Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Heartbreak, Closed Doors, and Jesus Led Me Here

As I mentioned in my post about Free to Laugh (which you should all go to by the way!!), there is a pastor at my home church that is very near and dear to my heart. BRAD. Brad is someone I have such respect for! Honestly, he is one of the people I respect most in the entire world. He just "gets it."

What do I mean he "gets it?" Let me tell you. Brad is someone who is so passionate about missions. Helping others. Sharing the love. Social justice. And so much more! I can't even describe his passion and his understanding for what we as Christians are not only called to do, but expected to do.

He gets me so fired up about ministry and missions and social justice and love and. . . You get the point. Soo as you can imagine, when Brad asks me to be a part of something, I am on board!
But wait. . .

I shared with him a few months back something that hurt my heart. I shared some news. News about something so important to me. So meaningful. A huge part of my life. A huge part of my being.

It broke my heart to sit and say the words that the Lord was calling me to do something other than go to Jamaica this summer on a mission trip. Jamaica sounds like all fun and games and beauty and vacation - think again. Just yards away from the resorts and "honeymoon capital of the world" is a third world country. A country in dire need of Jesus. In need of love. In need of clothing. Food. Clean water. Purpose.

Jamaica has been a part of my life for three years. And each year was a roller-coaster of emotion. Each brought new battles, new children, new love and a new outlook on life. It was extremely difficult to build the courage to tell BRAD of all people that I wouldn't be a part of his mission trip this year.

He understood completely.

I shared my heart about something else as well. My dream to do medical missions in Africa. It's a subject that is so close to me. Something I haven't really spoken to anyone about on a deep level. I knew he would share in my excitement and my passion. And I was right. He was so encouraging and excited for me. . .

So I began my search for a trip to Africa in summer of 2012.

Well, I found about 20 trips. INSANE right?! Wellllll hold up a second! Each and every one of them had a certain something that made me incapable of going. Whether it was age, deadline, or date. Whatever it was - all 20 trips were ruled out.

I'm gonna be honest with you; I was very discouraged.

Now, there's something you should know. Brad has mentioned a certain mission trip to Guatemala a handful of times over the past few years. Each time saying I would be the perfect person for such a trip. And each time, I dismissed the idea without a second thought. You see, it was a construction trip. And, well, HAVE YOU SEEN ME?! I'm clearly not cut out for that sort of work. . .

WELL, God has a funny way of working things out.

This year, the trip to Guatemala is a MEDICAL MISSION. Hold up - did I hear that right?! A medical mission?? YEP!! I heard right. Okay, now you've got my attention.

As Brad and I sat over coffee and he spilled the details about this trip, I knew right then it was what I've been waiting for. I knew right then, why God had closed the doors to Africa for me this summer. I knew right then what I was supposed to do.

Before agreeing, though, I told Brad I would pray about it and talk to my parents. I have done both. And it's official! Guatemala, HERE I COME.

(More details to come)


Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Day on the Water

Yesterday I was invited to go to the lake with my honey and his parents :)

It was so relaxing

It was so beautiful

It was so. . .windy!

It was so. . .cold!

But it was a lot of fun.

I love getting away every once in awhile. Just forgetting about the stresses of everyday life - like school - and just enjoying nature; the beautiful creation the Lord has given us to live in. We are surrounded by beauty. And we are so blessed by it! It was an awesome afternoon on the lake and I hope we go again soon! ;)

Isn't she beautiful?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Challenge

Today I met with my favorite pastor over coffee. Brad has always been a hero in my eyes. An inspiration. A role model. So naturally when he sent me an email about getting together because he had something important to discuss with me - I was all for it.

I was eager to see what he wanted to discuss. The Challenge.

He challenged me to get 250 people to go to the Free to Laugh event this year. My first thought? "How in the world am I going to get 250 people to go to this thing?" My last thought before our convo was over? "I can get 300+!!" (With YOUR help of course!) The goal for the whole event is to get 2,500-3,000 people there this year!!

Our conversation got me so pumped! I left feeling excited! Blessed! Honored! On fire! And ready to do work.

Now you're probably asking yourself, "What the heck is this Free to Laugh business?" Let me tell you!!

As you know, (because I tend to mention it QUITE often), I work at StreetLight, an organization and safehouse dedicated to eradicating child sex slavery in Phoenix and beyond. When our brave and courageous vice squad goes to the darkest places of our cities and rescues these girls, we house them at StreetLight and give them the physical, emotional and mental stability and counseling that they need. And don't forget - these girls are 11-17 years old!

