I have always known that my life is meant to be lived differently. As I grew up certain things that normal American kids aspired to become did not appeal to me. As I traveled around the world and saw the suffering and challenges of the peoples of the nation’s something in my heart yearned to reach out to those in need. My life revolved around preparing for trips, going on trips, and telling the stories of those experiences. I did not aspire to become a doctor, a lawyer, or a professor; and my dreams were never to be a police officer, a fire fighter, or a soldier. But rather my consistent yearning was to impact the world, to help those in need, and be a part of something bigger than myself.
This journey has led me to so many countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Kenya, Haiti & so many more. In Mexico I saw how to work with local churches, and what building a $2,000 home could do to change the course of a family’s life. In Guatemala I saw how raising up local pastors and leaders is changing the way that missions is spreading across the nations. In Panama I saw what consistency means, as we worked in the same three communities for two months. In Kenya I saw a different kind of poverty and brokenness as children and youth sniffed glue on the streets in order to chill their hunger pains. I also saw my gifting and calling come forth as I repaired a broken sound system in the hotel lobby on that trip. I heard a message on a bus ride about listening to the spirit’s leading and interpreting other tongues. In Haiti I saw the physical devastation that natural disasters have caused around the world, and the time that it takes to bring change after an earthquake or hurricane.
As I finish up my College Degree in Business Management next semester, I know that my life is meant to be lived differently. I know that I have been called to do more than simply get a job and make a living, yet I do not know all of the steps I am to make. I took a walk yesterday and saw a row of houses with a white picket fence, you know the dream American life, but I was repulsed by becoming that. I do not wish for a normal life, one of luxury and simplicity, one of comfort and wealth, but rather a life lived to the full by giving it away to others.
There are those who live out their calling through owning a business, being a pastor of a church, teaching in a school, or working as a doctor. For people with these jobs living in America with certain comforts is expected, normal, and a great way to build family that has a way of raising up the next generations to know God, and make a difference around the world. Living an abundant life is good, and it shows God’s faithfulness in people’s lives. I know that I am called to live differently and I am seeking out direction on how to live that out following graduation in May. But I also have hope that I will discover the next step as I continue walking in the calling I feel for my life.
I know that the journey will involve traveling, that it will involve ministering to kids & youth, and my hope is that buildings and homes around the world will be part of helping those in need. I am still young and have had so many opportunities already, and even though a season of formal education may be coming to a close, the opportunities for continued learning always exists outside of the classroom. I am grateful for where I am, and for all those who have helped me become who I am. May God continue to bless you as you celebrate Christmas and welcome in a New Year of 2015.