Dear Friends and Family:
I want to invite you into a story that God has been writing for some time.
To be honest I don’t even know how and where to start, but I want to share with you some new things that God has been doing in my life, so let’s begin at the beginning.
When you posture yourself with open hands, be prepared for God to take you on an unexpected journey.
A few years ago I had a strong desire to leave the United States to go and explore a different country and see where my creativity would take me. However, every time I explored an opportunity the door would close and my fist would close tighter. Around the high point of my disappointment and frustration I sensed God was saying that I should stay in Fullerton. At first, this was discouraging, but over the next couple of years it couldn’t have been any clearer why having to stay was necessary. I was able to finish college. I was able to intern with an amazing leader and mentor. I became grounded in life. And later I started on staff at RH Fullerton. I could have never dreamt that I would get to serve such an incredible community.
Recently, I had the honor of going on a humanitarian trip to India with one of ROCKHARBOR’s global partners, Harvest India. For 6 years my heart has always loved and longed to go to India, and yet I wasn’t able to go there. Every time I tried, each opportunity was met with a ‘NO’ attached the end of it.
So this last year, when I recognized another stirring to go to India, I timidly applied for the RH trip with open hands and an open heart. I was shocked to finally hear the ‘YES‘ that I had been longing for as I was asked to join the team. Needless to say, I was thrilled with anticipation. As I prepared for the trip (late December), I couldn’t help but be in awe of God’s provision financially, but also the community/family that had rallied around me.
Before I left for my trip I had gone to an event to support Remnant Uganda and many other awesome organizations (Krochet Kids, 31 Bits, iSanctuary & more) that are creatively bringing justice, healing, education, and fair wages to people all over the world. That night I had the opportunity to chat with one of the staff members of the non-profit organization iSanctuary (International Sanctuary). This organization works with women in India who have been victimized by human trafficking, helping them reintegrate into society by teaching them the craft of jewelry making, paying them fair wages, and giving them education and value. I left that conversation even more excited for my upcoming trip to India.
I also left that night feeling like I had received a missing puzzle piece that I had been looking for. It was the most unexpected feeling, but one I had tucked away knowing in my heart that one day this conversation or ‘puzzle piece’ would make sense.
Thanks to good ole social media I actually have the status from that night that I wrote on December 1st.
“You know when God keeps giving you puzzle pieces and you have no clue what they mean or are for and yet you hold on tight to them because one day you know they will make sense?! Yup. Puzzling.”
I left for India the day after Christmas. I surrendered many of the expectations that I had put on this long awaited journey. This allowed me to be present with my team, with the ministries that we visited and the culture we were in. God was very gentle and quiet in the ways he spoke to me while in India; consequently, I felt at home, myself, comfortable in India. My team would joke with me that I was an Indian woman at heart. I was pulling out bangles, earrings, and accessories left and right for my fellow team ladies. I applied Henna on anyone who came near me. And I couldn’t stop smiling everywhere we went; the people of India were so beautiful. Not to say that it was easy or that everything was dreamy, but I had found a large part of me that felt at home.
One night on the bus ride home from one of our events, I had a conversation with a friend. All we talked about was how we wouldn’t be surprised if we came back to India one day for a longer period of time. And since I had waited, what had felt like ages to finally visit India, I had no real expectations that it would be any time soon. As I returned home from the trip I found an email from iSanctuary saying they were hosting a pop up shop in Fullerton and wanted to see if I wanted to show my art work during their 3 day event. While at that event I had the same staff member mention to me that she thought I might be a good fit for a position that they were looking to fill.
From that point I approached this opportunity with open hands. They were looking for a Jewelry Design intern that would live in India for a year. It truly took me by surprise but the opportunity sounded like one worth pursing. I approached my family & mentors with the opportunity. They joined me in praying/seeking if this was a good fit and next best right step. After consulting the staff I applied for the position.
It wasn’t a step that I took lightly but there is no way I could have ever decided to apply without the support of the people I work with, family, friends and mentors. I recently was given the news that I was accepted and will be moving to India to serve with iSanctuary in January 2014.
A dream that I remember sharing during one of those late night dorm room talks with roommates about aspirations, dreams and all the other things a freshman in college talks about was actually coming true. This country that I have adored for years, and a next step that I couldn’t have even have imagined was right in front of me.
This wasn’t something I decided swiftly but a call that I explored obediently. I remember praying that if God was ever to call me out of my community, comfort, current job it would have to be something I couldn’t deny that He was leading me towards. A prayer that I have seen answered.
Can’t wait to share more with you all over the next few months.