Photo by Jeff Rogers Photography
I spent my early growing-up years in Georgia, then we moved to a small town in Missouri when I was 12. I didn’t grow up in the church, but my grandmother was a spiritual giant. She always talked to us about how much God loved us. I got baptized at a Vacation Bible School that my grandmother took me to when I was eight, but didn’t really interact with the church until I was around 13 years old. I went to church with my best friend in middle school. Her parents were youth pastors. As I was getting older, I started doing mission trips. We built houses and cleaned up communities. I am one of seven children. I was really the only person in my immediate family who went to church.
In high school I was very school-oriented and involved in church. I went to a tiny midwestern farm town high school. I was class president for a couple of years. I did theater, show choir, academic team. I graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. Everyone told me I would be able to continue my education anywhere I wanted and would get scholarship. I applied to 13 schools and got into none! I was even rejected by the community college. It was so disappointing. I had spent so much time working hard in school.
I graduated in 2016 and went on a mission trip in Colorado that summer. During that trip, I was praying a lot about what to do because I didn’t get into school. There was a speaker from iGo Global. The speaker said some people are called to go and some people are called to stay. I felt a distinct calling to go on mission. Everything in my life had led to that. I knew I wanted to do whatever the Lord wanted me to do with my life.
When I got home from Colorado, I talked to my youth pastor, and she said to look into Ozark Bible College. I applied and was immediately accepted. I started in January after I graduated high school. My family didn’t help with the money, and it is a pretty expensive school, so I worked to earn money toward my tuition. Two days before school started, I was going to turn my paperwork in and the academic dean randomly stopped by the secretary’s desk. When he saw my paperwork, he offered me a scholarship that paid half my tuition for four years.
My third year at Ozark Bible College, I came on a service trip with a team of college students to Love City in Louisville, Kentucky, during spring break. The founders of Love City offered me a three-month summer internship, which I accepted. Four weeks into the internship, they offered me a full-time position. After graduating with a mission degree in intercultural studies in May 2020, I moved to Louisville to be on full time staff at Love City.
The Lord is patient. I am a big planner and the most important way the Lord has worked in my life is uprooting my plans and showing me the way (His way). The 13 college rejections were disappointing (and surprising), but God had a better plan for me, a plan that He is revealing to me even now. Going to Bible College helped me fulfill my dream of becoming a missionary, and God connected me with the founders of Love City, a place where I now live and love to serve.
I am most thankful that the Lord just keeps showing up, even when I don’t know what He is doing! Over and over, His hand has provided for me and guided me. Even the big changes in my life, have all worked out very well. I have learned that God may uproot your plans, but He will never disappoint you.
I therefore, a prisoner for theLord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).