About six months ago, I went on an outreach and evangelism trip to LA with one of my university classes. We participated in several different outreach and ministry opportunities. Though the class was required for credit, I had no idea just what kind of personal and spiritual impact that one week in California would have on my life in the months to follow. One of the first days there, one of the pastors from an AG church in Los Angeles came and spoke with us. It was nothing formal, more like a pep-talk. When our morning session came to a close, he began praying over the group and soon praying turned into prophesying. Now, I will be the first to admit that before that moment, I didn’t believe that prophesy was all that legitimate. I had never experienced it before and I just really did not buy into it. However, after experiencing what was to follow first hand that day and in the days to follow, I quickly changed my tune.
Going back a little bit to that previous summer, I began to earnestly look more into TESOL programs and English teaching jobs. Ever since last August, I knew that I wanted to teach English overseas, at least for a little while. I had read blogs and researched jobs and I knew that this would be an amazing way to not only travel and see the world, but to also begin paying off my student loans. Jumping back ahead to that prayer session in February, the pastor then made his way to me and told me that he saw me in Asia, specifically in China, teaching, and being a light to others through my life. To have pastor whom I had never met before and with whom I had never once spoken with affirm a plan and a dream in my life was pretty earth shattering. The whole time, I was thinking, “Wow, this is so accurate. How did he know?” However, as soon as he said China, the breaks began to engage. “Close but not quite,” I thought to myself. “There is no way I am going to China. Are you sure you don’t mean Japan or South Korea? That’s more where I was thinking.” China was definitely not on my radar and wasn’t even a country I was considering traveling to, let alone living in. Yet, as time went on and the door to teaching in China opened, I found myself becoming more open to the idea of going. When I was told that I was hired as a teacher, I was ready. I knew that China is where I was meant to be. I found myself continually amazed by how God was able to take my own goals and plans for my future, and transform them to fit His plan and for His glory.
So why am I writing about this? Honestly, I was wrestling for weeks with the decision to even disclose this part of my story on here, but I came to realize that withholding this major aspect of my story would be a disservice to not only myself and who I am, but to God as well. If not for His presence in my life, I wouldn’t be headed on this great adventure. By making the decision to go to China, I chose to trust and honor God with my life. It would be meaningless if I chose to withhold this powerful part of my story from the very medium with which I choose to express it. That isn’t to say that everything I write will be spiritual. However, it is to say that everything I write will be natural. This means not shying away from the spiritual when the situation calls for it and not forcing it if it doesn’t. I want everyone to find something to connect with here and that can only happen through striving to be honest and authentic as I tell my stories. This blog is a reflection of who I am in all that entails, including my relationship with God. Sometimes that will mean writing about the great restaurants I find around my city, sometimes it means writing about my frustration with public transportation or the language barrier, or sometimes it will mean writing about my thankfulness over God’s provision in my life. I believe all of it will be relevant and worth writing about (though whether or not it is worth reading is entirely for you to decide.)