**I am going to apologize in advance for any grammar errors within this blog post and future posts. I have never been a good writer, and I can prove it to you based on how many times my mom and friend, Elaine, will correct my grammar mid-sentence while I’m sharing a story 😉
Hello, dear friends and family!
I wanted to start a blog to share with you all of the wonderful things God will be doing (and has already done) in my life and the life of others as I move to El Paso, Texas. Plus, it’ll give you a way to keep in touch with me as I journey to a new state.
I graduated from James Madison University (JMU) on May 6, 2017 with a Bachelor of Social Work. My senior year of college was incredible and challenging (it’s another blog post for another day). My entire experience at JMU was life-changing…SO much happened!
My life is about to change once again. I am leaving home on August 11th and will be driving to El Paso with one of my childhood buddies, Lissy. It will be a five-day drive and we have some fun stops planned along the way.
I have never been to Texas, and I have never lived so far away from my parents and friends. It’s an exciting journey ahead and I am confident that God will do something wonderful. I have seen the Lord work in 10 minutes, so the fact that He’s giving me 10 months is quite remarkable.
I want to share with you how I learned about the Fellows Initiative and why I applied: I went to Klaire’s bachelorette party weekend back in October of 2016. I was able to see my former small group leader from JMU, Laura, and she told me about her fellowship program in North Carolina. *I remembered Laura being accepted into the fellowship program when I was a sophomore at JMU, but never considered it for myself. That weekend I became curious about the Fellows Initiative (especially since I had no idea what to do for jobs once I graduated). Once the weekend was over I came back to my apartment in Harrisonburg, immediately looked up the Fellows Initiative, and started clicking through all of the programs that the Fellows Initiative offered. I remember being like, “nope…nope….nope….” until I came across the Border Fellows program in El Paso. I am not really sure what it was, but I saw “social work” somewhere on their website and I was like, “JACKPOT!” I decided to apply and thought there was nothing to lose.
And from there….the process was freakishly smooth and fast. I sent my application in mid-November and received an email shortly after by a woman named Yoli. She asked when I was available to do a phone interview. Yoli called me sometime in December right before my finals. I was pacing the living room in my apartment as my roommate, Bri, gave me two thumbs up for encouragement. I do not remember any of the questions Yoli asked me, but I remember thinking that she sounded very sweet. Our phone call only lasted about 20 minutes, and before we hung up she asked if I’d be available for another phone interview with her and two other individuals who are in charge of the Border Fellows program.
The second phone interview was in January (the first day back for Spring semester). That phone call lasted about 1 hour. I decided to be as honest as possible with them because I thought, “They’re either going to like me for who I am, or not. Either way is fine.” It was a very intense interview. Some of the questions were super personal – One of the questions almost left me in tears because I felt vulnerable and exposed to strangers whom I did not know if I’d ever have the chance to meet. Once that interview was over, I thought “dang it…I blew it.” They sounded a bit unsure over the phone, and I felt like I was trying to over-convince them that I was the right fit. They said I’d know the final results in two weeks.
I got a response four days later. I got in. They accepted me.
*God, wow. That was all you.*
I quickly started the fundraising process by writing support letters and sending them out. (During this time, I was finishing up my last semester of JMU, working at my full-time internship, leading a freshmen small group, attending my senior small group, discipling a friend, trying to stay sane, etc.). The total cost of the Border Fellows program is $5,600. The money could sometimes seem daunting. Yet, I had this unexplainable faith and trust in God that He would provide. I believed that if He wanted me in El Paso, then everything would work out the way it should.
By the power of God, people donated their money to my fellowship. I am so pleased to say that I am fully funded!!! I sent the letters out in March/April of 2017, and I am fully funded in the middle of May. Seriously?! God is so cool.
Thank you to everyone! Your support means everything. I am not sure why God wants me to go to El Paso, but the road has been very smooth and it’s a confirmation that He wants me there. I am nervous about certain things, like how I am not fluent in Spanish and do not know anyone there. But, there is peace. So much peace.
I will do my best to update this as often as possible. For now…I think this is good 🙂