New summer, same routine.
For three summers in a row I have had the incredible privilege of participating in an internship that holds a special piece of my heart. Each summer I’ve learned something completely different from the summer before.
My first summer, I hit the ground running. I remember my first Soul’d Out, and how I couldn’t remember any of the children’s names because somehow they all started with a K. Summer 2014 was filled with incomparable adventures with people who still continue to feed so much joy into my life. That summer gave me a glimpse of what full-time vocational ministry looked like, and I loved every second of it.
The second summer I interned wasn’t supposed to happen. I was supposed to be spending my summer au pairing in Australia, but God had better plans for me. If it wasn’t for Lynn and how greatly I valued our friendship I probably would have been in Australia. Hawaii was almost a memory of the past, but I couldn’t get myself to tell Lynn that I wouldn’t be coming back. So I closed the door to Australia and trusted God. The summer of 2015 taught me how influential intentionality is in relationships. I was able to pick up where I left off, because I was intentional in reaching out to the ones I cared about. My ministry is to be intentional in the lives of people who I choose to do life with.
This past summer was a new summer with the same routine. I had it down. I didn’t need to be told what to do or how to do something. And I can proudly say that I didn’t burn children’s ministry down to ashes during the two weeks pastor Joy was gone. What God taught me this summer wasn’t a lesson, but rather He gave me sweet reassurance. He reminded me that I am good enough. No doubt, no insecurity, no lie the devil tried to tell me could stop me from believing that I am good enough.
God has called me into ministry, and it’s been a journey of trying to figure out what that would look like, what that even means, and understanding the weight of being in ministry. Summer after summer Windward Church of the Nazarene has been a place that has allowed me to do ministry. I have been able to learn more about full-time ministry and my role in ministry and come to the point of feeling ready for whatever scary step God is about to call me into.
Every year as part of my internship I get the incredible, joyous responsibility of leading and directing Vacation Bible School. This task is both my absolute favorite and most stressful. I get to lead a weeklong event for 65+ children and 15+ adult leaders where we learn more about following Jesus. As Natali and I were preparing for the event and trying our very hardest to make a church chapel look like a cave, I played the CD with all the new songs we would be learning. I inserted the CD, pressed play, and walked down the center aisle of the chapel. As I walked down I was overcome with awe as I looked around and realized that the chapel would soon be filled with children and adults ready to open their hearts to God. And I would be the one to head that event.
I don’t take what I do lightly. Even if it’s just speaking for 15 minutes in a summer school chapel session, I take great pride and responsibility in getting to share more about God. Sometimes these tasks become mundane and routine, but I always try to remind myself that for some of the kids I encounter this may be their only opportunity to hear about God. So I don’t half ass things. I prepare and I pray and I hope that God’s truth is revealed in my words and that He is glorified while I’m up on stage.
For three summers I’ve had that responsibility, and I have loved every second of it. I have enjoyed getting to be part of a church that is expanding God’s kingdom. I have deeply appreciated being equipped by pastors who I look up to and admire. So as I say goodbye to my third summer interning my hope is that I can continue to do what I love without the title. People laugh when I tell them that I’m going to intern again, but I’m serious. I am going to keep doing what I love doing, because what I love doing is serving God in this capacity. I’m the forever intern, and you don’t get that nickname from only interning three summers in row.