A lot of people have said this to me about my job transition, "Why the change???"
In Fact, I have spoken with friends even in the past few days, and they will comment on what a great fit this new role is for me!!! I mean really... I am thankful and GRATEFUL each day for my job, my life, and ALL God is doing. Yesterday was Young Life's Day of Prayer... and I shouted to the Lord... "THANK YOU GOD!!!!! I Loooove THIS!!!!!!" Yep, in my house just SHOUTED to God, and probably scared the Doodle Dogs!
I met Jesus through Young Life in 2000 at Rockbridge, a Young Life Camp in Virginia, and have been on YL Staff now for almost 10 years... June 10th is my 10 Year Anniversary... YIKES! I really Can't BELIEVE It! The Lord has radically changed my story through Young Life! When I accepted Jesus I said to my Young Life Leader, (who is now my Boss, haha), “I am smiling from the inside out for the first time!” AND I have a pretty big smile!!!
About 4-5 years ago I knew the Lord was stirring something new in me. It would be a challenge, a new journey together, and a different story than I had been living on Young Life Staff. I felt as though I was walking with the Lord into something deeper, but I could not exactly put a name to my desire and calling! As I look back, I stand in awe of WHO God is. I wake up each morning deeply thankful for what God alone has done, and through the mission of Young Life, am honored to do what I am called to with the King of Kings here on Earth!
God was asking me to work with friends with disabilities! I knew it... I had a sense that this was a population of people the Lord was asking me to be with, to love, to learn from, and to share Jesus with! I spoke my hope, prayer, goals and dreams to a few people... but the Lord had other plans!!! OUR plans are not always HIS - sometimes His are so much more. It has been a longer road to get here than I thought it would be, but God is faithful and on the move!!! I thought it would be Young Life Capernaum in Novi, my former area, but little did I know God wanted it to be all over Metro Detroit... Available to students in Livonia, Farmington, Novi, Canton, and Walled Lake!!! Places we don’t even have typical Young Life yet! We are partnered very closely with my church, Ward, who has a wonderful place for Capernaum friends to graduate into called Potter's Wheel.
Along with starting Metro Detroit Capernaum, I am honored to meet with new areas who want to start Young Life in the Eastern Great Lakes Region. I was sitting in a room full of adults in Northville, Michigan, a month ago and one of the parents had given their life to Jesus at Windy Gap when they were in high school! They had been praying for Young Life to be close by, and could not believe we were re-starting Young Life in Northville! She started to talk about Young Life Camp, and I immediately welled with tears… Our God is big! Big enough to care about the very fabric of our hopes and dreams!
The last part of my new job involves speaking/program that are tied into my budget…. something I could never have imagined! This addition has allowed me to live into the way the Lord has designed and created me in a very authentic way! I am able to attend banquets, weekends, church retreats, and other events around Michigan and the country… to see the heart of Mission face to face, and to share the Good News of WHO our God is and can be!!! I love speaking about Jesus, and laughing! My very soul is alive in these tender moments!
There are so many stories that belong to the lives of kids, adults, and families, and I get to watch the very hand of God move in a mighty way!!!
I will share a moment from Capernaum Club in January. Kailey, a Capernaum Friend, who I have known for almost two years stood up at the end of our Club Talk. The question was, “What makes you special?” Kailey stood and said, “I just feel like no one understands me. But I know God does. I know He does, and that’s okay! It makes me special that He understands!” Yes, yes it does! Our Capernaum friends are so real, vulnerable and honest. I breathe in a different way around these friends, and their faces speak of such truth! Is there brokenness? Yes. But Good News is GOOD News to ALL people! My friends feel understood, valued, and known! What more could I ask for from our sweet Savior!!!
I am living a deeply understood story. Our God DOES know us, and my goodness how special that does make us!!!
I did not know exactly how God would make it possible, but just that He would do it. I am walking in a different way during this season of ministry. I can trust our God! I think I always knew that, but I trust Him in a completely different way! We can trust Him with our dreams, with our pain, and with our deepest hopes too!!! AND more than anything… We can be BRAVE with Our God!
In May I was scared, nervous, and fearful about this position in Young Life. I was sad about leaving Novi Young Life, and that continues to be a process. I questioned everything from raising $115,000, to where we would even meet Capernaum friends, how to start new Areas, where would God ask me to speak… There were so many unknowns, what ifs, and hard moments of trust. This morning I am walking with a FULL heart! I am walking with absolute JOY, and a deep sense of gratitude... I am walking in the wake of HOW BIG our God is!!!
I love this ministry, but my goodness I LOVE our God!!! Smiling from the inside out… Utter JOY in Christ Alone 15 years later!!!
WHY the change??? Because I am walking hand in hand with our God… living a FAR bigger story than I knew was possible! Praise To OUR God!!!
Why the change for You... WHERE is God asking you to walk with Him more intimately???