I believe the Lord is close to the brokenhearted, I believe that He saves those who are crushed in spirit, and I believe He replaces devastation with restoration, I believe He uses everything in our lives for His good, and I believe He can turn our darkest hours into our most beautiful moments.
For those of you who are close to me, thank you for getting me through my darkest hours. For those who are not as close, thank you for your prayers and love from afar. I believe that if it was not for all of you I might not of made it through the month of January. When my devastation was consuming me I received texts with a simple "I'm praying for you", when my brokenness felt far to heavy to bear I received acts of love and encouragement, and when I thought I couldn't carry on I felt the warm embrace of my Heavenly Father.
Im not sharing this with you to feel sorry for me, or for you to wish my time in the Dominican Republic had gone differently. Because I wouldn't change a thing, I would actually do it all over again. I truly believe that experience made me who I am today and changed the way I look at orphan care. I now have an unrelenting passion for global orphan care that is stronger than ever before. I use to think orphan care was a beautiful thing and don't get me wrong because it is, but it is also messy and difficult. The reason I went to the Dominican Republic in the ffirst place was because I want to have my own children's home one day, and I can absolutely say I learned what not to do. Which in my opinion is the most important thing to learn. I gained wisdom and insight I did not have before, and I learned how to truly give selflessly to those in need. I know God brought me back to the U.S because I needed more time to grow and learn, and I am so thankful for that.
The daunting questions I often receive are "what are you doing with yourself", "where do you go to college", or my favorite "what do you plan on doing after college." Which in my opinion are not the easiest on the spot questions to answer. Especially since most of them automatically suggest I'm in college. Breaking American culture is something that is not easy to do... whenever I tell someone I am an intern at Mosaic for global missions, I want to have my own children's home in the Dominican Republic, and I don't plan on going to college. I get one of three reactions, a blank stare with an awkward "I don't know what to say" conversation following, me trying to scramble for something to say while they are looking at me like I have two heads, or the less expected "I'm so excited for you" follow up. (the third reaction is always my favorite)
Some of you may think I fell off the face of the earth for awhile, and to be quite honest I did. I didn't want to leave my house, all I wanted to do was eat Mcnuggets from McDonalds and lay in bed (I know thats disgusting). If it was not for my God, my close friends, and my church community I don't know if I would have bounced back like I did. Believe me when I say I am so thankful for all of you.
As I was praying for the next steps to take and what direction I should go in after returning home from the Dominican, God lead me back to my home church. I have made a one year commitment to Mosaic church in Oakland Florida to be a part of their internship for global missions. I am learning about orphan care, and the proper steps I need to take in order to build a ministry that will successfully further Christ's Kingdom. I am in awe as I receive mentoring from the amazing leaders of Mosaic who are going through life with me. Through this internship I am so blessed with endless opportunities. I have been able to attend conferences focused on orphan care in different parts of the country. I am able to be a part of a ministry called Love Made Visible. While being presented with opportunities to go back out on mission.
So with all of this being said, I am a living example of God bestowing a crown of beauty instead ashes, giving the oil of joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of despair. I am so excited to announce that Mosaic is sending me to Honduras for 2 months, to work in a home for abandoned babies. I leave June 27th and return August 27th, words can not describe how excited I am. But I am also on a time limit to raise 1,000$, in about 3 weeks.. I know with God all things are possible. If you can't support me financially please support me with prayer because that is just as important. My Razoo account explains the ministry I am working with, that is also where you can donate towards my mission trip if you are feeling lead. The link to my Razoo account will be on my contact & subscribe page. Please pray for me as I leave this month to Honduras. Old fears and doubts are creeping in as I get closer to leaving. I know these are not from God, please pray for peace and confidence as I leave on a new adventure. I am so excited and can not wait to see what God has in store for me in Honduras.
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.