire and heart the Lord has given me, and I look forward to it. I have freedom in Christ, what more do I need? :)
But I digress... where was I?

So I was working very hard towards my goal of being a musical theater actress on Broadway. As I entered high school, I started thinking about college, and where I should go. I realized that I didn't want to do the typical 4 year thing. I wanted the "freedom" to do what I liked. I wanted to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, and study under the best. I even sat down with my dance teacher (who had extensive musical theater experience) and talked through everything I would need to achieve my goal. Of course, I didn't think about how I was going to pay for it all. Money was not an issue (even though, hello, it really was). All I thought about was being in the spotlight. (cue jazz hands)

One night in May of '08, I went to the monthly homeschool meeting for our homeschool group. It was the night of the teen panel, where a lot of teens who have homeshooled high school or are currently in high school gather to answer questions other parents have in order to show them that a) our parents are not lunatics for doing this, and b) that you CAN homschool high school.
Since our group is very diverse in their parenting/belief/schooling ideas, you get a wide range of what people are doing.
The question about college came up, and I jumped right in to tell everyone about my big plans for stardom, again using the "I want to be free to move where I want to, when I want to".
My ideas were well-received by everyone there, and I thought "Hey! This really IS a good idea!".
Apparently God thought otherwise :)
They say the best way to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans. I imagine God was rolling on the floor while I planned my life out. Thankfully, God knew and ordained my whole future before time began, and He chose to divinely re-route it that very night.

What happened next will always be clear to me, but also very hazy... if that makes sense :)
After the meeting, as my mother and I were driving home, we began to discuss my plans for the future. As we were talking, I began thinking about helping people. Then I thought that I wanted to help people. Then I thought that that's what I should do. Like, now.
Then I turned to my mother and said the very last thing I had ever expected me to say:
"...Mom? I think I want to be a missionary."
Which surprised us both.
I continued by saying that I wanted to help people, and I maybe wanted to do something with children.
My mother, bless her heart said, "Ok. Let's see what we can do to make this happen. Are you sure?"
"Um, I think so!"
And so it began....

Part 2 to come!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On Uganda and Other Things...

It's hard to even know where to start. Maybe I'll start by apologizing (once again) for the real lack of blog posts. It's been hard to find the time and motivation needed to blog, and thus the dearth of writing. But now I have a new focus, and my hope is that this blog will become a great way to keep everyone updated on everything that's been happening!

Up until now, this blog has been more family oriented. But life and circumstances have changed, and this little ole' blog will be used to update family and friends about my life in... UGANDA! Yes, I am going to Uganda. Hopefully Mother will start a family blog so I can read up on my family's business while I'm away. That would be nice...

But in any case, I'm here to say that starting the beginning of September, I will be moving to Uganda, East Africa for six to nine months. Hopefully longer. I will be working in a wonderful orphanage, and learning more about myself and God in the process!
The journey to where I am now has been long and full. God has opened and closed so many doors that I think I'm too lost in Him to find my way back to the selfish person I was before. But that's another blog post :)

I will be writing more about my testimony later (I promise!), but for now I just want to sit back in awe of what the Lord has done. I'm SO excited that God is using me for His work, and I hope that you will follow my journey have your heart stirred too!

God is good!