Please play this while you read 🙂
- Preparation: noun [The action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration. (b) Something done to get ready for an event or undertaking.]
Now, it is one thing to prepare for making a recipe, or an interview. Preparing for an event, school, a day at work and the like. I never knew what He would be preparing me for through this process. If you are reading this then you might not know that I am currently on a plane to San Francisco that will connect me (with almost no time in between) to Kona Hawaii. I will be on Big Island for 21 days. So how did this adventure come about? Well I will happily tell you (if I was Tamatoa from Disney’s Moana it would be in song form)
So let’s start this story back where it actually began, about a year ago during one of the hardest seasons of my life.
I was staying on campus for the summer leading up to my fourth year of college. I had to stay to take four additional classes so that I could stay on track with graduating next May. Here at school I know many talented, musicians who also double as anointed worship leaders. Throughout that summer three of my friends went to Bethel and another three did this thing called 21 Project. All of my friends came back from an experience different and saying I should go and do the same. At the time, nothing really sat well with me and, I still didn’t feel like I personally needed to go. However, there was at the same time a longing for training outside of my personal sphere of influence.
In September I was invited to attend TheDROP in Falcon North Carolina. The experience was three days of crazy mixed with a dash of spirit. The story of my experience at TheDROP is a long one, and if you would like to hear it then let’s grab a coffee. It was TheDROP that did it. The Circuit Riders had come to my school the previous spring and were also at TheDROP. I sat in a worship training session with Lindy Conant and her team and it was the first time since high school I felt challenged, encouraged and also enabled.
In October I started allowing myself to think about ministry training. The reason I hadn’t in the past is because I didn’t know what good it would do. Why raise money to fly somewhere for only a small amount of time? I couldn’t see the lasting impact a trip like that could have. (Also something I struggle with in regards to short term missions trips, Blimey Cow sums this thought up well in this video)
Something was different about the friends that did Circuit Riders though. They were actually living out the things I had seen them go through, whereas I saw the Bethel crowd come back and only be more in love with Bethel. Not to say the “Bethel” experience has less of an impact, but something about 21 Project made my heart jump. I then started to pursue an opportunity to go to Australia for worship training, and also thought about 21 Project following that also in worship training.
In late October, past fall break, I remember waking up getting ready for a typical weekday of work and classes. I had a dream the night before and it was running in my head while I prepared that morning.
I saw myself, with a grey hoodie, green backpack and lots of little gold earrings. My hair was short, and I was at a gate at my airport about to board a plane by myself. I knew I wasn’t coming back the same.
I called my mom and told her the dream on my bus ride to school. A week later I cut 11 inches of hair off. For Christmas I got a green backpack and in January I added four new piercings to my ears (grand total of 14 woo).
21 Project (on the website) was going to be $600 and in California, when it was made known that it was going to be in Kona this year (every 7 years it is moved back to the YWAM HQ) and that tuition had jumped I immediately thought that was it, I wasn’t supposed to go. As I looked at the extra money that I would need to raise I heard a voice inside of me say
“You believed Me for six, why not a thousand? Don’t you now that if I am sending you then you will get there?”
I don’t remember exactly what the final straw was, but I started a YouCaring to fund-raise for 21 project.
Fast forward to March. I had been feeling like I was supposed to go Hawaii for 21 days, and as Synergy 150 was approaching (look it up, they are awesome) I didn’t know anything other than I was supposed to go. My campus ministry, roommates and family were all supporting me. April is when the physical provision began to pour in. What’s crazy is that when God wants to send you, He will provide and when He provides He does so abundantly. In late April I was helping lead worship for a woman’s retreat. That Sunday morning I felt like I was not supposed to cut my hair until I flew. I asked God for a window of time and He said any time between July 8th and my flight I was allowed to cut my hair.
I have never traveled on my own like this before.
(As I write on my second flight of the day while watching LaLa Land on my phone) I didn’t know how to pack, so I prayed. I asked God to give me strategy and He told me to get on Pinterest and He gave me a color palette. After this I knew how/what to pack/shop. One night mom and I prayed for the rest of my airfare money to come in, and then next day I was able to buy my ticket. A week later all of my tuition came in. I was going. I couldn’t believe
it. (Still watching LaLa Land) and it still hasn’t hit me what God has in store for me during this time.
Some neat things that just wound up working out. July 8th I cut my hair, no picture, just told Miss V (who is a very Godly woman) to pray and cut it. While 21 Project this year is only 18 days, it worked out with my flights that I will be on the island for 21 days exactly. Doing what? Well…
I applied and was accepted to the maverick track.
I thought about applying to the worship track, and the more I thought about it this is what came to mind. I have personally been involved with worship teams since I was 12, and now I am 21. I say that not to say I know everything there is to know about leading worship, but I am comfortable there. And If God was sending me so far out of my comfort zone, across the country, alone, then I should follow through 100%. So while I am here I will be learning practical tools for marketplace ministry including, ethics, leadership, creative ideas and being a light in the workplace.
So there it is. Preparation. Preparation and the story leading up to the biggest adventure I have ever embarked on in my life. I know the only way of getting through this is leaning into God as I physically step off the continent. I am not a drive from my family. I don’t know anyone where I am going. For such an extrovert this is the part that has me nervous. Not new things, but making friends. Living in a dorm for the first time in my life (with 5-10 other girls). Something interesting is the number of people asking me if I am here for vacation, and the answer is no. I am here to get trained. I am here to bless others. and yes, this might be my only time in Hawaii for the foreseeable future, I wasn’t sent here to do all the sightseeing and touristy stuff. I came with my hands open to give, and to receive what the Lord has for me. When I woke up yesterday to board a plane God gave me a that song at the beginning of this post. It has become both His invitation, and my cry. Here, stepping off. God would you meet me, and may I never be the same.
Here I am. Am I prepared? We will have to wait and see.