I am accidently beginning the journey of a lifetime.
Anyway, it started as the a well-prepared and well-intentioned strategy my logical mind relishes: with 304 days, 15 hours, 26 minutes and 55 seconds until STEP Advanced (June 2018), I had plenty of time to consider my course of action afterwards. It didn’t take long to discover exactly what I wanted to do after a short reprieve: a three-month mission trip into Costa Rica, with IMMERSION.
But the application price is a hefty (for me) $6k. No matter, I still had 301 days, 11 hours and however-many-minutes to begin working and fundraising like a fiend, not to mention preparing my mother for the shock of losing me for that period of time. In light of that, I figured I’d take it slow. Maybe a month. Maybe two. Maybe I’d start in January…
Well, as already mentioned, I enjoy a well-thought out battle strategy. Part of this personality involves a good deal of thinking ahead, even far ahead. So despite my intention to forget the subject until next month (or next year…) I began looking for ways to raise the money, a.k.a., building a GoFundMe profile. All day I’ve been analyzing numbers, stretching sentences, rearranging profiles pictures, you name it. Finally, it was time to hit the sack, so (clever woman that I am) I pushed SAVE.
Did you know that GoFundMe campaigns become instantly active once you complete the steps? That there is no verification process whatsoever?
My step-by-step mind was swirling to figure out what wise guy had set this system up. My campaign was LIVE, people were viewing it RIGHT NOW, and there was still 163 days, 8 hours, 45 minutes and 12 seconds until I was supposed to worry about it. Until I was supposed to have a fine-pressed list of contacts and sponsors and freebies. How exactly do you build up a portfolio, anyway? I’d been writing for years and still didn’t have more than a handful of acquaintances, testament to my poorly developed marketing abilities. So I did what any thinking, logical person would do: Go into social media overdrive, culminating with this humble post. I shall now be having nightmares of emojis and friend lists and biographies… how I detest biographies…
Sorry for the rambling. It’s very late here. But I just wanted to take a minute and share my hopes for this fundraiser, and the mission it supports.
- Taking that first step of faith
I got a very real picture of faith while at STEP: the rappelling tower. More than I detest biographies (or even deep water and public speaking), I detest heights. Remember that King James Version word, “abomination”? Well, heights are my abomination. Even when my head knows I’m safe, my body goes into adrenaline overtime, locking my muscles and throwing me into not-so-pretty state of panic. And yet, somebody thought it would be a good idea to hang me from a tower in a mess of harness and ropes and carabineers.
I could describe the scene for you, but I’ll spare myself the embarrassment. The point is, I did make it down the tower, twice. I did it via a lot of encouragement from my teammates, and by telling myself over and over “Just five minutes. Five minutes, and I’ll be past the hardest parts. I can endure anything for five minutes.”
In truth, it took less than five minutes. Once I actually took that first step forward (backwards, actually) and was on my way down, it became easier. But that first step, that first obstacle – whatever it is – is always the hardest.
So, my hope for this coming year is to take the first few steps forward. Money is an obstacle, but I serve the King of all creation. If this is His will, He’ll show me the way. Fear is an obstacle, there will be many challenges I’ve never faced before. But my God is the great overcomer, fear itself bows before Him.
All I have to do is wait, trust, and step forward.
2. Gain a new perspective
Life ain’t easy, I’m sure everyone has said so at one time or another. But living, as such, is. We have our comfy houses with air conditioning, refrigerators and stoves and coffee machines and computers – if we want something badly enough, we can usually find a way to get it. Yet, that is not true for most of the world. Even after 6,000 years, there’s still peoples living below poverty in humid jungles and deserts. To us they are poor. But once they’ve received the gospel, they tell us otherwise. There’s a treasure no one can take from them, moth and rust won’t corrupt, no earthly devastation can remove: God’s Holy Spirit. They are content with what they have, while we struggle to thank God for what we do.
So, lastly, I hope to learn how our joy is not based on things or circumstances, but on our attitude towards them. I want to set aside the daily luxuries, to be able to see past them to the greater purpose beyond.
And so, before I’ve even left the house, my journey has begun. I expect to see God work in mighty ways, showing me that He is in control of all things, and my future is safe in His loving hands.
Stay tuned for updates, and be sure to spread the word, #ServingCostaRica!