Yesterday, I went to an AA meeting as part of an assignment for my Psychiatric nursing rotation. I’m not going to lie, I was extremely nervous, I’ve never been to anything like that before. But it was probably one of my favorite moments in nursing school. There was so much life change in these people, lots of happy endings, I was honored to even be able to sit in the room and listen to their stories.

But there was one lady who said one thing that just jumped out to me. She said, “If you’re uncomfortable, it’s because you’re not accepting something.”

She meant it as something different than the way I took it. But that’s a very powerful statement. For me, I think I also get uncomfortable, restless, when I’m not accepting something. Our souls know when we were made for more. (To partially quote Jennie Allen -- I'm reading "Restless" currently, too. God sure does like to speak in surround sound.) That’s when those uncomfortable feelings set in. It’s us not accepting the way our lives are now, it’s us not accepting the thoughts that “maybe this is all God had in store for me,” it’s us not accepting the fear and doubt and limitations that the world puts on us.

That we put on ourselves.

Because deep down within me, past the little girl who’s 6 months away from graduating college and is scared out of her mind because she has no idea what to do, is the woman who God called me to be who isn’t going to accept a life of normalcy. I don’t accept it. I can’t accept it. I’m so thankful God instilled this fear of reaching the end of my life and feeling like everything I did and everything I was was normal. When I get to Heaven, I want to be so out of breath and tired from chasing Jesus, and any plans He has for me, my whole life.  And I’m not really sure what normal looks like, but I know that’s not it.

I’m going to choose the uncomfortable life. I’m not sure what all it entails yet, I think I know some parts of my future - well, I HOPE I know some parts – but one thing I’m certain of is that we all have  “been sent on special assignment by Christ as part of God’s master plan” as Paul said in Colossians 1:1. Knowing that, and knowing Jesus - Immanuel, “God with us” - is WITH us, what’s keeping us in this normal life?!

“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” Ephesians 4:1
 
 
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”

When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

 “Here I am!” Moses replied. (Exodus 3: 1-4)
I’m not going to lie. Every single time I've read this scripture in my life, I've been like “A burning bush…That’s cool, certainly a miracle, but the Bible is full of miracles.” This wasn't something that stood out to me…until recently. God has really been wrecking my heart and my mind over the book of Exodus ever since the beginning of this year. I had no idea why I was just getting drawn back into this book over and over again, it’s like God was trying to show me something or something…Weird. Then, just this past week I felt God calling me to read these scriptures again, so I did. And as always, He came through and showed me things that are for an entirely different blog post. Big things, big ideas, coming from a Big God. But one of the things that stuck out to me this time was the burning bush.

So one normal day, Moses was just casually tending some flock, leading them into the wilderness. (Which is important because more often than not, God will wait to speak to you until you’re completely alone. Just saying.) Anyways, so Moses was just hanging out in the wilderness, then when he got to the Mountain of God, he saw a burning bush. But not just a normal burning bush, but one that although it was engulfed in flames, it wasn't being consumed. Moses then said, “This is amazing. Why isn't that bush burning up? I must go see it.”

Moses HAD to go see the bush, as most of us would want to, too. To him there was no “Let’s just pretend I didn't see that, I have my sheep to tend to. If I go see what that’s all about, things could get complicated.” Oftentimes, God compels you into His presence by things that interest you. One minute your thoughts are so consumed by what’s in front of you and by what’s really gripped your heart, and the next moment you’re before God, watching Him perform a miracle and you don’t even know how you got there.

As Moses was approaching the bush, God called out to him, from INSIDE the bush! If there was ever a strange place for God to talk to Moses from, it would be from inside a burning bush. But that’s the thing; God can talk to you from the most unexpected sources. It could be from a book, a movie, an organization, a sermon, a song, a friend, someone you don’t even like, a website, a burning bush. Name it, God can use it! And when He does, I hope you reply “Here I am!” as Moses did, and prepare yourself for what He’s going to say or ask you to do. If we were to continue on with Moses story (which I plan to do in future posts) we would see that whatever He asks is going to be big, because our God is big, but it’s also going to be something your heart was made for.
 

