I know it's blurry, but this is me in front of NBC News studios. In my mind it was my future place of employment. :)
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Spring Break Reflections
Friday night I arrived home after a spring break mission trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. I went with the Conway Baptist Collegiate Ministry, where I serve on part-time staff. We stayed at a church (Romar Beach Baptist) that doubles as a retreat center, and had opportunity to do several different types of ministry during the week: beach ministry, RV park ministry, and kids ministry, just to name a few.
It’s always so fun to spend this time with our fantastic BCM students who've given up their spring break to serve others-being the hands and feet of Jesus to the world. We had a couple of students who had never been on a mission trip before. That got me thinking about my first mission trip, and I realized that this spring break was the 10th anniversary of my first-ever mission trip.
I was a sophomore in college and our church’s university group took a trip to New York City. My college major was radio/television, and I had known for years that I wanted to someday live in New York City and work in broadcasting. So when the opportunity for a trip to NYC presented itself, I was ON BOARD.
We had to drive through Times Square to get to the church where we stayed for the week. I had tears in my eyes as we drove through the Square. I had wanted to visit this place for so long that it felt surreal to actually be there.
Our group was split for the week: I was on the team working with a church plant in the financial district. We prayer walked, handed out donuts and coffee, and met college students involved in a local campus ministry. I had a fantastic, exhausting, educational week and did not want to return home.
I’m quite a sentimental person. Simple things like the passing of a decade mean something to me and make me want to look back and reflect. I have a significant birthday coming up in a couple of weeks, so lately I've been reflecting a lot.
If you had asked 19-year-old Corley what she thought her life would look like in 2013, the answer probably would've included something about living and working in that very city to which she’d traveled for her first mission trip. Broadcast journalism was her dream--she loved her major and was good at it. She had the confidence to believe that she really might end up in a place like NYC.
What I didn’t know, could never have known, was how God was working in my life and circumstances. On another mission trip exactly a year later, my heart shattered as God gently and lovingly revealed to me how selfish I had been with the Good News. But in His tenderness he picked up the pieces of my heart (which incidentally, He does each time this happens; He has never failed me here), and instead of giving my heart back to me He kept it, though I did not quite realize it at the time. Six months later, He made clear a call to ministry that I not only could not deny, I could not WAIT to tell the world about.
Though my life looks much different than I expected it to as a college sophomore, I would not trade the past ten years for anything. Because I was able to trust God for my future, when he took away my dream of a career in broadcast news it did not come as a huge surprise to me, and it did not hurt as much as I would have expected. By that time I wanted His plan for my life more than I wanted my own. Since I fully surrendered my future plans in favor of God's, He has taken me on a great adventure. I'm excited for what's next!