My Testimony of How I Got to Where I am Now
(and Where I’m Going)
This may probably be the longest post I ever make, but I feel it is important to share. To both my friends & family who are interested in my life & plans, but also to others to show that God can and still does work in our lives, even if it takes a million mini moments to get you to a point where you realize what He’s done 🙂
It is amazing how God uses even the smallest things in our lives to weave it all together into His plan for us and for the others in society.
I can’t even begin to tell you where it all started because each day I am finding out more things in my past that God has somehow used to get me to where I am now.
I guess I can start with a brief history on how I got to where I am now in terms of school.
I was a senior in highschool planning on going to Westmont to get a degree in liberal arts and get my teaching credential in Special Education. Well, to make a long story short, I ended up saving money and going to local community colleges for a year. I went to Mt. Sac, hated the drive & traffic and went to Chaffey during the Spring. Then out of nowhere I somehow applied to Biola- completely switching my career plans around and declaring Communication Disorders (Speech Pathology) as my major. As much as I liked the classes I felt God pulling me towards a different direction- something I am even MORE passionate about- serving. The Torrey Conference at my school my first year at Biola was based upon the theme of Suffering, followed by the Mission Conference in the Spring with the theme of “Let there be Light!” and what our callings as Christians are in the “dark” areas of this world. These 2 chapels spoke tremendously to me, booth at that time as well as in little “heart holdings” that were stored in my heart until God wanted to reveal them to me. But one thing I got from both of these chapels was that I could serve God (aka do “missionary work”) as a career! So I prayed about it and changed my major to Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work.
However, my first year at Biola took some getting used to as I navigated the process of living out of my house, making new friends, going headfirst into tough Bible and Comm. Disorder classes. It also began to take a strain on my physical body to an extent that I could’ve never predicted. It began with the flu one week and I had a persistent, constant headache that never went away after I recovered from the stomach flu. A few months go by, not one day of relief including the medications I was on for it. Migraines came and went, also with no relief. I had health issues in highschool but they all escalated during my first year of moving out. Stomach pain, cramping and other GI issues worsened. Headaches became more severe. Dizziness, fast heartbeat, pain and fatigue also worsened. At first I thought “this is the life of a college student, just brush it off.” But as things began to get worse I was seeing more and more specialists, with more bloodwork, scans and tests, drilling a hole into my pocket (and my parents…)! During my first semester at Biola I had a random allergic reaction to a dish made in the cafeteria which sent me (calmly) walking to the Health Center to see if they had any Benadryl because my throat was closing up.
Apparently, your throat closing up is a bigger issue than I thought so the EMT took me in, monitored my vitals and asked what was going on. One of the questions he asked me was “have you been nauseous lately?” which was most likely a response to my chart which indicated I had been in the health center the week before in an “emergency” situation where I hit my head and needed some butterfly stitches. I answered “yes, but it’s not because of what happened last week.” He then proceeded to ask a question which was followed by a response neither of us have forgotten. EMT: “Have you been feeling sick lately?” Me: “When do I ever not feel sick!?!” Long story short, he gave me Benadryl and while monitoring me he talked about God using our weaknesses and how God makes us strong during these times. I was then driven to urgent care for a follow-up with a doctor (nothing important was resolved) and life went on.
I was so grateful for that conversation the EMT had with me and how caring and compassionate he was. I remember his uniform said Long, so I looked him up on Biola’s website to send him a quick e-mail thanking him for the conversation. 2 weeks later he replied back with a very sweet e-mail and said to stop by anytime.
So I did! And from that day forward our conversations have never been the same. God definitely began working in our friendship to help each other grow more individually and in our walks with God. And for those of you who don’t know, that EMT is Mr. Matthew Long who I am in a relationship with 🙂
Fast forward a year… I had switched into Sociology and began taking sociology electives and Intro to Social work and came back almost every night to the health center to share with Matt what I had learned. By this point we had grown into a very close and godly friendship (and at one point a dating relationship). Matt who was about to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology began to grow more and more to like Social Work and began to seriously think about getting his masters and become licensed at an LCSW. At first I was super jealous because he is super smart, a great essay writer and a male… so he would get into grad programs a lot easier than I would. Buuuut then after just an itty bitty time I began to get more and more excited for his plans to pursue SW and how perfect he would be in that field.
It was an amazing situation. Of course there were tears, from both Matt and I if I’m correct. I’ve prayed about it and talked with others about it and I strongly feel that God’s calling for my life in this moment is to complete school, but focus on serving the homeless. And NOT applying to graduate schools. In Social Work, case management jobs are typically looked down upon because of the paperwork, busy schedule and lower academic skills required. But God gave me direction in having peace to go this route. I realized my gifts and passions fit PERFECTLY into case management with the homeless/those in poverty. I LOVE to organize. I love to plan, to pass on to people my knowledge, to fill out paperwork (yes, I love it, weird I know).
So there it is. This is my plan for my near future so far. As I have discovered, God can obviously change it. But it is amazing to see how every little thing came together to weave into this master plan. Not to mention how it affected others – all of this happened to get me to the point where I am at now… and to the point where Matt is now applying to Social Work instead of his original plan of psychology.
A million mini moments made up this moment.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
– Colossians 3:17 (ESV)