Remember

03/07/2013

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The day before I started school, we had Nursing School Orientation. I remember I was so excited to finally see what I was in for. We hadn’t been told much of our schedule or really anything about what we were to expect or what was going on; everyone pretty much walked into this day blind. It was from 8am to 1pm and throughout those 5 hours, we got absolutely slammed with information, from all sides. We went from not knowing anything to knowing way more than our brains could handle along with assignments to read 5 chapters by the next morning. We were overwhelmed, to say the least. The weight of it was crushing, I couldn’t process it all. Then, towards the end of the day, our professors saw the look of defeat and fear in our face and I’ll never forget what they said to us “I want you to close your eyes. Remember that day you got your acceptance letter in the mail. Remember how you felt, how excited you were. Remember that feeling of seeing your hard work pay off. Think of that when you start to become overwhelmed.”

Now, seven weeks later, they’ve had us do that a few more times and it never fails to work. Once I remember how excited and thankful I was to get that letter, the more motivated I feel to push through the next year and a half. At the same time, I’ve noticed God teaching me that same lesson. When I think about and reflect on everything God has done in my life and all He’s brought me through already, it makes it that much easier to give Him everything and completely trust Him. Thankfulness is a direct link to trusting Him. He’s never given me any reason not to trust Him. Everything He’s ever done has been good. Also, I’ve noticed thankfulness is one sure way to help keep your eyes focused on God because you’ll always be thinking about the good things, which is a direct blessing from God, and how He’s taken care of you!

Psalm 77:11 says, “But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.” God knows we doubt, God knows our trust issues, it doesn’t surprise Him. I have a feeling that’s one of the many reasons He gave us His Word. The Bible is all about Jesus and how He has taken care of us and will continue to do so; it contains thousands upon thousands of reasons to trust Him. Once we can remember what God has done in the past, we’ll remember His promises for the present and for our future and then we can start acting in faith!

 
 
So, I started nursing school! Before I say anything else, I want to say I really do love it. The crazy thing is it’s already been six weeks; I can’t decide if it has felt longer or shorter…depends on the day, I suppose! My brain is expanding daily with weird knowledge and I’ve entered a love/hate relationship with having to function before 8am. It’s certainly been interesting and although I’ve got my groove down (relatively, I don’t know if that will really ever happen), it’s taken me six weeks to get here. Six long, hard, confusing, overwhelming, doubt-filled, God-is-this-REALLY-what-I’m-supposed-to-be-doing weeks. And I still have to remind myself this is all a part of God’s plan.

All these confused emotions started even before my first day of class. Nursing had been the plan for like FOREVER then as it grew closer and closer I became more and more unsure. Then, the end of the very first week of classes, I fought with God. Hard. I was so confused and so frustrated. I didn't understand why God had given me such an intense burden on my heart for the victims of human-trafficking so long before I could do anything major about it like I wanted to. I didn’t understand why nursing was the route God wanted me to go. There were so many other majors that made just as much sense, if not more, that would go with opening a human-trafficking shelter – counseling, business, anything ministry related, legal degrees, etc.  and that’s all I could think about. I was throwing the biggest temper tantrum just because I was upset God was making me wait, because I didn’t believe that His plans were better than mine, because He wouldn’t give me exactly what I wanted at the exact time I wanted it, because I was scared, because I was doubting Him.

Doubt and unbelief are a big deal. When Peter was walking on water he doubted Jesus for just a second and he began to sink. Abraham and Sarah doubted that God would give them their own son so much that Abraham slept with his servant to get a son. Thomas didn't believe that Jesus had really risen from the dead until he came face-to-face with Him. Coincidentally (actually, I believe this was perfectly planned by God), one of the lessons in our current bible study (Chase by Jennie Allen) was about belief and she words it way better than I ever could so here’s a section that really stuck with me: “God's view of sin encompasses any unbelief, anything short of loving God with your entire mind, soul, and strength, which is the greatest commandment. Belittling Him in any way is as offensive to Him as murder or adultery, because the sin is against our holy God and Creator. As I've pointed out before, the sin is so great because we sin against Someone so great. Every single one of us does this, every single day. It's one thing to say we sin, though, and it's another to actually enter into the reality of that dark moment to feel the weight and sadness of what sin truly means for us. But after the dark moments God steps in to save us despite our wreck of a life. Digging up sin is about as fun as digging up concrete, but it is necessary and worth it. To taste the forgiveness and freedom God offers is the sweetest thing this side of heaven. Grace gets real when we see our need for it.”

