A Graduate’s Life For Me!

Well a lot has changed since my last post (that seems to be the intro to most of my blogs:)! I GRADUATED from CNU on May 10th and I start my first grown up job next week…oh man!!

Commencement Day!

The past four years have been such a blessing, and it’s hard to believe that my college chapter is over already! I remember my freshman year like it was yesterday – my roommates, my classes and professors, my immaturity... Since then I’ve had opportunities to travel the world, to conduct research, to learn from and do life with an exceptional community of people…I never imagined that my four years would be so full and life-giving. My college experience has been nothing short of amazing. I’ve learned to care for others and to do purposeful work, I’ve grown intellectually, spiritually, and I’ve figured out (and continue to realize) the things that are important to me.

Intelligence + Character, that is the goal of true education. -MLK

I am sincerely grateful for my family, friends, mentors, professors, and the many others without whom my journey would be incomplete. I love Althea Gibson’s acknowledgement,

If I’ve made it, it’s because there were an awful lot of people who cared enough to help me.

It has been quite a journey to this place. From the time that I started at CNU until now I’ve gone from wanting to be an event coordinator, to an interest in public policy, to not knowing what I wanted and everything in between. In some ways I still don’t know what I want to do professionally, but I’ve learned that not knowing everything is okay – I’m learning to view my life as a journey with opportunities and adventures, and to take things one step at a time.

If you feel that you have both feet planted on level ground, then the university has failed you. -Robert Goheen

All that to say, I’m happy to announce that I will be working in the HR department of Massimo Zanetti Beverage, a coffee manufacturing company! I feel blessed to have a plan…it definitely appeases my type-a, perfectionist personality!! I’m also verrryyyyy excited to begin working in the coffee industry and pursue my long-term goal of one day owning a coffee shop.

Though getting to this point wasn’t quick or painless, it taught me to trust the Lord more. Doors that I thought were certain, closed unexpectedly  for me, others that were far from my mind opened, and I was faced with tough decisions…I quickly learned that becoming an adult is both a great privilege and responsibility! I realized, once again, that there is a plan greater than my own.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. -Proverbs 16:9

So here I go joining you working folks, embarking upon a new journey and figuring out how to make a life for myself. I am so excited for this new chapter! Thank you for your constant love and support, and cheers to adulthood!

100% Sent

I’m in disbelief that summer project in Australia has come and gone; I have so much to praise God for! After five weeks in Australia, a total of nine flights, and six airports (and not one piece of lost luggage!), I’m now at home preparing for the semester ahead. Project was an incredible experience – I still can’t believe that I had such a wonderful opportunity.

I remember dreaming of Australia during the winter break after my first semester of college. It’s been positively overwhelming to see this whole process come full circle. I dreamt of Australia before I really had a relationship with God. After accepting Christ relationally I was very opposed to sharing my faith – entirely not for it. Then, the Lord began to grow my heart and I longed for others to know of God’s love the way I did. With hesitance, I applied for Hampton Beach Summer Project last summer (you can read those blogs), but it wasn’t a priority. God literally closed every other door so that I would go on that project, which changed my life and walk with Him completely. Hampton Beach is where I learned how to be relational with God and my faith really became my own. Who knew that last summer was preparation for what He would call me to this summer!

The past several weeks have been full of fun, community, hard work, and growth. Our team mostly worked on two university campuses (RMIT and University of Melbourne) where we conducted surveys and talked to students about their worldviews and spirituality. During our time in Melbourne we had about 250 conversations! Though many days were discouraging as Australian culture is largely apathetic, it was all the more inspiring to work with the students who led Student Life (Cru) on the campuses. These men and women are so passionate about God and sharing His love with their peers, it was like nothing I had ever seen before.

Not all of our conversations ended in indifference, thankfully. I had several great conversations with students who asked hard questions and began thinking seriously about Truth. I loved those chats and pondering tough questions about life, the world, and God. Those exchanges caused much growth in faith and understanding for me as well.

Our team meshed so well over the course of project and it was hard to say goodbye to them. We all loved our time in Melbourne and did not want to leave…we are already planning our reunion! I think each person would agree that doing ministry together grew our hearts for one another and for the world.

More than anything, this project reminded me of the importance of being “100% Sent” and that sharing God is not an event – it’s a lifestyle. God can be made known not just through words, but through actions and in the way life is lived [You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. –Matthew 5:14-16]. This verse moves me as I seek to apply Jesus’ message to my life.

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to visit Australia doing what I love. I speak from the heart when I say that none of this would have been possible without you – I never stop thanking God for you. Your support, prayers, and encouragement mean so much. Thanks for your generosity and for being a part of the community that God is using to teach me so much.

Much love!

This awesome view is from Brisbane, our first stop where we met the student leaders.

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A Privilege

The past couple of weeks have been packed full of ministry, community development, and training! It has certainly left me tired, but I can’t imagine anything else I’d rather be worn out from!

One thing that I’ve been constantly reminded of on this project is what a privilege Christians have to partner with God in this way. Of all options, the creator of the universe chose to use us to make Himself known and share His love with others. I’m humbled at the thought – it’s the difference between ministry being a chore and being a blessing.

Our team has connected in great ways, which makes our ministry much easier. We are all learning and growing both personally and in our knowledge of our faith as it compares to other faith traditions. It’s hard to believe we are in the home stretch already!

We have been working on a total of five university campuses, and predominately on two. As I talk to other university students about their world views and spirituality, I feel God growing my heart for the world. It has been really neat to see the passion, courage, and energy of the leaders of Student Life (Cru) in a place that doesn’t have a high regard for spiritual matters. Joining the Aussie team to love on students and provide support reminds me of the unity among believers [For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13].

Your continued support and prayers are such an encouragement to me as we go out on campus!

The image is from our trip to the Great Ocean Road yesterday. This is what’s left of the 12 Apostles – truly magnificent!

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