Most people would question my sanity if informed that I drove through the night for the sole purpose of stopping to visit old friends prior to attending a mission trip reunion. Perhaps, rightly so. When I arrived at Miracle Mountain Ranch at 5 a.m., I took a short nap, unaffected by the overdose of caffeine in my bloodstream. The rest of the day, I mingled with staff and students, renewing old friendships and making new friendships. When I greeted Matt Cox in the office, I discovered that I was to follow him directly into class with the S.A.L.T. (Servant Attitude Leadership Training) students and share my testimony of what God has been doing in my life over the last few months. His words were, “Are you read to preach or perish?” I had no idea that I would be able to share with the S.A.L.T. students and apprentices, but I was ready! I would have driven the seven hours to the Ranch just for that opportunity alone. I was able to share about my Interface experience in Papua New Guinea several years ago, about God’s faithfulness in providing for my college tuition (and everything else), about an unexpected graduation date and teaching license approval, a miraculous $100 donation, and a teaching job from nowhere. When I finished, I questioned if anyone could understand me; after all, I was confused at what I said. The caffeine may not have kept me from sleeping, but it certainly affected by mental processes. Talking in circles and at high speeds was unavoidable. Matt then shared from Scripture about the necessity of being open to wherever God leads. As I sat in the back of the room, I realized that I had skipped one part: the battle and struggles of “what if this isn’t it?” Just before I applied for the Associate position with NTM, I asked myself if going to Papua New Guinea was really God’s plan for me, or if it was just my plan—something I wanted to do because it would be cool. I battled with that question, knowing that yes, there were a lot of things that attracted me to Papua New Guinea, that yes, God has seemed to be opening doors, and that I now had opportunity. Then I had to ask myself, “How would I react if God said ‘no’ and closed all doors to PNG?” After realizing that I would be content to teach here in the U.S., or anywhere else God led me to, knowing that His will is exactly the best place for me to be, I continued filling out the application, confident that if God wanted me in Papua New Guinea in July 2012, He would make sure it happened. If he wanted me home another year, or indefinitely, that too would come to pass.
As a side note, my visit at the Ranch and time at the Interface Reunion were well-worth the driving—I returned home tonight spiritually and emotionally refreshed, despite physical exhaustion. Tomorrow is my first day as a long-term substitute teacher at Carroll High School! I’m so excited…. =D