So, in my anger, in my confusion, in my frustration, in a dark moment I cried out to Him and let Him hear it all. Then I waited. I was determined not to leave His presence until He spoke to me. Then just as He promises, He spoke. In His still, small voice He said, “I will take care of you.”

Six words. That’s all I needed to hear. It’s amazing how sometimes you intellectually “know” something, but then something like this happens, and now you understand it a little bit more. I knew God would take care of me, because I read it in His Word, but at that moment it’s like I was hearing it for the first time. Those six words from God meant so much more than any amount of words from any human on earth. Those six words have carried me through the past six weeks and will continue to do so probably for the rest of my life (along with many other of His words, I hope!).

Looking back, all my break-down was really about was my sinful nature, me being human, “letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (Romans 8:6). Satan is the ultimate deceiver, He will put anything in your mind to make you become confused and lack confidence in God’s word so you’ll be ineffective, and he’s REALLY good at his job, unfortunately. But Jesus is better, because He is truth. So cry out to Him; He can take it. He can take your anger, your frustrations, and your fear, just make sure that afterwards you get quiet long enough for Him to take control of your mind and fill it with His word, His truth, His promises, His love, His goodness, His life and His peace!

God, thank You so much for your patience. Thank You for your grace so that I can have my freak out, pity-party moments. Thank you for the freedom that comes from exposing sin. Help me to daily be reminded of Your bigness and that You are for me. I don’t want to be like the father in Mark saying “Have mercy on [me] and help [me], if you can” (Mark 9:22-24). I know You can, because You’ve promised it and You’ve done it so many times before. Help me overcome my unbelief, too! I’m sorry I doubt, I’m sorry I don’t believe, I’m sorry for belittling you, forgive me! I fully believe in my heart that you’re going to take care of me. You already have in more ways than I can count. I love you so much!

 

Identity

01/10/2013

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I've been reading this book called "Jesus + Nothing = Everything" by Tullian Tchividjian for a while..like I think I started it during the summer time, but it's so good! Just written in a way it takes a while to get through. But anyways, I'm trying to finish it before I go back to school and it's just really blowing me away! It's pretty much all fundamental stuff, but it's the fundamental things I constantly have to be reminded about, I've found. As I was reading today, there was a part about the fact that if you're a Christian you're identity is found in Christ and what that means for us. It was too powerful for me not to share and too long to put anywhere else! So here it is! I hope you resonate with this truth in the same way I have!
    If you're a Christian, here's the good news: who you really are has nothing to do with you -- how much you can accomplish, who you can become, your behavior (good or bad), your strengths, your weaknesses, your sordid past, your family background, your education, your looks, and so on. Your identity is firmly anchored in Christ's accomplishment, not yours; his strength, not yours; his performance, not yours; his victory, not yours. Your  identity is steadfastly established in his substitution, not in your sin.
    Now you can spend your life giving up your place for others instead of guarding it from others, because your identity is in Christ, not in your place. Now you can spend your energy going to the back instead of getting to the front, because your identity is in Christ, not in your position. You can also spend your life giving, not taking, because your identity is in Christ, not in your possesssions. All this is our new identity -- all because of Christ's finished work declared to us in the gospel. 
    Paul speaks of our "having been buried with him [with Christ] in baptism," in which we "were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead"  (Col. 2:12). Our old identity -- the things that previously "made us" -- has been put to death. Our new identity is "in Christ." We've been raised with Christ to walk "in newness of life" -- no longer needed to depend on the "old things" to make us who we are.
 
