Thursday, May 13, 2010
It's time I finish this post despite a paper, some reading, and other tasks.
I can't even count how many times someone has asked me about my summer plans in the past two months. Don't get me wrong - I am just as guilty pulling out the summer plans or after graduation or how were finals talk. Over and over, I answered, "Uh, well, uh?" After all that not knowing, the answer came about two weeks ago. Advent Group Ministries in San Jose, CA, offered me a position as one of the Resident Counselors.
Applying for this position in itself was an adventure. Summer planning (or at least summer thinking) started in January when I figured out Logan needed to stay in New Jersey for his practicum. I immediately e-mailed different places in Princeton (many which didn't even respond) asking about internships, jobs, anything so I could be closer to him this summer. Obviously, it didn't work out.
I decided I was probably stuck in Indiana for the summer, which wasn't a bad thing. Really, it was pretty comfortable. I was excited to take a break, see my family, no expectations, no busy schedule, or anything. I met with my adviser to discuss my addictions counseling practicum, which was really the only item on my summer to-do list. I asked her about places in Kokomo, Marion, Fort Wayne, Indy. I'm not even sure how the conversation turned into e-mailing counseling centers in Arizona, California, and Montana, but it did.
With little expectations, I received a couple e-mails saying (like everyone else) they had nothing to offer. I was most interested in an eating disorder clinic, but the staff are currently restructuring their internship program and had nothing for this summer. Last, I received an e-mail from Advent Group Ministries - they looked at my resume and explained their summer intern position. With nothing to lose, I applied.
Me being me, I was instantly excited. Advent Group Ministries is a faith-based, non-profit, social service agency. How could I not apply for a paid internship that was the perfect puzzle piece for my addictions counseling practicum and also an opportunity to work with other Christians? I began the application process confident and hopeful, but slowly and surely I started freaking out. I mean it, my thoughts became overwhelmed at the idea of being away from Indiana another summer. I scheduled my classes for next year and only imagined the non-stop plans from now until graduation, the stress, the unknown. I wanted to relax. I wanted my family, my friends, garden vegetables. Seriously, I freaked.
I am learning and relearning. I can't believe how God reminds me of old promises and ideas. When I worked in various missions in Philadelphia, I left the experience longing for more opportunities to make those daily realities: to reach out and help others. To be light in the darkest places. It's true: I run from God's promises to use me overseas, or in my church, or to help others. I'm no different than Israel. While slaves to Pharaoh, they cried to God. In the desert, they forget how God rescued them from Pharaoh and curse him for their new situations. God over and over again overwhelms my heart, thoughts, emotions. I see him work, but then I become busy, overwhelmed, or self-absorbed, and forget his promises in my life. I have been on nine mission trips -- and always looked forward to the day where that could be reality, for moments where the desires of God worked in my heart and acted through my hands. Yet I wanted to run from this opportunity to serve these teenagers this summer.
But somehow he grabbed me again, he's sending me. God is confirming, affirming, helping me see that this is where he wants me. I mean it, I really do. I use to shy away from expressions like "This is exactly where God wants me or wants me to do." At times, I even judged others and thought, "God wants you to do what? You are the last person I would want to help me in _______ or serve me ________." While God can certainly use me wherever and whenever, I already see the ways in which God is renewing my heart, reminding me of old promises, dreams, and ideas.
Here I am. I'm scrambling getting paperwork figured out, booked my plane ticket, struggling to imagine the next couple months and what it all entails. I leave for California in two weeks or so. I'm excited, a little scared, but humbled. Somehow I'm going. It's really happening.