Thursday, October 20, 2011

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11

Hello Blog World! This first post is an explaination about why I'm writing this. I promise in the future, they all won't be this long :)

My time at UNI has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Not only have I made some amazing friends, found new passion and purpose, but am also continuing to learn more about myself.  It has been an incredible time that I like to call, “The Journey to Trust”.  As time went on I found myself becoming more and more aware of a growing nudge that was Christ trying to be the center of my life and that the presence of the plan He had for me.

The journey took off full speed sophomore year with learning to trust Him financially (not an easy feat). Because my financial aid covered all but $3000, I had to make rather large payments every month. Through all the stress and the constant fear of not making my payments, I found that I not only always managed to scrape enough money together to pay my tuition bill, I was left with a little extra. I was not making enough money at the time for this to even be possible. During this time I was also questioning my decision to become a P.E. teacher, it just didn't feel right. Half way through this year, I found myself at Student Advising, and talked to an advisor about my love for activity, teaching, and Occupational Therapy, as well as my doubts about my current path. She recommended Therapeutic Recreation, and signed me up for the TR Foundations class, as well as a few introductory LYHS classes. Within minutes of my first lectures, I knew that I had found the field that I was supposed to be in.

At the end of sophomore year, I was closing down the rec center, (where I was very tired of working) and one of our regulars came up to the desk and asked what I was doing with my life. I told him about my new found love of TR and Leisure services and talked about my dream to work in a camp-like setting where I would actively change kids' lives, but be able to be behind the scenes running the show too. His eyes got wide, and his mouth fell open. He then said, "you have got to be kidding me. I have been looking for someone to do that exact job." I knew at that point, that I wasn't going to be planning my own summer. I became Mobile Camp Coordinator, for Quakerdale Youth Services, a Christian at-risk youth serving agency based in East Waterloo. This was a summer job that provided financial relief, accompanied with a taste of the field He wanted me in, and most importantly, a lesson in standing strong in Him and following what He said minute by minute. This last lesson was learned through a crazy situation at our Des Moines location, where God worked directly through our kids and my counselors to show his love and power of HIS will in bringing the ones He loves to Him.

Another big lesson came in my junior year and taking classes that had so many itty bitty details I thought my head was going to fall right off my shoulders it was so full. This year taught me to persevere, that this is what I am supposed to be doing when I didn’t even want to continue. It also led me to the most wonderful place I have found so far, Camp Courageous. This is a year round camp for kids and adults with special needs. The summer spent there led me to even more amazing friends, fantastic learning experiences, a new appreciation for the life I have been given, and the ability to help others experience the life they deserve.

Which brings me to the present, Senior Year of College. Or I guess, senior semester of college. I will be done with my classes in December and have decided to move back to Monticello to work and live at Camp Courageous. I will then come back to UNI in May, graduate and leave to go on my internship, hopefully either at camp, or at another camp in Indiana. 

Sooo yeah, that very long post is the short version of my college experience. The rest of this blog will be about the adventures that I will take on in the very short future. I know that God has is directing my life and I couldn't be happier. I've tried- and sometimes still try- to do it myself, but have found that His ideas are muuuuuch better! The Trust is there, now I just have to learn to fully rely on it.