 
  Bokenkamp has been on my heart for a while. And when I say a while, I mean ever since I found out what it was in October-ish. Bokenkamp is a children's shelter for human trafficking victims...right here in Corpus Christi, no more than 2 miles from the college I go to. Who knew this was here?! Not me, that's for sure!

I knew God had told me about the A21 Campaign and the internship and all that, and I still feel very called to that, but I had been praying for Him to show me a way to get involved right NOW cause I couldn't just stand by and not do anything!

A few months ago, some women from my church asked if I wanted to go to lunch with them. There was one lady going who I had been meaning to talk to anyways, just never could find the time. So, here God was, giving me the perfect opportunity! We talked through lunch, then went to go get frozen yogurt and there I was able to ask her so many questions about Human Trafficking and everything she knew! That was when I found out about Bokenkamp.

All the stories she was telling me about these girls that barely escaped with their lives and all of their friends that didn't have the opportunity to escape broke my heart. I don't know how I kept it together. A few days later I was on the Internet, looking at Bokenkamp's website, searching for something to do, yearning to be apart of this. Then I found the Volunteer button, signed up, and waited. Then I waited some more....and then a little bit more....At some point, I realized they weren't going to contact me from that. And I'm not exactly sure what happened between being so excited about finding something I could do right now and then, but I became fearful! This was exactly what I wanted, God was faithful with His promises, and I knew I should call the shelter so that I could get started doing something, but I couldn't! I started to feel inadequate. Who was I to spend time with these girls? I had been raised in a great home with a great family and great friends, nothing that bad had ever happened to me. The worst thing about my life was like finding out about Santa, getting my heart broken by a boy, or being made fun of...Nothing like what these girls had gone through. How would I even relate to them? What would I say to them?

I felt that way for a few weeks. Then, as I was reading my bible study (“Stuck” by Jennie Allen!), she started talking about obedience. There it was. The push I needed. God wanted me to try again. “Just call them” He said. It was one of those times where if I didn't do what He was asking me, right then and there, I knew it would be a direct act of disobedience. It was practically impossible for me not to call. So I did....and no one answered. I left a message with all my information and just gave that to God. Tests were coming up and although it always stayed in the back of my mind it wasn't something I was necessarily focusing on.

Then, on one of the last days of classes, right before finals, I was leaving school and as I was walking to my car, God told me to just go to the shelter. Just stop by. He was speaking so loud, I felt like he was screaming at my brain. I thought about ignoring Him (Sorry, I'm human!) but I couldn't. What's the worst that could happen? Atleast they would know how serious I was about it and maybe they didn't get of my e-mails or phone calls! So I did... No one was there right then that I could talk to, so I just left my name and number again and left.

I don't know what it was about that place but just being there wrecked my heart. I didn't see any of the kids or anything, but it didn't matter. I cried the entire way home anyways. Then, just a few hours later, I had a missed call and a voice mail! They finally called me back! My annoying persistance paid off! I listened to it, and they explained how everything had been crazy because they were getting the shelter ready for the holidays, getting presents and stuff. I called them back the next day and asked just to get in touch when possible, and I thought I was going to have to put off my mission of getting into Bokenkamp until after the holidays....but God has secret, special plans.

I had been told that some ladies from my church went to Bokenkamp for a thing called “Chick Time” one Saturday a month, but that was before I knew what Bokenkamp actually was. Then shortly after I had given up getting into Bokenkamp, God sent a friendly reminder via my mom that this month was their Christmas Party Chick Time! I RSVPd and showed up that day not knowing what to expect, but so excited and nervous.

As we walked into the room where all these girls were seated, I had no idea what to do. They were mostly from Central and South American countries and only spoke Spanish. I'm white...like REALLY white. Spanish in high school for me was memorizing sounds, repeating them, and forgetting them right after. I could tell their guard was up, as anyone's would be when random strangers you can't understand come to hang out with you. Then we all started playing charades, a universal game, you just have to act! That's when the girls started to come out of their shell. They were SO funny. I had no idea what they were saying, but just from their cute, sassy attitudes I could tell. We played some other games with them, and brought them cookies and juice and distributed presents. The look on their face when they opened their gifts were priceless. They were so excited, yelling at their friends across the room, comparing their lip glosses and journals. They were like normal teenage girls, most of them 10-17 years of age. My heart could hardly take it, I kept tearing up, but I knew that crying was the exact opposite of what I needed to do for them. This was a time for them to try to forget and be happy. And I was happy for them, SO happy! But my heart also hurt so bad for them, I didn't even know what to do.

