I Have Agreed to Go.

ashley_blog-i_have_agreedThis past Friday, May 29th, 2015, was my last day as a classroom teacher. Now, when people ask me what I do for a job, I can say, “I am training to be a full-time missionary in San Salvador!” My 5 years in education are ones that I will hold in my heart as some of the most challenging times of my life. Will I miss teaching? Maybe someday. Today, I thank God for every second in the classroom because each day I spent teaching was a day closer to discovering God’s true call on my life and I will never regret any of it.

Unfortunately, my heart was never in teaching students inside a classroom. I am sure that anyone that worked in a school with me could see that. I have known for a few years now that teaching was not my passion. But I didn’t know what was. And I wasn’t about to quit a good paying job with 2 weeks Christmas break, 1 week off in the spring and 3 months of summer vacation unless I had figured out what I was really created to do.

Last summer, I took a step of faith and spent 9 days in San Salvador on a mission trip with my church, Rock City. In was then that I felt God’s call on my life and heard His whisper in my heart that I was to go to San Salvador, strengthen their youth and point them towards Him. Since then, I have found my heart in mentoring teenagers in a way that doesn’t require essays or novels. Anyone who has spent just a few moments watching me work with youth outside the classroom can see that is where I come alive!

The past 5 years were certainly not a waste. I truly believe that God takes all of our life circumstances and, if we let Him, uses them for our good and for His glory. Each of my days in the classroom was a day of training for Youth Ministry in San Salvador. I have worked with some of the most frustrating students in the city. And now, none of them scares me or can begin to convince me that they don’t have potential and purpose. I have worked with some of the sweetest students in the city. And now, I know how to cover them with God’s love and teach them how to love others. I have been cussed at with language I wouldn’t have ever used as a teenager. I now know their foul words are simply a sword defending a broken heart. I have been surrounded by successful, passionate and dedicated teachers that have gone out of their way to support me. They have shown me the importance of building up those around me and giving grace to people who want to help, but just need some guidance.

3 days later, I am now sitting on the floor of the Port Columbus International Airport. I am patiently awaiting my delayed flight to Orlando for 8 days of intense fundraising training with Reliant Ministries (formerly Great Commission Ministries). I am excited to finally have many of my questions about fundraising answered (namely, exactly how much I have to raise), but I also anticipate many anxiety-riddled moments, questioning just what I have agreed to do.

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I have agreed to follow God’s call. I have agreed to trust that money is the least of God’s problems. I have agreed to go.

In my moments of overwhelmation (that should seriously be a word), I will remember why I agreed to those things. Because life outside of God’s will is no life at all. Believe me. I’ve tried it the other way. I will recite to myself God’s promise to me:

I have made you and

I will carry you;

I will sustain you and

I will rescue you.

Today is a giant step towards my new life in San Salvador. I leave the comfort of knowing exactly what is ahead for me and exchange it for taking step after step in blind faith. God will get me to San Salvador. It might not be in my timing or within my plan, but He will do it.

Don’t believe me? Just watch.

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