Like it or not I’ve already started my internship. My friend Tristan reminded me of that a couple of days ago. I was sitting with him and my friend Hudson at a coffee shop table, freaking out over what is about to happen with my life over the next four months, and he reminded me that God has already started me on this incredible journey.
For all you who don’t know yet, to finish up my education and move towards graduation, I get to go on an internship. There are a couple of rules: 1) It has to be abroad or I have to cross some cultural barrier. 2) It should be about 6 weeks long. 3) This internship needs to be a part of an organization that is focused on engaging people with the Gospel and furthering the Kingdom of God. It is such an amazing opportunity to get to go on this kind of trip for my education. I have friends going to East Asia, to North Africa, to Latin America, and Jacob Klever is going alongside me to Brussels Belgium. All my friends are going to be a part of amazing organizations making a difference in the lives of people all over the world. One of my friends has the opportunity to fight against sex trafficking in L.A. and I am amazed by the courage she has. For me and Jacob, we will primarily be engaging with the refugee population in Brussels, alongside loving on the homeless community and doing outreach throughout the city. I don’t know a whole lot more than that, but tomorrow night I’ll be able to speak with one of the trip leaders, so I’ll let you know if there are any more details!
I want to use this opportunity, this blog that your reading, to really be honest, and honestly I have no clue what I’m doing right now. I have felt a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety these last few weeks, and it has caused me to loose sight of what this trip is about. I recently found out that I will be staying at Biola another full semester (that pushes graduation to Spring of 2018), and I have been panicking trying to figure out finances and my new class schedule. The anxiety I feel has been immobilizing. I’m doing my best to figure things out, but on top of fundraising for Brussels, I am almost completely at a loss. In the middle of all this, I was reminded of Philippians 4:6-7:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I’ve never had any reason to question this verse, but in that moment I couldn’t believe that I could just stop being anxious. Honestly, just turn it off. Since then, I’ve come across Job 38-41 where God admonishes Job by illustrating how completely in control he is over everything, and Matthew where Jesus reminds the crowds that God is the one who clothes the grass of the field. If God pays so much attention to his creation, then how much more will he provide for us, his children. I have been encouraged by so many people that God has got my back in this (Jacob and Chad thank you for sitting with me and listening to me panic!), and it took all them and Tristan to finally get that into my head. As I’m sitting in my own anxiety Tristan tells me,
“Your on a roller coaster. It’s scary and terrifying, but your calm and you have peace. You have peace because even though you can’t see where your going, you are strapped in and you know there are tracks ahead of you.”
He is right. God has a path laid out for me and even though I’m walking it blindfolded, I know God is leading me somewhere good.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” -Jeremiah 29:11
This is like beginner stuff, right? I totally should know this, yet I have to be reminded of it again.
So where am I now? Well, practically I am going to walk out in faith with a contingency plan in mind as well. I’m going to pursue Brussels with all I’ve got; I don’t see any point in backing out. However, with finances and grades and everything, I also am preparing to stay in L.A. I am currently seeking out an internship with Voice of the Refugees, and organization provides services to immigrant refugees in Orange County and the suburbs of L.A., and I absolutely love what they are doing. If all else fails, then I will stay where I am. If God wants me here, then I trust that he will shut the door to Brussels. My goal is to use this internship opportunity to serve. If I will be best used by God in Brussels, then I’ll go! If L.A. is where God will use me most effectively, then by all means I want to stay! Whatever happens, I know that I am already on my internship. I am learning to really trust God and seek him out. I would appreciate your prayers and encouragement! It has been an intense journey already, and I haven’t even left yet.