Oh, New Orleans. Where do I even begin?
Most people would tell you that I ended up in New Orleans by happenstance. I’m here to tell you I have followed God too long to think He allows moves like this one to occur by chance.
This particular leap of faith happened the spring semester of my senior year at Mizzou. I only had a couple months left before I finished my Journalism program. For some reason I could not make myself fill out any “real” job applications. One afternoon, while going through my email (which I do often), I saw a message from our Career Center about an opportunity to do a year of service.
City Year was the name of the program. I’d serve for 10 months and when I finished, I would get an education award (count me in). It sounded honorable enough so I applied without thinking much more about it. I received an invitation to interview later on that week.
Initially I was going to do City Year Los Angeles. I had two reasons.
- I knew other people who were moving to L.A.
- I could not think of anyone who wouldn’t want to live in Cali. Come on beaches!
When I shared my thought process with the recruiter she suggested I explore other options. “You’ll meet plenty of friends by doing this.”
I still wanted to be close to a beach so I chose Miami. The ball was off and rolling or so it seemed. I’d found a roommate but every time we tried to a third one (to make the rent affordable) or put a deposit down on an apartment something would go wrong. This happened again and again until 2 weeks before I was set to start in Miami and I got a call from the New Orleans office.
“Nah bruh,” I thought to myself. I’d already been working on my post-City Year plans and quickly informed him of this.
“I understand. Have you been able to find housing yet?”
“Well maybe this is the reason.”
I hung up with him devastated. He’d wrecked my plans in an instant. I called my mom to talk to her about it. Her solution? “Make new plans.” Just like that I was headed to New Orleans.
I wish I could say the move to New Orleans was like my move to Missouri – that I instantly saw why God moved me. But, that’s not the reality. I had no idea what God was doing for months and honestly the story is still being written as we speak.
What I can say so far is New Orleans taught me how to be a grown up. Serving students every day of every week helps you see your life is not nearly as much about you as you think.
I discovered my love for teens and got involved in youth ministry in New Orleans. I served on staff for my first camp. Shout out to RESET – registration opens on Friday (September 1)! It was life changing. I knew immediately any work I did, whether professionally or in ministry, had to involve students.
New Orleans taught me a lot more about myself and my college friends. I saw how deep our connection was when the majority of them came here to visit me one weekend. As a bonus, God blessed me with even MORE friendships with roommates I loved (Hey Zuri and Sam!) and young adults who shared my passion for God and my commitment to follow Him.
Geordan and I got serious in New Orleans. He moved down and got his own place a little less than a year after I did. He also made it very clear that marriage was a part of his plan. He proposed at the church we used to attend!
Expanding the Vision
In the meantime here’s a cute picture of him (so cute, isn’t he?!)
If you read my post from last Monday, you can see how as we continue to follow God, His rewards for our obedience increase. That’s why I’m full of peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) even in the midst of doing bold and scary things.
Want to read more about my faith journey? Pre-order my NEW book Walking on Water – A 21-Day Devotional on Faith set to release 2018! You can pre-order today through my Kickstarter campaign through September 16.