On Tuesday, I leave for Kenya. Or rather I drive down to Indianapolis so I can meet with the team and fly out the next day. But, either way, I’m leaving for Kenya. And this is my last update before I go, and I don’t know how many I’ll be able to make while I’m there. But, keep your eyes open, because I’ll post what I can when I can, and I’ll definitely have some upon my return.
But, before I leave, I wanted to give one last update. Because I’m terrified- like child on the first day of kindergarten, leaving for your first day of college, first time bungee jumping, unable to sleep terrified. But I’m also strangely calm- like walking on the beach, reading a good book, listening to your favorite song, eating ice cream with your best friend calm.
Because I’m leaving for Kenya. I’m going to a completely unfamiliar place with some not so unfamiliar yet still strange people- some of whom I have only met once, some of whom I’ve known for a long time, but none of whom I am close friends with. And that’s terrifying. Because being around people I’m not close friends with is uncomfortable for me. I’m not always great in social situations, and I sometimes feel like I’m not saying or doing the right thing. But, we are all Quizzers, and if there is one thing I know about Quizzers it’s that none of that matters because we all love each other anyway. So, I’m confident that it’s going to be okay. But, I’m still kind of terrified.
I’m nervous, because we are going to a completely unfamiliar place. Like any normal human, I have a comfort zone. And for 18 years, my comfort zone has been my house, my school, my church, and whatever I passed driving to and from them. Just a few weeks ago, I went on a weekend trip to Canada with some teens from my church, and I was uncomfortable, because I was in an unfamiliar place with people I wasn’t one hundred percent comfortable around. So, flying half a world away, across an ocean, and away from my comfortable is scary. But, in order to make myself more comfortable, I have to become uncomfortable, and following God’s plan for my life means I have to be willing to follow Him into discomfort. So, I’m terrified but I’m also hopeful. I’m hopeful that God will use my discomfort to expand my comfort zone, and that my new comfort zone will grow to include people and places I could never imagine.
Looking forward to this trip, I have a lot of fears and a lot of doubts. I have irrational worries- such as forgetting something important, getting lost at the airport, not being able to get back in the U.S, unintentionally doing something offensive to the culture, breaking my leg, etc. (You know, all the normal fears everyone has but never admits). But, I also have some serious fears and doubts. Like, what if I made the wrong decision? I have turned down so many opportunities for missions trips before- from Flower City Work Camp to Romania. What makes me believe I also shouldn’t have turned down this one? My sister, who went on a missions trip to Guatemala a few years ago, gave me some advice (in fact she gave me a whole letter of advice). She told me that I’ll wake up one day and feel like I can’t do this. But, I wonder, what if that day is today? What if that day is everyday on this trip? What if I can’t do this? What makes me qualified to do this? What if I no longer want to do this?
But, here’s the thing. I’m not qualified. No one really is. God doesn’t call those who are qualified. He qualifies those He has called. And I believe He has called me to do this. I believe that He has called me to go and spread my love for Quizzng, my passion for service, and my heart for others. Despite my fears and despite my doubts. And I know I wanted to do this, at some point in the past. And I still do, but I’m terrified. But, it’s not really about whether or not I want to. It’s about what God wants. What He desires and wants from me. And after seven years of Quizzing, I have grown in my relationship with myself and with God. I have learned more about Him and come to understand Him and His amazing power more. So, as I go into this unfamiliar place, I’ll remember everything I have learned about Him and about myself.
I’ll go with strength and courage. Because I’m not qualified. I’m not really ready. I’m terrified. But, I’m also filled with hope. I’m filled with joy and love. I have a passion for God and for serving others. I have an incredible opportunity to spread my passion for Quizzing, my love for others, my gift of service, and my desire for sharing God’s love with the world. So, I’m going to take this opportunity to expand my comfort zone, spread my passion, increase my experiences, and become more informed. And I’m going to do it with some amazing people and an even more amazing God by my side.