God sure loves surprises, doesn't He?
Let's review the past couple of years of my life:
Summer 2014: I think you want to be a missionary.
January 2015: You're going to be a missionary!
June 2015: You're moving to Minnesota!
Summer 2016: You like Minnesota?
January 2017: You're going to serve a third year!
Spring 2017: You're going to move to Florida!
When I signed on for a third year of service with SPO back in January, I never could have imagined that things would pan out the way that they did. I won't go into the specifics of a crazy semester of discernment, but trust me when I say that the Lord has been about a wild work in my heart this year. When I look at my life over the past couple of years next to the lives of the average twenty-something, wild is the only word that really comes to mind: living in three different states over the past three years; seemingly putting my life 'on hold' to bring college students closer to Jesus; living off of the generosity of mission partners for two, going on three, years; et cetera, et cetera. It's a hard life, but it's a blessed life. It is a life that is wild, and so full of joy. The fact that He has not called me out of this life just yet is a gift to be grateful for on its own!
Lately, God has made it very clear in my prayer that He's leading me into the wild this next year. I have been reading an incredible book called Wild and Free, by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan. The book's tagline is "A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough." Ugh, if a tagline of a book has ever tugged right at my heartstrings, it is this one. Reading this book has forced me to wrestle with some bigger questions: What would my life look like if I was actually living 'wild'? What does that even mean? Am I ready to accept the freedom that the Lord has for me? Do I even actually want to be free, or am I letting the comfort of living in fear rule me?
Heavy questions, I know, but God has been gently leading me to the answers. He has given me boldness to say "yes" to serving at a new campus, in a new state, with a new team. He has given me the courage to leave the comfort of a city and people that I have grown to love dearly. It was not easy for me to make any of these decisions; but the Lord has consoled me with the lasting and steady peace that comes from doing His will.
So here we are, after a third round of Mission Leader Training, back in Texas for the next few weeks and preparing to move, yet again, across the country. I am so thrilled to be embarking on this new adventure at Florida State University. Pictured below is my team for the year, a joyful, hilarious, faithful group of men and women whom the Lord has blessed abundantly already. (Ask any of us about our adventures in Gold Medal Park!) Here's to being back in the South, to college football, and to sunshine, all the time. Praise God for new beginnings!
To the students at the University of Minnesota, and all of those in the Twin Cities who welcomed me and loved me over the past two years: I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for sharing your lives with me, for letting me walk with you, for walking with me as I struggled and triumphed and everything in-between. The past two years have been filled with more joy and love than I thought were possible for a Texan living in the Midwest, and it is largely due to the people and the friendships that the Lord blessed me with. I am grateful for my time serving in Minnesota and would not trade it for anything at all. You are in my prayers and my heart.
And so the adventure continues, and continues, and continues!
To Jesus Through Mary,
My name is Rebecca. This blog is a documentation of my life as a missionary with Saint Paul's Outreach - in Minnesota, Florida, and everywhere in-between. Thanks for stopping by!