I'd like today to share how I ended up with TEN3 in the first place. I sure didn't plan it out!
My story starts with deciding on a college. I was rather anxious about it, as I anticipated that would determine the course of my entire life. Or rather, that it had to be the perfect preparation for what I would do with my life. Except I had no idea what that was. Part of me wanted a career, but doing what, I didn't know. A larger part of me wanted my future to center on marriage, children, and homeschooling, because I saw growing up how precious that is. I was comforted in realizing that, regardless, I would want to go to college just to learn, but again, where to go?
Long story short on that, God told me to go to Wayland. I argued with Him about this-- "I don't want to go to that sheltering local Baptist school my whole family went to! I want to go somewhere to be challenged and spread wings, to really be a light!" Arguing with God is quite an unforgettable experience if you're willing to hear the reply. It came ever so gently, yet still hit me with the force of a speeding cement truck: "I'm God, you're not. You are telling Me how to use you. So I would rather hear you say, 'not my will but Yours be done,' than 'use me.'"
But what was I going to study? Again, I had no idea. I'm very good at almost every subject. I went a year and a half undecided, and finally when the deadline was getting really close when I would have to declare a major, I chose English with a physical science minor. Why? I like them. That's the whole reason. I still didn't know what I wanted to do for a career, so I figured I might as well prepare for it studying something I liked. So whenever I told people my degree, the response was almost always, "so are you going to teach?" My reply was always "no." It was as if there was a wall between me and the education building. There was no explicable reason why, but there was an unavoidable sense that teaching was the wrong way for me to go.
In the next two years I discovered I am particularly gifted at writing, and wanted my job to involve writing somehow. So I thought about working for a periodical, and checked some into freelance and technical writing. Then my senior year, grad school was making a lot of sense. But the more I thought about it, the more frustrated I felt. I didn't understand why, because I loved school, but I did not want to continue on to grad school. Finally, in a conversation with my Mom, I realized why: I couldn't bear the thought of spending the rest of my young, free years pouring more into myself. It was time to serve. I was meant to. The moment I thought I'm going to the mission field was one of the happiest in my life.
Originally, I planned go go with IMB as a Journeyman, but that was 2009, thus the economy had closed that door. I consulted with Dr. Shaw, the missions professor at Wayland, who advised me to look for a way to write for missions. The search tools God gave led me to TEN3. I read one of their job descriptions and thought, I could do that. As I began volunteering with TEN3, I fell in love with the vision. God had been putting long-term service for long-term transformation, detailed evangelism, discipleship, and meeting human needs all on my heart over the previous years, all of which TEN3 does. And all of that I can contribute to with my writing skills and love of learning.
Please pray for my younger sister. She's facing a similar crossroads. Ask that she seek the Lord, and walk in the good and true paths He has for her. May we all trust and not be afraid (Isaiah 12:2).