It’s extremely difficult for me to tell this story without all of my processing that went into my decision making, but it is necessary for organizational purposes. Right now I’m trying to delineate specific events with a bit of background information and then intend to go back and “color it in” with the matters of my heart and all that God has taught me in the process. Therefore, please bear with me as I attempt to continue organizing my thoughts in a somewhat coherent manner.
During my brief time in Chicago I discovered that I absolutely loved the city and easily envisioned myself spending my summer there with Cru. This only made my decision harder because I try to make my decisions based upon what I consider “valid” reasons. In other words, I didn’t want to decide on going just because I loved the city and the people that were going (although they seem like perfectly valid reasons to most people). I know it’s confusing – I confuse myself sometimes.
Upon returning home I spent hours talking and processing with my parents. I was actually dreading the conversation. I felt so strongly urged by The Holy Spirit that God wanted me to go to Chicago yet every logical bone in my body fought back in fear. I could only think of the things people would say like “You’re throwing your life away” and “How foolish to turn down such an exceptional offer” and “I thought you were more responsible than this” etc, etc, etc.
Part of my fears behind this decision also revolved around my financial independence. I knew that whatever I did this summer I had to make money so I could support myself, so turning down an engineering internship also meant giving up a lot of financial stability for my next year of life.
But God’s perfect love drives out all fear and He utilized the unbelievable love and encouragment from my parents to demonstrate this to me.
I will never forget their support for me to follow God and go to Chicago. As my mom would say again and again,
“We’ve prayed your entire life that you would follow God with your whole heart. Now that you’re doing that we can’t really take back those desires and prayers. God is in control and I don’t want to get in His way.”
And my dad – oh my goodness – I have never heard a response from my father like this before,
“I know that you’re passionate about ministry – that is very clear to us. I would rather see you do something that your whole heart is in than see you do anything else. We know that you desire to honor God in everything that you do and you will obey Him and seek to honor him wherever you go. And if this is where your passions are, then I want you to do it.”
Wow. Talk about a knock-your-socks off surprise!
That was the last thing I expected from my parents. They love and follow the Lord and they have been supportive in the past, yet they also envision me going into the engineering profession as a Christ-centered laborer, sharing God’s love with co-workers. I have had multiple Spirit-filled conversations with them about the possibility of joining staff with Cru and they haven’t always been quite on board with that concept, which is why I was so surprised with their response this time. Again, there will be more to come in a later post about this topic altogether.
After I spoke with them I decided that I should at least move forward with the next steps. So I decided to apply for Summer Project and look into a different engineering internship in Chicago before finalizing my plans (you can work a job during summer project since the majority of events are in the evening).
Despite the overwhelming support from my parents, I wasn’t quite ready to “make the plunge” just yet. I was still clamoring for an ounce of control, which was ultimately what I had to give up before I would see God unfold His incredible plans for me – plans which I never in a million years could have come up with on my own – plans that only the author and Creator of life knows and creates and sets in motion.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13