god’s faithfulness & other cool things

Wow … I haven’t posted on this blog since I wrote my 2017 reflection! Y’all, that’s a long time. But here I am again. I always come back.

This time, I come back with a heart of excitement. If you followed along with all of my posts after my return from Australia (shout out to all five of you!), you know that I have wanted nothing more than to go back and reconnect with my people abroad. Today as I type, I am officially one month and 14 days away from my return! Guys, how good is God to give me this opportunity?! Seriously, I know so many people who also longed to return to their study abroad locations but were unable to do so for many years. Why I am able to fulfill this dream so soon is still a mystery to me, but I am so incredibly grateful for God’s faithfulness in this season.

And He is faithful, friends! When we last talked, I had no earthly idea where my life was going after I graduated college. I was living fully on faith and just hoping the pieces would fall into place. I had this dream of booking plane tickets to go celebrate my host sister’s graduation from high school with my Australian family in November; how I was going to pay for said tickets on top of other travel expenses, bills, and student loans was beyond me.

But I took a leap of faith and booked the tickets. I actually planned to potentially work in a local factory over the summer in a seasonal position to save up a lot of money so that I could just travel. I know what you’re all thinking, and I can feel you all cringing on the other side of the computer screen; why would a recent college grad who now has a DEGREE go work in a factory? Lol. (Hint: I love giving my parents gray hair. Also irony. I love irony).

So that was my haphazard plan.

But as it turns out, God had a better one. I mean c’mon guys, He usually does, let’s be real.

Around Christmastime this past year, it became known to me that there was a potential opportunity coming up in my office for recent graduates. For those of you who don’t know me well enough, I worked in the Messiah College Admissions Office as a student for nearly three years. And I loved it. Seriously, working as a student representative gave me real pause about my career path and had me considering higher education programs for graduate school. I enjoyed it that much and deeply believed (and still believe) in Messiah College’s mission.

In January, I got the full scoop on this opportunity: a seasonal position was being created primarily for new Messiah College graduates to be traveling recruiters for the college. The timeline for this position? The beginning of August until (wait for it) mid-November! – the exact timeframe I was looking at to head back to Australia. This position was an answer to a prayer that I didn’t even know I prayed.

So I applied, I interviewed, and I was offered the job.

And here I sit in a hotel in Connecticut during my fourth week of recruitment sharing this joy that God has placed on my heart for all of His goodness and provision.

Y’all, I get PAID to TRAVEL. And promote MESSIAH. And have enough money to be a responsible adult and go to AUSTRALIA. This position didn’t even exist when I was planning my trip last year. I don’t know how anyone can look at these circumstances and not see God’s hand all over it – life just does not fall in place like that! When you step out in faith, confident that you are remaining within His will, God meets you in ways that you didn’t even imagine were possible.

Sure, my job can be tough: if you follow me on Snapchat, I’m sure you have seen enough of my travel season blunders so far to last you a lifetime. I have long, nontraditional work days filled with the insanity of driving hours and hours and praying that I have enough cell service to navigate to my next location. And I am alone in my travels, holding one-sided conversations with high school students and staff without the community surrounding me that I have grown to cherish. But the growth that is happening in this season is so worth the struggle! The Lord teaches me new lessons every single day. I have so much time for reflection, prayer, and learning in my solitude. And I just love my job; the purpose I feel when I talk to a new student is so evident, and I can feel God using the gifts and talents He has given me to further His Kingdom on earth, even in this small way.

So that’s a snapshot of my crazy life, in case any of you were wondering why I was Snapchatting from four different hotels in a single week and going to a new Dunkin’ Donuts in a different town every day.

But the bottom line is this: God is faithful and He completes your story even when you feel like it has more plot holes than Gossip Girl. If you are in a season of uncertainty, rest in the certainty of Christ – nothing is ever a surprise to Him! He knows your next step.

And my story is by no means finished – I have no idea what comes after my next great adventure Down Under. But He hasn’t let me down yet, and I know He’ll be walking alongside me even then.

More to come.

xoxo, Riss

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