As we left that day, the entire vibe of the room was completely different as when we had walked in. They were so thankful, friendly, joyful, and loving. One girl even stood outside the door we were leaving through to give us all hugs. That about did me in emotionally. Afterwards, we went on a tour of the shelter and saw their chapel, school, and living areas, then we left. And I sobbed the entire way home as I did the last time I left that place.

Eventhough I didn't get to REALLY know any girls, or their stories, everything about that day just confirmed God's calling on my life. I'm still processing all the emotions in my heart but I can't wait for the day that I can get to know the girls here, in Greece, or wherever and love them and tell them about the true freedom they can have in Jesus.

Until then...I think I'm going to brush up on my Spanish and learn some Greek!

 
 
  Tis the season to finally post something on my blog! I've decided I'm probably the worst blogger in the entire world and I know there's like a jillion bloggers out there. I'm sorry! This has been a season of intense chaos, sometimes organized, most of the time not. For the past few weeks I've felt like if I took on one more thing or if I didn't have my quiet time with Jesus that day, my head was bound to explode. You know what I'm sayin? There was so much going on!

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2

Usually, I'm pretty good at making artificial peace for myself, which isn't a good thing. I'm the type of person who likes to have everything under control so I try to create peace for myself by making lists making sure that everything goes along with MY plan for my life according to MY timing. As much as I try this over and over again, this will NEVER get me real peace, and I'm thankful for that! I'm thankful because the pressure is off of me to create the best life for myself and real peace isn't something I have to work for, it's given to me as a free gift when I seek Jesus! One simple step and you receive free, true, real, amazing, everything-could-go-wrong-and-I-would-still-praise-Jesus peace! Who wouldn't want that?!

Lately, everytime I talk (or argue..sometimes that happens too) with Jesus I feel him asking me the same question – Do you trust Me? Of course, the obvious answer is YES! But then I start to think about everything I want so desperately. A successful, stable future, a happy family, always being surrounded by the best friends, maybe a cute little dog or two, a normal life...but that's my problem. “Yes I trust You, but not with these things...” isn't trusting Jesus, it's trusting yourself and hoping it will turn out how you envisioned it (which isn't nearly as good as God's plans for your life, just saying).

Trusting God is a daily process. Daily. As in every. Single. Day. Everyday, you have to take up your cross. Everyday, you have to die to yourself. Everyday, you have to surrender everything you “want.” Everyday, you have to be open to what God's telling you and if He's asking you to something, do it! This seems like a lot to do, but the return you get from it – the return of peace, joy, and the promise of plans that will prosper you, give you hope, and a future (that's better than your plans) – is so much better than being momentarily uncomfortable or unsure.

And if you're still unsure about trusting Jesus, just remember everything He's already done for you. He died on the cross for you! He defeated death for you! He's already won this war...for you!
He is for you!

 
 
You may or may not know but I attend Bay Area Fellowship, more specifically Bay Area Fellowship Westside. My church, Bay Area, has 8 different campuses besides the broadcast campus. Between you and me, I definitely had to look up how many campuses we had. There's so many! It's the coolest thing ever. I'm pretty blessed to be able to attend this Church that has a heart for the unchurched. But anyways, I, personally, attend BAF Westside on Sundays. The need, the people, and the environment over there is unlike anything I've ever seen or experienced. 

