Turning the page

It’s been a crazy two weeks.

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a while, I’ve had it on my “to-do” list and as a reminder on my phone that I’ve just kept re-scheduling, so here goes…

On September 28, I finished up with my job. It was my last day of work at Agency where I have been working for the last 18 months.

This job was a bit of a miracle and answer to prayer in itself.

A couple of years ago an ex-colleague who happens to now be the Community Pastor of my church (go figure) told me about this creative studio that only works with “for purpose” organisations, including a number of charities and non-profits. This immediately grabbed my heart as I had been struggling with how I could use my studies in Marketing for the kingdom and for good- Agency became my answer.

After my first stint with YWAM I came home and wasn’t sure what was next. I returned to my previous job which I loved, but I just felt God leading me elsewhere. I then quit not having another job to go to and in the meeting where I gave my notice, I received three voicemails on my mobile – one was a job interview, another a call to discuss an application and the third was an actual job offer. I couldn’t believe it.

Just one week after I had left my job, I was now having to choose between multiple job opportunities, I was spoilt for choice! But nothing felt totally right, until a position at Agency was suddenly advertised, so I immediately applied. After two rounds of interviews and several follow-up emails (I was very keen), I got the job!

I learnt A LOT at Agency. I was stretched both professionally and personally, exposed to absolutely incredible campaigns and causes, and built relationships with my colleagues and clients that I know I’ll treasure for a very long time.

I really felt like God equipped me during this time for what I’ll be investing and pouring into at YWAM Vancouver.

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On this same day, on September 28, I also finished leading Youth at my church. I’ve been part of this ministry for five years, so saying goodbye to this, what has been my world and my life every Friday night for half a decade was quite bizarre.

How I came to be a youth leader is again a weird story that only God could have teed up. I’d been a Christian and at my church for about a year and I had this desire to go on an overseas mission trip and do something beyond myself.

I chatted to a friend and he suggested I join his team of Youth Leaders and “year 13’s” (recently graduated year 12’s) on a trip to the Philippines. The only catch was I wasn’t a Youth Leader or a Youth, so my friend asked if I’d like to join the Youth Leadership team after the trip.

I’d hardly gone to youth when I was in high-school, so the thought of now getting involved in leading this ministry was a bit daunting. As a new Christian too I felt totally inadequate and definitely not ready to start mentoring others in their faith.

To be honest, I also felt this way about the Philippines trip too – I’d never been to a developing country before so was challenged with how I was going to relate to the people and have anything worthy to give as we served them (in reality they taught me so much and gave me more than I could ever give them but that’s another blog post).

Looking back on the last five years and reflecting on how God has seriously grown me, the same words still apply that I believe God spoke to me as I stepped up in what felt like a really huge leap at the time…

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

Getting involved in Youth Leading was the best decision I made as a new Christian. Not only did I learn a HUGE amount about God myself as young people asked me “the hard questions”, I had so many firsts from understanding what it means to serve, preaching and sharing what God was teaching me, mentoring others, praying into such difficult moments in life, as well as organising some of the craziest camps where I’ve never been covered in so much flour in my life!

I’ve lead youth who then served alongside me as a leader, which truly was the biggest blessing. I’ll forever be thankful for the absolute privilege and honour to see young people discover who God is and give their lives to Jesus. I pray the baton continues to be passed on, with our celling becoming their floor.

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And finally (apologies this is a bit of a long one), I moved home last week, back to my mums!

I moved out two years ago, so again this was extremely nostalgic packing up my things and moving into my old room (well my brothers, sorry Cole). It was super sad saying goodbye to my housemates, one of which I’ve lived with for the full two years. This was the first time I’d properly moved out, minus a couple months overseas and when I lived on campus in my first few years at Uni.

There were many highs and lows in the town house and apartment I lived in during this time. What I’ll hang onto the most are the simple moments of living together. From a cup of tea and debrief on the couch after getting home from work, sharing the mirror in the bathroom as we all got ready for a night out, making a pathway of balloons outside each of our bedrooms a tradition for birthdays, and lying on the floor in each others doorways chatting away/procrastinating before going to bed.

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There have been many farewells, goodbyes, handing over of keys, packing boxes and hugs in the last two weeks. A few pages have been turned in what feels like not only a new chapter, but a whole new book as I prepare to leave for Canada in just 7 weeks.