Thursday, November 26, 2009

once upon a time...

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a blessed day celebrating with family and friends. :)

I just finished my first batch of support letters, so they will go out tomorrow. Thus, I decided I should explain my story of how I came to hear about LeadTime and the journey the Lord has taken me on to get here.

Two and a half years ago I was working at T Bar M, a Christian sports camp in New Braunfels. One of the girls on leadership that summer was Ashley Dady, who became a dear friend of mine. At the end of the summer, she was planning on going to LeadTime, which at that time was in Denver. As she told me about what she would be doing, I had a desire to pray for her and the girls she would be ministering to.

That October, I was able to go to Denver and visit Ashley for a few days at LeadTime. That afternoon, I just hung out with some of the teenage girls at the house and heard some of their stories. I was so moved by what I heard, and by the end of the night, I went outside and just wept. There was so much brokenness, not just in the lives of the teenagers, but also in the lives of the people involved in LeadTime. So much pain and hurt, but there was a beauty about it that I was drawn to. I didn’t want to leave.

Soon after that trip, I decided to change my major in college to Social Work. I was a nursing major at the time, but spent most of my time in class journaling and trying to figure out what to do with my life. The more I heard about social work, the more excited I became. So I switched – and now as I graduate next Saturday, I know I made the right choice.

After I left Colorado, I began to write letters to a few of the girls I met at Shelterwood, the residential treatment program that LeadTime works with. One of the girls was Ashley’s little (they call the teenagers Littles, and those involved in LeadTime Bigs). She encouraged me so much through letters she would write back, and I constantly prayed for the teens and LeadTime class. I was able to go visit again during Spring Break with my mom, and one more time in May to see Ashley’s little graduate from the program. I felt so blessed to have had an inside look of the program, and now I am excited to finally be involved myself.

I applied to LeadTime over a year ago, and I tried to work with my school to allow LeadTime to count as my final internship. However, the school decided that I should stay in Austin for my internship, and I have spent the past semester working with teenagers in drug rehab. I absolutely love it, and know that the Lord has me in His hands. I have learned so much this semester and know that my time here has prepared me even more for LeadTime.

I am leaving on January 2nd to drive up to Missouri with my parents, and I officially will start the program on January 4. I am really excited to go, but sometimes I feel anxious or sad, because I know I will miss my dear friends and family in Texas. However, I must say, I feel so supported by every single person I have told about LeadTime. Time and time again I have been given affirmation that this ministry is something I will do great at, even by people that I just meet. I have such peace knowing that this is exactly what the Lord has called me to do, and I look forward to sharing how Christ moves and reveals Himself this next year. I invite all of you to pray with me and follow me on this sweet journey. I pray that you will be blessed and encouraged.

I am so grateful for all of you, for your words of encouragement and support, your love, prayers and friendship. I could not do this without you, and I know that each of you have taught me something about life, love and the Lord that He is going to use for His glory. I love you all so so much.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I look forward to sharing stories with y’all, and hope you will share some with me. I love snail mail (yes I do!) and voicemails and e-mails and comments, so please don’t hesitate to ask me questions, share prayers requests, or tell me about what the Lord is doing in your life! He is faithful and good and His love endures forever. To Him be the glory and praise forever and ever! Amen. :)

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