The westside part of Corpus Christi is arguably the worst, scariest part of town. You know what I'm talking about, every city has that place. It's the place where when you tell people where you're going they scrunch up their face and say "Ohh.....be REALLY careful, lock your doors, and don't be alone!" That's where my church is; right in the middle of the shootings, prostitution, drug deals, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I don't believe God called us to stay in the safe parts of towns, comfortable where we are, fearful of what's going on around us. He hasn't given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of POWER and LOVE (see 2 Timothy 1:7). I'm not saying God wants us to be reckless and foolish with our actions; Safety and taking caution is important. My mom still doesn't even let me walk to my car by myself (but she doesn't let me do that anywhere). But still, God called us to be His hands and feet..
 
"For 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?" That is why the Scriptures say, 'How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!'" -Romans 10:13-15

I know I've been sent. Not only to Greece, but to anywhere that doesn't know about the one and only God. That includes right down the highway into the middle of these hurting people that have become my friends. I think you've been sent too though. It might literally just be across the street or to your next door neighbor's house. There are people living in devastation even if they're not in "that" part of town. In fact, there are people living in a spiritual devastation that might have more material things than you. However, everyone needs Jesus. God is the only one who can take devastation and turn it into a new creation. He rescued us, made us new, and will continue to do so forever, because He loves us. I don't know about you but I can't not worship a God who gives so much FOR me and in comparison, asks so little of me. Isn't that the best example of love you've ever known? It definitely is for me. That's one of the reasons why I will do whatever He asks of me, as well as I can, for as long as He wants, with as little complaining and resistance as possible (I'm human, I know it's going to happen!).

 
 
Helllooo! It's been a while since I've updated and I'm very sorry, but the past month has been awesomely crazy and chaotic. I'm really excited to share everything with you though! I'll just give you an overview of everything and then go back and talk about my favorite parts! Let's see...
  • We had 2 bridal showers for my new sister-in-law! (I love saying sister-in-law!)
  • My fabulous mother turned 50!
  • I finished my spring semester with a 4.0! wasn't expecting that, but God's awesome.
  • Started my Speech maymester and finished it 9 days later.
  • During this time we had Christy's bachelorette party, bridal pictures, wedding preparations, and then the rehearsal dinner.
  • My brother graduated college!!
  • MY BROTHER GOT MARRIED TO ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS.
  • We got to celebrate my mom on mothers day!
  • And then, of course, all the small things that you know you were busy doing, but can't remember what they are.
  • Then, the most important, God spoke to me big time and showed me another part of His will for my life! It's so exciting and I can't wait for everything!
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This is my beautiful sister-in-law, Christy, and my awesome big brother, Blake. Over the past 5 years, I've been able to see their love grow and grow. I'm so lucky that Christy fits in perfectly with our family. She's one of my best-friends and now she's my sister! Blake's as lucky to have her as she is to have him. I can't wait to see where God takes them! I love y'all!

Now I'll tell you about what God told me. I've known I was going to be a nurse for a long time. Once I started to really think about what I wanted to be, it's always been a nurse. Then I realized I really wanted to do mission work. Then it hit me, medical missions! Then a little over two and a half years ago, I heard Christine Caine speak at my church and Human Trafficking grasped my heart. All I could do was wait for God's next step. I kept trying to take matters into my hands cause I guess I wanted to go along with my time schedule and not God's. Every time I looked into a mission trip, it would never work out. I finally realized I wasn't ready for it and obviously God was telling me that this was the time to prepare for what was to come. I needed to learn more about human-trafficking if I was to work against it. I needed to hear and read real-life stories from rescued victims if I was going to be able to work with them without just breaking down and crying for them. 
Then, it was while I was reading Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis, that God spoke to me. I was reading the introduction (yep, I hadn't even made it to chapter one) when I just started crying because I could feel God talking to me. He was finally telling me that he had something real in store for me; I didn't have to just wish an opportunity would come along. It was time for action! I grabbed my laptop, started looking at all the organizations that I knew went on Human Trafficking mission trips, and didn't feel God calling me to any of them. Then I felt called to go to the A21 Campaign website and I was just looking around when I saw A21 Internships. I clicked on it, and just started crying more. (Crying is a regular theme in my life.) There are 3month, 6month, 9month, and a year internships in Greece in a A21 Safehouse where you work with the girls who have been rescued. That was exactly what God called me to do! 
I started researching it, picking out everything I could about it, and I was honestly ready to just pack up and leave. I hastily planned that I could finish my basics then go do the internship before I came back for nursing school. I finally knew what God wanted me to do! My heart was already in Greece with these girls. I was trying to take this into my own hands, yet again, and plan it myself. Then I felt God say, "Think with your brain for a second, not your heart." And as soon as I started trying, I saw where it said you have to be 21 to be an intern. Then all these realizations I had already known (but temporarily forgot in my excitement) and have been telling myself from day 1 came back; You can help these girls better after you're a nurse, You have a scholarship to go to college, why would you throw that away? 
God knows me so well to make sure I know these things, so I don't try to jump ahead in His plans. Now, after talking about it with my parents (and crying through that too) and thinking about it logically and praying about it and making sure this is what God wants for me; I'm positive it is. I feel that not only do I WANT to do this, i'm CALLED to do this. Just like I'm called to be a nurse. So after I graduate from nursing school, I'm more than likely going to take a 3 month internship with the A21 campaign in Thessaloniki, Greece. However, I don't graduate from nursing school for two and a half years. I'm trying to think of this as a positive thing because now I have a focus and an actual time frame and I still don't think I'm ready. Actually, I know I'm not ready, but it's ok, because God's always ready. 

