I have always been told. “God wrecks your plans before they wreck you.” Perhaps that’s where my life was headed, towards wreckage, and that’s why God sent me to IBCM7 in Rome.
At the beginning of my college years I decided that I wanted to work in Public Relations. But as I stepped out of my first college class I was scared to death of the degree, and knew that this field was not what God had intended for me. Within a few months I somehow drove away from my hometown to the very corner of Iowa, to a little BIble College which I had never heard of except through a couple of mutual friends who were attending. I saw it as God’s hand leading me towards the next step of my life.
Emmaus Bible College is where I have spent the last five years deepening my relationship with Christ, and prolonging my graduation date just to add more to my degrees. I started at Emmaus thinking I would just be in the education program. My motto was “educating the youth for a world without a bubble.” I liked the idea of breaking into American public schools and being that shining light in the midst of darkness. But as I progressed through my studies so also was my heart moving toward what the Lord wanted for my life. After a presentation about teaching overseas and being a missionary teacher, I was hooked. I knew that this was where God wanted me; I started to mold my degree towards working overseas with students of other cultures.
God was certainly moving things around in my life but I still could not see the finish line.
When we can’t see the finish line things can surely get depressing. I had no idea where I needed to go, where God was going to place me, and what decisions I needed to make. So I participated in something called SUMMEX at Emmaus, which is a summer mission program that allows college students to travel around the world, and see what God is doing. The summer that I chose to go was the summer of IBCM7, June/July 2019. I had never heard of the conference before and really had no idea what it was. The first time I stepped into the hotel in Pomezia, Italy, the team and I were briefly updated and introduced to everyone, and then rushed to participate in the last minute training of the conference volunteers. The next couple of days buses and buses of fellow Christians from countries all over the globe and from all walks of life entered the conference. There were different languages flying around, people hugging each other joyously, and country updates displayed for all to see. If I had to describe the conference for the readers to understand I would say,
“It feels like how I would imagine feeling when I walk into the gates of Heaven.”
Although I was volunteering and did not have much free time, I did get the opportunity to enjoy the missionary updates. It was here that I truly felt such a pull to teach overseas. The overwhelming power of God was truly evident in the individuals that risk their lives to bring God’s children home. I wanted to help them and I wanted to support them.
When I returned to the USA and to college after our trip I switched majors, moving to a degree in mission, while still maintaining my education minors and associate degrees. I added English to my degree and started to work towards becoming a missionary teacher for international schools overseas. I still do not know the exact location of where God is leading me. What I do know is that the God who has wrecked “my” plans many times, also helps me find the path He has laid before me to take.
I truly believe that without IBCM7 in Rome I would not have been able to reach this path in such a short time. So I am thankful for the Holy Spirit that leads each of us even when we can’t see, don’t understand, and may be about to wreck ourselves. All glory is given to God who has never failed and will never fail.