A few days ago, while sorting through some old papers in my room, I found this:
I was filled with joy and thankfulness when I found this little article, in awe of how God used one step into the unknown ten years ago to radically change the course of my life. As I slowly read the news article, I was transported back to the mind of a twelve year old girl who was scared to death to travel to a country that she had heard was scary, dark, and cold. I honestly don’t remember the moment I decided to go to Russia, which is funny because I tend to remember obscure things like what I wore on the first day of fourth grade. My Dad tells me though, that I went up to him and told him that I felt the Lord wanted me to go to Russia. That was a good enough reason for him, and I’m so glad it was.
I stepped onto a plane ten years ago, scared, unsure, yet having an undeniable sense that God wanted me to be there. And I fell in love that summer. I fell in love with Russians, with their warmth and vibrancy and depth. I fell in love with Russia, with its color and nature and kaleidoscope of culture. I fell in love, and ten years later, that God-inspired love continues to grow in joy and passion and purpose.
The Israelites used to put up stones as a memorial of God’s great works among them, tangible, solid markers that reminded them of God’s faithfulness, power and love in their lives (Genesis 35:14, Exodus 28:12, for starters). And to me, finding this little article from ten years ago was like unearthing a precious memorial stone. As I step forward into this next stage of life, if I am tempted to doubt my calling or doubt myself, may I come back to these tangible evidences of a calling and love that is so much bigger than me, and trust in the God who never fails to love and lead his children.