Last summer, I took a gigantic leap of faith. It kept me up many nights, wound its way into nearly every conversation with friends and family, and encompassed my thoughts for months on end. The question was simple:
Should I go on a mission trip to Nepal?
When my aunt asked me about going, my immediate answer was an enthusiastic YES. Of course I would go to Nepal, on a mission trip, with my aunt and three cousins. YES, YES YES!
As time passed, however, I began to unravel what that yes would mean. My boyfriend and I had just quit our careers and started a small business together, which was growing rapidly and took up the majority of our day, every day. I had only recently began going to church in the last two years or so, and had even more recently accepted Jesus into my life. The answer to one question – should I go to Nepal? – led to many more questions, which dug very deep into my faith and self-worth.
Can my business survive my absence for two weeks? Can my relationship survive my absence for two weeks and double the workload? Am I a good enough person to do this? Am I qualified? Am I ‘Christian’ enough? Will everyone think I’m an imposter?
I did not grow up going to church every Sunday. I was not a youth pastor or leader, nor had I made regular appearances at small group. I thought that my dark past and former life would make me the weakest link of our group, the odd one out that wasn’t really qualified to work for God.
I was terrified, but I stood by my YES, raised the money, and prayed.
When I met our team, I fell in love. I clicked with everyone right away, and immediately felt warmth, love, and acceptance. I still had my insecurities and fears, and I hoped they would slowly rescind as we started working.
What happened was the opposite – they grew very loud, and then went silent. I worked through each of them like a puzzle, recognizing the small signs and miracles God was working through me. I discovered that my past and weaknesses and scars made me stronger, more sincere, and easier to connect with – they were, in fact, my strengths.
I have never found my feet more beautiful, my steps more purposeful, or my days more blessed than those hot, unpredictable, chaotic days in Nepal. I discovered more about myself and my purpose in those two weeks than I had in my entire life. I could finally see myself clearly, as if I could step away from my life and peer at it through God’s eyes.
I saw my humility, my beauty, my heart, my power. I loved every minute of it, and still reflect on those days. I miss my team with all of my heart. I truly miss our late-night prayers and psalms and self-reflection, and I’m eternally grateful for this experience. I miss it, every day.
So yes, I was qualified and ‘Christian’ enough – because that’s not really a thing. We are all anointed to do the Good Works, y’all. And yes, my business and relationship survived my absence – in fact, they both blossomed. Months later, we’re still struggling to keep up with our growing business, and thankful to God for every client and encounter that comes our way.
Where God guides, he DOES provide. In bringing me closer to Him, he’s brought my dreams closer to me.