Free to Laugh was just an idea and a vision Brad had 4 years ago when he heard about the travesty going on in our city. When thinking about these poor girls he thought, "they're slaves!" and that's exactly what they are. It's heartbreaking. But the rest of us - we're free. Free to Laugh! And free to do so many other things! And he thought, "Since we're free to laugh, why don't we laugh to free these girls?" That may have sounded sketch to you, but just let me explain.

Brad and I and all the others involved know that human trafficking, sex slavery, child rape for profit - whatever you prefer to call it - is NOT A LAUGHING MATTER! I want to stress that to you!!

So the Lord put this on Brad's heart and he came up with "Free to Laugh: Laugh to Free." Sounds cool right? IT IS. Free to Laugh is a comedy event put on each year (this is the third year) that raises money for StreetLight and the curriculum we use for our girls called "Mending the Soul."

The tickets are $20 and 100% of that goes directly to StreetLight and Mending the Soul!

I have been both of the other years this event was put on and it was a smashing success each time. It's such a great feeling knowing that I am doing something to help a cause I believe in so much!

I want each of you to consider spending just $20 on a ticket and coming out to support StreetLight and Mending the Soul this year. You won't regret it!! And invite your friends to! Please feel free to call me or email or text - whatever! - for more information.

I am more passionate about this issue than anything else in the world! I know we can make a difference in this dark world of ours if we all join forces to fight the evil going on in our city.

As the saying goes, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
Let's go FAR! Let's go TOGETHER!

"Like" Free to Laugh: Laugh to Free on facebook (click here)!
Visit our website! (click here)
Get your tickets! (click here)

And when you buy your tickets, there is a field that asks you where you heard about the event. Write "Grand Canyon University" so we can track and see if the challenge is met!

We've got some sweet T-shirts! In different colors too ;)


Monday, March 5, 2012

A Whole New World

Last week was finals week and I made it out alive! With a 98% on my Microbiology final I might add ;) I had some great times in that class and I was sad to see it go!

And today, marked a set of new classes! Well, in my case, one new class. Genetics. YIKES. Not my favorite subject, that's for sure. But I feel well prepared for this class because of the awesome teaching I had in high school from the infamous Mr. Wolfe. I learned more from him than I did from all my other high school teachers combined! All the hard work in his class is now paying off because today when my genetics teacher, Dr. Sherlin Moses, went over what we will be learning in the course, I already knew a good portion of it! PHEW!

But I know these next eight weeks will have their challenges. Genetics is a whole new world! It isn't an easy course - no matter how much I think I know already. It's a long class! Monday Wednesday Friday 8:20am-10:30. It's a struggle keeping my brain focused! But I know I can do it :)

I'm excited to see what genetics will teach me and I'm even more excited to be one step closer to my dream job - a PA working in Pediatric Orthopedics.

In just eight short weeks, I will have completed my first year of college! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! A whole year! Already! It has flown by. And it has been in many ways the greatest year of my life. Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself. . . Eight weeks left till I can say these things.

Praying that the Lord will allow my little brain to retain and recall all the very detailed and specific information I will need to know all throughout these next eight weeks. I can see the finish line coming quickly! And I couldn't be happier than where I am :)

Here we go! Ready to learn. . .

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dr. Cardenas

I promised you all an update on "My Medical Scare." And here it is.

On Monday, Dr. Cardenas FINALLY called me back (HALLELUJAH!) He said all of my symptoms are very common. . . And to keep taking my meds!! He said he will slowly start weening me off of them when he thinks the timing is right. He also said to eat more salt (why?) I have no idea why I need more salt, but okay! I'm not complaining. He also said I have very low blood pressure and that explains why every time I stand up, everything goes black for a few seconds.

All in all, a pretty lame conversation. Nothing too crazy was said and no drastic changes were made. I just thought I would give you all a medical update on my health so you can be worry free :) I'm feeling much MUCH better with the exception of a few pretty bad headaches (but hey, after a traumatic brain injury, that's to be expected).

I'm not too worried, I'm in good hands!!

If you ever need to see a neurologist, GO HERE

And if your children ever need to
see a neurologist, GO HERE

I hope you all are doing well and have a happy Thursday!