Hi guys! I hope that you’re all doing well. (: Today, I am very happy to present to you a brand new blog series! It will be much like Cultivating A Joyful Life, in that I have a certain time of week I post a new addition, when I have one to post. So, on the weeks that I have something to share with all of you on this topic, I will be talking about Missions on Mondays!
Back in January, I truly planned for this to be a central theme on my blog. Talking about my calling was really on my heart, and it was also the reason I even started this blog! (Hence its name, haha) However, the deeper I got into blogging, the more of a subtopic it became, only popping up every once in a while in passing conversation, and every few months as a spiritual journey update. Sometimes, this fact has saddened me, but I was also content to let it be as it was; I don’t push the matter of a blog topic that doesn’t inspire me to write. I allowed the Lord to inspire me as He would, and it is now that I’d love to share all of this with you.
What better place to start than the very beginning?
The Concert That Changed My Life
On the 22nd of September 2016, I went to a concert. It wasn’t an event completely new to me; I’ve been to multiple concerts over the past couple of years. But this concert was special, because I had been wanting to go to one exactly like it since I was eleven years old, since I had first heard that particular band sing.
It’s in the pureness of the lead singer’s voice, and the beauty and richness of every lyric … they captivated me from the first song. I’d never heard anything like it, nor have I ever since. That captivation carried me to that beautiful concert, meet-and-greet pass and all. I met them, spent a bit of time with them, got to have my picture taken with them. (I’ve featured that image in my summer desk tour post!) I really couldn’t tell you if I enjoyed meeting them or watching them preform more, as both of those experiences were absolutely huge blessings to me.
However, believe it or not, it wasn’t the band, or the concert in particular, that changed my life that night. I did have a blast, and I still think about it all the time. The thing that truly changed me was, in fact, the organization that the concert proceeds went to. ❤
Before the band came up on stage, one of the men on staff at that church got up in front of us (I had a front row seat) and played a video for us on the two large screens. They were on the high walls adjacent to the stage, much like I’ve seen other churches I’ve visited have set up, as well.
That video discussed the organization’s mission, showed footage of many of the kids who go there (who honestly look like such sweethearts), and also talked about why and how the organization began. That latter part made me nervous because they described the place as being a shelter and refuge for the children in the area (Zone 18 of Guatemala City) because of the rampant gangs and daily shootings, and other awful things like that. I don’t like to dwell on people, especially children, being trapped in situations like that, because of poverty, their family situations, etc … but the closer I have grown to the thought of helping those people, the easier this burden has come to bear.
That night, I finished watching the video, listened captivated as the man who started the organization talked a bit more about it (I had no idea he was going to be there that night haha), and wondered why it kept coming back to mind in the months that followed. I had never felt drawn to missions myself up until that point, and even then I was just considering helping that organization financially.
Little did I know how I would feel on January 1st, 2017.
I’ve heard it said that new year’s resolutions are cliché, and I also believe that a good portion of the time, they are … but this year, it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before or dared dream of. ❤ The fact that it was on the very first day of the year makes it that much more special.
An Evening That Brought Me Peace
Have you ever attempted to recall an event that was so utterly life-altering that you’re only able to remember bits and pieces of it? That’s what I’m struggling with right now – recalling this beautiful evening of January 2017. Why is my brain like this? haha
Let’s see … I remember returning, once again, to Hope for Guatemala‘s website, browsing its informative pages, searching for the answer that my heart was longing for. I hadn’t been able to get the place out of my mind for three months. I realize now that doesn’t look like a very long time, and I only felt like it was because there wasn’t a legitimate reason for me to be dwelling on it then.
I can now see that, even then, the Lord was calling me. ❤
While on the website that evening, I visited a page that I hadn’t been to before. It was titled ‘Internship Programs.’ This next bit may sound strange to you – I started crying so hard that I couldn’t see the laptop screen anymore.
You may be wondering how I felt, or what I heard and saw, the first moment that I knew. I’ve wondered the same thing myself about others who have been called to foreign countries to serve the Lord, and my main assumption was that it must have been pretty spectacular. I mean, it’s the King of kings we’re talking about! And He has a beautiful way of impacting the lives of His children.
When I first began crying, I got out of my desk chair and knelt on the floor beside my bed. I didn’t hear anything different, aside from my own sobbing. I wouldn’t say that I was overcome with tears at that moment; it was more like an overflow of emotions and feelings that my body could not contain. I felt immensely loved and drawn to Him, and in the silence, joy and an intense desire to go consumed me. I don’t remember a word of what I prayed – it’s always like that for me – but I remember smiling with tear-stained cheeks and knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Guatemala was in my future. I knew that He has a purpose for me there, and that He will get me there in His timing, and in His beautiful way.
And the rest was history! (I have shared my progress on the ‘My Calling’ category on my blog, and I will share more information on posts to come!)
Thank you so much for reading! I’m looking forward to sharing a second part to this post series. If you have any questions about my calling, I would love to talk to you in the comments below! ❤
thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx