Looking Back, Looking Forward

As I’m sure most of you reading this already know, Thomas and I had the most wonderful time in Cape Town, South Africa! We returned home a week ago today, and it has been a busy week of reflecting on the trip and purging all the stories and information onto our families and friends. Spending five weeks in a different country was so good for us in a number of ways. Speaking for me, personally, this mission trip helped me become “un-stuck” from my comfortable and non-risky style of living here in the States. Believe me when I say I absolutely love America and am so blessed to have my home in the security of Riley. But I almost felt frustrated with myself for how I’ve rarely allowed myself to do something “out there” or adventurous. Instead, for some reason, I made myself bound to responsibility and being dependable, constant. Not whimsical or risk-taking. But on this trip, for the first time in a long time, I felt brave. I completely had to trust that God would provide the funds to get over there, I was thrown into a situation where I had virtually no control over my schedule, and I even went cage diving with sharks! It was the perfect kind of liberation from my own self that I needed.

We also met a ton of neat people, including the Campus Crusade “stinters,” who are living in Cape Town for the remainder of the year to launch ministries on university campuses. We learned much from them and their example of faith, as well as the South Africans we worked with, who were so energetic and passionate. Our group also talked to many students on campus, some who called themselves Christians and some who did not. It was so cool to see God work in the conversations. Many students admitted they began questioning their faith just that week, and talking with them provided some clarity they needed. Just many instances of perfect timing.

Another thing Thomas and I realized was that while we were busy making plans for ourselves, we weren’t being diligent about inviting God into those plans. Talking with the Crusade interns and staff gave us some more interesting opportunities to consider that we haven’t thought about before. We’ll be praying for direction as graduation draws closer.

As I reminisce on the summer I spent in Cape Town, I’m also very excited for this coming school year and what the future holds beyond that. In addition to a class schedule that I think I’ll love (hello, Children’s Literature), I’m also beginning my new job as a writer for World on Campus, an online Christian magazine for college students. The best part is that I work from my laptop, so I can decide where and when I want to sit down and write. It will definitely be interesting to see how I manage that, as well as my second year as youth director at church. Now that my feet are wet, I’m eager to be with my middle and high schoolers for another round.

And while all this is happening, I’ll be planning the wedding, getting in some much-needed cooking practice and continuing to vehemently believe that Thomas and I will be home DIY-ers by the time we’re in our first apartment. Ha :)

If you still haven’t gotten your fill, feel free to view all my South Africa pictures on Facebook. Thanks for reading!


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