Life #After11n11

It’s been just over two years since I finished the World Race, and got back home to America.

christmas2012

Fresh from the field in 2012.

Before the World Race, I had a great job and I was considered a responsible adult. I was making more money than the average American, because I had finished my degree and joined the full-time workforce, working for a hospital. When I was given the opportunity to go on the World Race, I told everyone I was going to be quitting my very secure and respectable job. This is when my character was questioned by people who didn’t quite understand.

20131209_174020

People who didn’t get it, including my parents, felt that I was being irresponsible. Throw out years of great responsibility out the window, my perfect grades in school, my effort 😉 in college, and that I had been working through school since it was legal. All quickly forgotten when I was quitting my job to do missions? Wait a minute. The responsible one was quitting her job to do something that was even more responsible: obeying God’s call. It’s okay when people don’t understand that at first. They don’t have to understand because it’s not their decision.

Fear and pessimism had to hush when the Lord provided the money for my mission trip. Thousands of dollars. Fifteen and a half of those, precisely. I sold my furnishings, appliances, and decorations. Afterwards, all I had fit in my car and it took me 20 minutes to load it. I chose to start over reaaaal light.

My lease ended 3 months before my trip, and I moved into my friend’s house. She graciously let me stay in her spare bedroom rent-free for 3 those months, in exchange for me cleaning the house and babysitting her two little boys in the evenings, doing dinner, homework, baths, and bedtime. I saved up. I did two fundraisers, a garage sale, and I wrote my little fingertips off about the passion in my heart to go to the nations and figure out more of who God is by experiencing His creation. My church helped me make a video, and aired it during two services. I visited almost every church community group with my prayer cards and fridge magnets, just to tell people what I was doing, how to keep up with me, and ask them to pray. It was not about the money. The money wasn’t the most important thing. And in 11 weeks, all the money came in. Why? Well, I had rallied an army who was excited about my trip, lifting me up in prayer. That’s priceless. Check out the video my church helped me make.

The World Race was amazing. It forever changed my life. I experienced almost every kind of ministry there is, every kind of loving others. Different places, languages, cultures. It gave me a broadened awareness of how BIG our family is in the Kingdom, and how beautifully different we are. It broke me from thinking that my way to connect with the Lord was “the right way” to connect with the Lord, as I saw different churches and cultures engaging Him in various ways. Some quietly, some like my-ears-are-bleeding loudly, some with covered heads, some dancing, bowing, weeping, laughing, singing, clapping, screaming (sweet Africa, my love), and some standing completely still with hands by their sides as if no music was playing whatsoever. I saw a lot of the Church, as in people of God coming together. It was not comfortable, but I didn’t want comfortable. I rode in pretty much every kind of transportation, and hugged babies and comforted the weeping. I got to attend weddings, speak on the radio, preach on television, be on the newspaper. We were like celebrities sometimes. We drew crowds, like it says that Jesus did in the Bible. And to imagine that this is irresponsible? Nah, bro. Not even a little bit. It was a radically responsible choice. So many people got saved, hugged, kissed, loved, fed. Also, amused by my cat shirts.

148834_10100285488570873_1292462827_n

So now I’m home and I’m 658 words into this to tell you that there’s life after #11n11.

I came back with a ministry dream in my heart and all these plans to do this and that. Most of my plans fell through during that first month back home. It was horrible!!! BUT I ended up moving to Georgia, having the cheapest rent of my life to live in a mansion. God provided in grandiose fashion. On top of that, I was making room in my schedule to be primed for leadership, so that I could start and lead my ministry well. This was why I moved to do the internship I did, the Center for Global Action, instead of jumping back into a full-time job at the hospital. There’s responsibility laced in there. I worked part-time as well. And I starred in the CGA video with my roommates. Winning.

I launched the ministry, and it’s still going. Slowly but surely, Phylla House is going! Phylla House is launching new groups in September, and if you’d like to be in one or involved with one, send me a message here.

And now I work full-time at a hospital [again] in Atlanta. I also attend Bethel Atlanta School of Supernatural Ministry part-time. I’m a ministry director. I traveled around the whole world.

My life is looking all kinds of “responsible” now, but don’t get it twisted. I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not taken the road less traveled and chosen to trust that God would be Faithful.

I’m a different person clocking in at the hospital. The work doesn’t suck the life out of me anymore. I get to bring joy to a really hard place, where people are suffering and dying. I pray for their healing, by name. I’m paying things off again. I don’t hate my life or my job. It’s absolutely okay to minister at the workplace, and to be a World Racer in America. Jesus has us doing Kingdom life in all kinds of ways, and yes, He pulled me back into the hospital workforce. Not everybody that has a non-ministry job is unhappy or missing their calling. Some could be resisting His nudge to fresh endeavors, but not all.

It’s okay to come home. It’s okay to rebuild community, to have Skype dates with your WR besties wherever they live. Jobs will hire you. Churches will make room for you. But my friend, you go back different. I realized that I influence the people around me, and I use that. I influence joy and peace. I influence faith in miracles. I influence shamelessness where I dance silly and make cheesy jokes and walk in confidence of who I am, and others get free to do so as well.

The World Race taught me not to care so much about what people think, but to figure out what Jesus thinks and let that influence me. Then I turn around and do exactly what I see my Father doing: I give, I serve, I comfort the broken, and I laugh at the days to come. I’m the daughter of the All-Consuming Fire, and my burning passion is the healing of the nations.

What’s your #after11n11?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s