Here is the 2nd part to my story that I began a few weeks ago…
“God was going to turn my passion and dream into something completely different. Something I couldn’t even have put together if I had tried.” ~Anneli (10/8/11 Post)
Interesting that I wrote that a few weeks ago and in then in the last few weeks, God has placed a few verses in Habakkuk on my heart. And it goes perfectly with what I said just a few weeks ago.
“Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, eve if you were told.” ~Habakkuk 1:5
Hanging out with friends/team mates
I left off Part I off with me going to college, deciding to study Sociology, planning to eventually get a masters in Social Work and to one day work with international adoptions. That was my plan. Working “in the states” remember. College was a very growing and challenging 4 years for me. It was an adjustment since I hadn’t been away from home for more than a week. And the most important thing was that it really challenged my faith. I am so thankful that I grew up in a Christian home with an amazing family who loved Jesus. However, the thing that is also kind of scary about this is that it was just something I had always known. We always went to Church on Sunday and to Wednesday night activities. We had a devotional read after dinner and my parents would pray with me. I knew what to say and all the right answers but something was missing. My passion and my yearning to know more of Jesus. To know more of the Lord and Savior of my life. And to make Him the Lord of my life. Not just a Sunday and Wednesday thing. I saw that “fire for Jesus” that other people had and I wanted that but didn’t quite know how to get there yet. Spending time with God was boring for me and I would read my Bible out of my obligation as a Christian and I knew that that was what I was “supposed to do.” But when I went to college, it was the first time that I had to decided what I believed. I didn’t have Mom and Dad there to make me get up and go to Church on Sunday’s or to do daily devotionals with me. And for my first semester of college, I remember never opening my Bible. Actually probably my whole freshman year it was opened only a handful of times. I remember looking at it on my shelf collecting dust and not having the desire to read it. I was “too busy” with swimming and school to spend much time in God’s Word.
Me and my team mates
Not quite sure when things shifted. I think it was sophomore year when a Bible study was started on campus. BASIC stood for Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We met once a week. It was great to just meet other Christians and connect with them. And my faith began to be my own. God challenged me in many ways, one being that I was the only Christian on my swim team. However God was working in me even when I didn’t even know it. My team mates knew that there was something different about me. I was often told that “swearing around me was like swearing around their Grandma.” I decided to take that as a compliment. I wasn’t voicing my faith. Never talked about it actually because I didn’t want to “offend anyone.” But Christ shone through my actions. Basically my teammates knew that I went to Church on Sunday and didn’t swear. That’s about it but that shone brighter than words. And even though I didn’t even know where my faith stood, I was searching. And God was becoming more and more real to me. Beginning to become every part of my life, not just when I could fit Him into my schedule.
Some girls from our BASIC Bible study
College was a turning point in my faith. In my life. I learned so much not only about myself as a person but about who God is. I was searching. And through this whole time, my passion for China and orphans never wavered. I did two internships in College. One with Parent Education Program and my second one with Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services in their adoption/foster care department. I knew that adoption was the field the Lord was leading me into. But again, thought it was in the USA not in China. But He had other plans. I graduated college in May 2008 and had always wanted to work at Camp Mission Meadows. However since I was focusing on my swimming and had to be training in the summer’s, camp wasn’t an option until after I graduated. Again, “my plan” was to work there in 2008 and then get a “real job.” But once again, God had different plans in store. Because I not only ended up working in 2008. But also in 2009 and 2010. The best summers of my life. And that is when God completely rocked my world.
“For the revelation awaits an appointed time: it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” ~Habakkuk 2:3