what i want to be when i grow up (big news!!!)

This week in first grade we made a class book called "Yo Quiero Ser" (I Want to Be) and talked about what we want to be when we grow up. Here's a sample: Yessica, Emy, and Rosmina want to be chefs. Wadson wants to be a prince! Jerson, Rendy, Jose Miguel, and Edwin all want to be soccer players. Mariel wants to be a teacher. Dudo wants to be a policeman so he can arrest bad people. Angelica wants to be a policewoman, a pilot, a chef, a baseball player, and in the army! Wascar wants to be a pirate (because they fight and kill people) and a policeman (for a reason I couldn't understand after he told me 4 times). I think he'll make a wonderful pirate someday.

I feel like we spend most of our lives talking about what we want to be when we grow up. Maybe that's just because I'm 24 and most of my friends are still trying to figure that out. I'm beginning to realize, however, that the journey of "figuring out" what I want to be is actually what I am. Does that make sense? I am right where God wants me to be, and I am walking forward in what I believe to be His will, to a destination that He knows but I do not. Every step I take, which some people think of as figuring it out, is actually what I'm supposed to be. As far as I can tell, there's no magical moment when I will be able to declare "now I'm grown up and I know exactly what I'm supposed to do with my life."

That being said, God does reveal callings to us. Four years ago, He called me to apply to be a missionary with Kids Alive here in the DR. Last year, He called me to stay a 3rd year. And this past fall, He called me to apply to grad school. (This is where the big news comes in.) In June, I will return to los estados to begin a 10-month Master's of Science in Elementary Education program at the University of Pennsylvania. I will live in Philadelphia for a year and finally study teaching! This is something to which I cannot deny God's calling. He put the desire to go to grad school in my heart, he made it possible for me to get accepted to a highly competitive program, and he is graciously giving me signs along the way so that I can clearly see that all this is His work and that He goes before me to Philadelphia. I have felt called to education for two years now, and I'm excited to see how God can use my year of learning to better equip me for ministry and teaching.

More will come as details unfold, but now you know my big news. Please pray for my final four months here in the DR and for my transition to living in the US, which has already begun. I am experiencing an enormous paradox: excited to go to school, but not excited to leave my home here. Pray that I will trust God and that He will fill me with truth as I walk forward in this transition.