My friends and I sauntered away from the food truck rodeo and towards the car. Our hearts were light and our bellies were full from the delicious food, beautiful weather, and what felt like an unofficial start to summer.
None of us were familiar with the area we were in, so I was somehow elected as the driver to get us home. After Google led us to a main road, I told my friend who was navigating, “You can shut it off now – I can just follow the road signs from here.”
One wrong turn and five minutes later, I added, “Uh…maybe turn it on again, just to get us back on track.” We soon reached another main road, and I again boldly proclaimed, “Okay, we’re good now. You can shut if off.” Ten minutes and another missed turn later, both my friends started groaning as I sheepishly admitted, “Okay, I might need the directions on again…”
All in all, I took THREE wrong turns that night. It turned a 25-minute journey into a 45-minute one. But it did make for some great laughs and views of a beautiful sunset that we would have otherwise missed.
I was thinking about that little adventure today as I was speaking with one of our new workers, “L”, who will be joining us in Asia this fall.
Four weeks ago, 17 young adults joined us for a four-day training event in which they learned more about our work in Asia, and were equipped to begin support raising for this coming fall. It was a crazy, exhausting, and powerful weekend; and I’m so excited about the truly incredible team we’ll have joining us this year. This summer, I have the privilege of coaching one girl, “L”, as she prepares to launch in the fall. It’s exciting to see how God has been moving in her heart since April Training and preparing her to serve in Asia.
Before April Training, L was not entirely sure that it was the right move to interrupt her own studies for a semester in order to come with us this year. As we chatted on the phone today, however, it’s clear that God has given her the assurance she needs.
She excitedly told me about how she and her friend have committed to spend some time each month walking through their town to yarp for it and any passersby who they feel led to speak with. She feels as though God has asked her to do that so she can learn boldness for Asia this fall. She has also been devouring books and movies about Asia, and is brimming with questions about what it will be like over there, and how she might see God move.
Our conversation reminded me of my little detour a few weeks ago. It’s funny how sometimes a journey that we think might be filled with wrong turns (or just feels inconvenient) can actually bring us more joy than the path that gets us to our “destination” fastest. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to be listening to directions (from God…or Google) along the way. He’ll get us to the right destination in the end, but we also don’t have to be afraid of straying from the path we expected. I’m so excited to see what other journeys God has in store for L and the rest of the team this fall!
In other news, I also recently had a little collision with a young man in a parking lot. (He backed into me as I was driving by.) The damage wasn’t pretty – two doors crunched beyond repair, lots of missing (and misplaced) paint, and a passenger-side window doomed to never be rolled up again.
After calling the cops and our parents, the other driver (“J”) and I started chatting. It didn’t take long for the subject of work to come up, and I explained that I work for an organization that starts “parties” on college campuses in Asia.
As it turns out, J is a believer who has recently found himself in a season of rapid growth in his relationship with God, and an increasing hunger for Him. The police took nearly an hour to arrive on the scene (which is a little odd), but in that time, J and I were able to have an awesome conversation about how God has been moving in each of our lives lately.
Although that was not how either of us had planned to spend that sunny, 80-degree day, we both left feeling certain that it was one of those times God uses less-than-ideal circumstances in life for our good. We both left with some encouragement, and a new Facebook friend!