Many of you may already know my story of God’s calling. Or maybe you have heard only pieces of it. I’d like to be able to share with you a clearer picture of what God has done in my life in recent years to call me to full-time ministry for the next 2 years. However, I understand that may be difficult to do in a blog. Therefore, if you have any questions about my story or would like to hear it in more detail, I would love to share more with you in person! (Just reply below!)
My story begins freshman year. I may have been returning to a town that I grew up in for 9 years of my life, but to me it was a fresh start. I was excited to develop my faith on my own and get involved in a church away from my family. My intentions were good, but my follow through was lacking. As soon as I began getting involved in my sorority and other campus organizations, I quickly lost focus. I began placing my school activities, homework, and sleep above my relationship with God or fellowship with other believers.
Fast forward to fall semester junior year. All of those decisions of misplaced priorities finally caught up to me. I had never been further away from God. I knew that I had been living apart from Him, and that the fruit in my life (or lack thereof) was evidence of it. God convicted me of the sin in my life, and I repented and returned to Him. I recognized the great need I had in my life for His grace and forgiveness, and I responded by recommitting my life to Christ.
It was at this turning point in my life that my path crossed with The Navigators. God was preparing the way for this because He had placed a girl by the name of Caitlin in one of my English classes during that fall semester. We became good friends through that class, and what-do-ya-know she was a part of Navs! So when I was looking for genuine Christian fellowship after recommitting my life, I knew that I could just follow her to a Nav Night (the large group worship night). After that initial connection, I quickly became involved with a Bible study. I was so encouraged that the other girls in the study were also earnestly seeking God and serious about learning how to study the Bible. I knew that was where God wanted me at that time.
For the sake of condensing my story, the quick version of the next two years is this:
– I planned on studying abroad in Spain during Summer 2012
– God sent me to the Summer Training Program in Florida.
– I planned on studying abroad in Costa Rica during Summer 2013
– God sent me to Argentina.
– I had planned my whole life to become a teacher, and was consistent about becoming a Spanish and English teacher since freshman year of high school
– God opens my heart to consider and pray about a different future.
To help you understand how God began to change my heart about the future, I want to share with you about a special relationship. During the fall semester 2012, I began being discipled by my friend Machelle, a Navigator staff member. She didn’t just share biblical principles over a cup of coffee; she welcomed me into her life and gave me a godly example to follow. As we cooked meals, picked up her kids from activities, and ran errands together, Machelle showed me how to do life and ministry as a follower of Christ. By walking alongside me, Machelle built a strong relationship of trust that allowed her to speak into my life and help me grow in my walk with God.
I began desiring to be able to do for girls what Machelle did for me: share my life so that I can share Christ! I recognized that God could have me do this same sort of thing in the workplace after graduation, but I began to be more open to the idea that he could be calling me to give my life away on campus through full-time ministry.
Other events on my timeline as I began considering what God would have me do after graduation include:
– Being asked to explain to a visitor about the needs of The Navigators at UNK, and beginning to cry as I realized that the need was staff women to invest in students. I was crying because I recognized my desire to be the one to invest in those women. (March 2013)
– Being asked by Machelle to begin praying about full-time ministry. (April 2013)
– Sitting in a coffee house and contemplating skipping my English class because I would much rather be studying the Bible or having a spiritual conversation with a friend. I realized that campus ministry could be very similar to what I had been doing that semester (leading a Bible study, discipling girls, raising support for a missions trip) but without the homework or classes. (April 2013)
– Being asked by my campus directors to pray about joining EDGE Corps at UNK. (May 2013)
– God used the summer in Argentina to challenge me in my faith and trust in Him. I also feel that He used the trip to close the door on overseas missions in the immediate future (something else that I had been praying about). (June-July 2013)
– I received a very clear answer during a listening prayer in Argentina that I should be pursuing campus ministry. (July 2013)
– Student teaching taught me that I could teach. That if God called me to it, that I could do a great job in the field of education. However, He also gave me peace about not pursuing a job in education immediately out of college. I felt encouraged to take these next two years and commit them to God. (Fall 2013)
Basically, I just want to give you a picture of the way I have seen God leading me to this decision of full-time ministry. It was not a rash decision as you can see. Nor was it crystal clear or written in the sky. But it was something that God impressed upon my heart over the course of a couple of years (and probably even since childhood if we are really being honest about the way God works).
The verse that has encouraged me since the very beginning of my time with The Navigators, and all the more now that I’ve committed the next two years of my life to God’s ministry at UNK, is 1 Thessalonians 2:8.
So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
I want that desire to grow in my heart for the women I will have the opportunity to invest in at UNK over the next two years. They are already very dear to me, but I want to be able to share myself with them the way I share with them the gospel of God. I want to give my life away for the glory of God.
Please partner with me in prayer as I pursue this path that God has designed for me. I am crazy excited to be able to stay at UNK and work with the girls I’m already investing in as well as the chance to meet new students and build new relationships while sharing the love of Christ.
Right now my biggest concern is being funded for next year. I am currently meeting with friends and family to invite them to partner with me in ministry through prayer and financial support. If you are interested in meeting with me and hearing more about what I will be doing with The Navigators, I would love the chance to share! (Please reply below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
My goal is to be fully funded by May 1st in order to spend this summer in Jacksonville, FL as team leader and staff member at the Summer Training Program. (The same program that I went through 2 summers ago!) I am currently at 50%, so please pray that the remaining 50% would come through during the next 4 weeks as I continue to ask for support.
Again, thank you so much for taking an interest in what God has been doing in my life. I appreciate your prayers and support.
Courtney is a member of the GE Creative Team and is the monkey in the middle of this trio of sisters. Her degree might be in English and Spanish Education, but she’s following God’s call on her life and pursuing full time ministry with The Navigators. If she’s not crafting, reading, or hanging with her hubby, you’ll probably find her at a local coffee shop sipping her caramel latte and opening up the Bible with college women.