There is something so beautifully wonderful about not knowing what to expect in a new situation. And by “beautifully wonderful,” I mean slightly terrifying in the best possible way.
I encountered this sort of situation Monday as I walked into International Service Project (ISP) Orientation. As a newbie in the program, I have already experienced more than what I could have initially expected.
When I first decided to take the plunge and participate in ISP, I had about a trillion little thoughts. The main gist of these included mixed fear and excitement for never having left the country before and not having a clue about any element of international travel. The good news about this is that I soon discovered I was not the only one. As I went through the application process, I was able to express these concerns and realize that ISP is not just for sophisticated travel experts – it is designed to get anyone involved in our God’s global mission.
As soon as I found out I was going to the United Kingdom and met my team, the excitement mounted. I am, and have always been, absolutely obsessed with the UK. I’m enthralled by anything involving tea, fish ‘n chips, English poets/actors/characters, or the BBC. In recent years, though, I’ve been increasingly aware of the state of Christianity in the UK and have had a nagging urge to check further into this. I still believe that my God is active all over the world and that he has plans to fulfill, and I’ve been compelled to see how I fit in with that. As soon as I was placed on this ISP team, I felt an assurance that my will is aligning with God’s. I know that he has given me each gift and passion for a reason, and I’m stoked to see this will play out through my involvement in this service project.
Though I could not (and still cannot) contain my excitement for all that is to come, I still carried a few uncertainties. Time flies, after all, so how can I cram the needed information into my head to be an affective servant with my team? Each of my fears was immediately addressed at our first meeting this past Monday. We were able to share our fears – and then immediately recognize that our God is bigger than each financial issue and each matter of inexperience and safety. This really puts my mind at ease and makes it easy to overcome any lingering fears.
I promise to keep you updated on this preparation time, as I know for sure I’ll continue to learn. It has been wonderful to know that inexperience cannot be trumped by a willingness to serve, as well as the fact that if the Lord wants me somewhere, He’ll give me the means to go. We only need to be open to being terrified, because our fears will turn into assurance that our God is big and the very definition of good. Friends, be out of your comfort zone, be teachable, and love God through it all. I’ll see you next week!