Tea & Truth

Now What?

May 16, 2016
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Hoots and hollers echoed through the building as the graduates moved their tassels to the left side of their caps. I couldn’t believe how quickly the past four years had flown by. The erratic roller coaster ride consisting of late night study sessions and laughter with dear friends came to a screeching halt. College was over.

Now what?

As children, we all had dreams of what we wanted to “be” when we grew up. It’s a question adults frequently pose to kids, subtly teaching them to plan ahead for their bright futures. For me, nothing appealed more than becoming a missionary. Specifically, I wanted to teach fifth grade at the Nate Saint Memorial School in Shell, Ecuador. A four-year-old dreaming of living abroad to tell people about Jesus might sound strange, but that was what I wanted to do.

So, like every true Type “A” personality, every life decision I made was intended to get me one step closer to achieving that goal. I wrote school reports on Ecuador, took Spanish language classes in high school, went on short-term mission trips, and majored in International Ministries at Moody Bible Institute, a university dedicated to training its students for full time ministry. When it came time to do my academic internship abroad between my junior and senior years of college, only one location would suffice.

When the plane landed in Ecuador that summer, tears of joy filled my eyes. It was finally happening! And yet, as the wheels touched down I sensed God’s still small voice telling me that the six weeks of interning for missionaries was His blessing to me, but afterwards He had a different plan for my life.

I returned to the States for my senior year of college in a daze. What’s next, God? Do I change my major? What do I pursue after graduation? Give me the plan so I can prepare myself ahead of time so I can be the best I can be for Your glory. His response? TRUST ME.

My intentions were good. I just wanted to serve the Lord. But “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). God had a specific plan for my life; it just wasn’t the one I planned for myself. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Yesterday marked the six year anniversary of my graduation from college. God still hasn’t let me read the last chapter of my life’s story; He gives me one page at a time to teach me to trust His direction. I may not be enjoying plátanos fritos (fried plantains) for breakfast every morning in the jungle, but in His graciousness (Psalm 37:4), God has allowed me to be a missionary in my own right: I get to partner alongside Family Radio in spreading God’s Word throughout the world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. God’s plans are so much better than mine!

Every morning, ask God “Now what?” See where He will lead you and how He will work through you!

Jessie Chamberlain
Family Radio Staff

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