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Looking back, I'm so grateful God never gives us more than we can handle. Especially in revealing His plans for our lives. If God told me all of this at once, I would've hid under a rock and probably would've cried for the rest of my life. But He knows exactly when to reveal things to you, and what to have already put in your mind and in your life to keep you on His track. I know this is going to be a long and challenging two and a half years until I can meet these girls I already love but it'll be worth it when I get to see each of them experience God's love and true freedom through Jesus.

 
 
Did you know that there are 27 MILLION people in slavery RIGHT NOW across the world?
Did you know that's more than at ANY time in the history of the EARTH?
Did you know
two children are trafficked every 60 SECONDS into forced labor, prostitution, or organ harvesting?
Did you know that atleast 43% of trafficking victims are used against their will for commercial sexual exploitation, some sources say up to 80%?
Did you know that 98% oh those victims are women and girls?
Did you know the average trafficking victim is TWELVE years old?
Did you know Human Trafficking generates more money than Starbucks, Target, and Nike COMBINED?
Did you know this happens EVERYWHERE?
but....did you know YOU can do something about this?

Being aware of all of this is a pretty big thing, in and of itself. It's really hard to take it in. This has been in my heart ever since it came to my attention when Christine Caine came to our church and shared a little bit about this growing problem. That was about two years ago and I STILL cry every time I talk about it...in fact, I'm crying right now. 
I honestly think about Human Trafficking every day. I just think about all the girls that were taken from their home life, or were promised a better life only to be walking right into a trap with no way out because their Trafficker had threatened them. I think about the fact that some of these girls could be middle schoolers or girls my age. I think about how they're abused and used and by the end of it, they don't know what they're really worth. They don't know that there's a Man that DIED for THEM so that they could be FREE, all they know is a man who took them to use them for his gain.
It's so easy for us to just take in the statistics and get on with our lives. However, if you take the statistic of 27 million people and think about every single individual, it breaks your heart to the point where you can't just sit there and not do anything. (I'm talking to myself here, too.) I can't just SIT here in my happy little life where this is all going on, God put this on my heart for a reason, I have to ACT on it.
The A21 Campaign is the organization I specifically love and support, but I'm sure theres many others out there that are fighting for the same cause that you can support. Through the A21 Campaign (http://www.thea21campaign.org/) you can donate money, but it's not all about that. Every 21st of the month, they fast and just pray. (by the way, that's TOMORROW! What PERFECT timing!) Praying and being aware are probably the two biggest things you could do. Cause seriously, without God everything is a lost cause no matter how hard you try. Also, sharing this cause with your friends re-tweet some A21 tweets, like them on facebook, share their videos! If you don't like to talk to people, that's not an excuse! But ultimately, we each have our own unique ways of bringing solutions to a problem. PLEASE just do SOMETHING because ANYTHING can help.