Who Am I?
I graduated high school with the desire to travel the world. I had spent a month the summer of my freshman year in Panama. Bouncing back and forth between the city and the jungle, I gained a love for these people that had a passion for life and yet so little material possessions. They had love for family, friends, community, and food! The following summer I spent a month in Thailand, gaining a respect for the Asian culture. Here I learned an incredible lesson in what it means to put others before yourself. These people go out of their way to bring you honor, dignity, and respect. The summers of my junior and senior year I spent a few weeks in Mexico. Here I learned that that the most simple house, four walls, cement floor, and a front door can bring safety, joy, and dignity to a family that was living in a cardboard box. All this to say, I graduated with a few stamps in my passport and a heart that was in love with the nations.
My childhood dream of being a doctor stuck with me into adulthood, and so I headed off to college to pursue a medical education. But after several semesters of chemistry, biology, and infectious disease classes I realized I was in over my head. Now if you knew me, you might laugh at this because math and science have never been my thing. I have always been a reader and a writer; give me a journal and it's full in a few weeks. It's just what comes naturally. So putting my deductive skills to work, I realized that if I was going to make it through school I needed to change my major. So biomedical sciences quickly turned into english education and I began to ace my classes. But somewhere in the process I lost my zeal for life and began searching for joy in all the wrong places.
God of course was calling my name, just waiting for me to turn around and run back to Him. Thank goodness for that!
Long story short, I began searching for different opportunities. I remembered the joy I found in traveling the world and began searching the world wide web for thrilling experiences to quench my adventuresome spirit. I discovered YWAM's Discipleship Training Schools and thought it sounded like a fun adventure. Little did I know, I was in for a life changing experience, one that would ruin the world as I knew it.
So in January of 2008, I packed up my little apartment in Colorado and headed to Pismo Beach, California. This tiny coastal town smack dab in between San Francisco and Los Angeles, was rather quaint compared to Fort Collins. But as the weeks progressed and the speakers came and went, God began to restore my broken and longing heart. I found myself on my knees more frequently than I had ever been in my whole life. At some points I think I even had rug burn. I began to realize that the life I spent thinking was all about me, was really all about God. I also began to realize that all of the adventure I was longing for was satisfied simply by knowing my Maker, I couldn't get enough. My cravings became intense and this fire was lit in my soul that I knew would be hard to put out.
As DTS lecture phase came to close, we packed our bags and headed to Cambodia and the Philippines for a two month outreach. As we played with trafficked orphans, loved on children with HIV, and told prostitutes that they were truly beautiful, I began to realize that the way God intensely and passionately pursued me, was how He pursued each child, woman, and man that we came in contact with. It was in this moment of realization that I knew this couldn't be just another stamp in my passport, this was the beginning of something incredible.
I went home after DTS, began raising support, and headed back out to Pismo Beach, CA with a car full of luggage and my heart full of joy. I have been on staff with YWAM Pismo Beach since November of 2008 as a full time missionary and have loved every single moment of it. It has been, by far, the most difficult, painful, stretching, incredible, life-changing adventure I have ever been a part of. I have learned more about myself then I ever believed possible, but more importantly I have learned more about my Maker then I ever dreamed. I have had many incredible adventures, but these days my real joy is found when I can pull others out of the comfort of their day-to-day living and experience the mud houses in Haiti and the homeless in San Francisco. My joy comes when people can see the heart God has for them, that burning passion He has to be in relationship with them. It also comes when they get down on the stained ground and pray for a homeless man and when they get a little dirty helping build a house for a family in need. That is what makes my heart beat faster. I have also rediscovered my medical roots in a way I would have never dreamed, but you can read more about that under another button. :-)
Many ask me if this is a season in my life, but to be honest, this is my life. My heart for missions and ministry is one I don't think will be leaving me anytime soon.
What I am thankful for is the fact that God is infinite in character, because I get the chance to wake up daily and learn something new about my best friend.