My entire life changed in an instant. With one click of the mouse it was done; application submitted. I had made my decision. I was going.
The naysayers surrounded me with doubt.”
“You will never raise $4,500.”
“Are you sure this is what you want to do?”
“You’re going to hate sleeping on the ground and eating disgusting food.
It’s hard to believe how many people spoke out against my crazy dream. Even as I was getting ready to leave, I struggled to find anyone to drive me there or even come to our final concert. Yet, somehow I knew that this was what I was supposed to do and no one could stop me.
Yet, somehow I knew that this was what I was supposed to do and no one could stop me.
As the year went on getting ready for the trip, I battled my own demons, doubts and negative voices. As I walked out of my classroom with my car packed, a teacher friend handed me a $50 and said, “I forgot to donate.” It put me at the exact amount of money I needed to raise.
As soon as I got to Wilmar for training, I entered into six of the happiest weeks of my life. Not because they were easy, they weren’t, but I felt and saw God every single moment in the music and in the beautiful people around me. It was hot and exhausting but we were working tirelessly for God, for something bigger than ourselves.
The biggest struggle was returning home, completely changed. I have spent much of this year reflecting on that experience, smiling about inside jokes and failing to keep in touch with those incredible people. One frigid December day, I finally realized why I was so happy on that trip. In Zimbabwe I felt recklessly alive, (which just so happens to be the title of my book).
The book begins on the darkest day of my life, a day when I almost committed suicide and follows my long uphill battle of running towards a life I am fiercely proud of. Naturally, when I got back to the states I started to reflect about why I was so happy in Africa and how I could live that out back home. Here were some of my conclusions:
1.) I was surrounded by people who believed in me and showed me love and grace relentlessly.
2.) Everyday I took risks, try new things, and talk to people I didn’t know about my faith.
3.) My life was filled with beautiful music that praised God.
4.) I was completely focused on Jesus, seeing Him and hearing Him in the world around me.
5.) I prayed and relied on the Father in times of fear and anxiety.
6.) I made time everyday to laugh and have fun.
It’s so easy to rush through life. To over-plan, over-schedule, and over-achieve. I am more guilty of this than anyone. I push myself to accomplish and achieve. Yet, when I think about Zim, I know that’s what I want most in life. I want to be around people who support my dreams and call me out when I screw up. I want to tell people about God and all the amazing things He has done in my life. I want to be recklessly alive and I don’t think one exists without the other.
I want to tell people about God and all the amazing things He has done in my life. I want to be recklessly alive and I don’t think one exists without the other.
My dream is to get the book published. It seems crazy and impossible, but most great dreams do at the beginning. There’s still in an insane amount of work to do, but I am so excited to be done with grad school and be able to focus on it! Will you read it?
What makes you feel recklessly alive? When were the happiest days of your life? I would love to share more with you about my journey (or you can just go back and read the past three years of this silly blog.) I’ve learned so much and I am blown away at how incredible life can be, how alive I can feel when I am living a life for God. Stay tuned my friends!
It’s a long walk through this world, but stand tall, you’re one day closer to being home.