Following the Call | Travel + Faith

Dear friends,

If you haven’t heard already….

I’m moving to Israel. 

For a year. 

Crazy, huh?

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It’s all very surreal to me, too. I’ll be moving at the end of July as a part of the Zealous Israel Project with Bridges for Peace, an 11-month servant-based discipleship program. I’ll be living and working in Jerusalem on the organization’s publications team doing graphic and layout design. You can read more about my role and the program HERE, on my support page. I would love if you would consider financially supporting me through this!

I am very excited about this opportunity, and I feel very strongly that this is what God has been pushing me towards over the past couple years. In fact, I can point to three different times where my application should have either been withdrawn or incomplete. By no work of my own, and from a back story that I found out about after being accepted, I am moving to Jerusalem in a little over 2 short months. The fact that I was accepted is truly the work of God and a clear sign that this is His next step for me. So I’ve said yes to His call and am looking forward to spending the next year with 10 other young adults from around the world, growing in our faith and developing new, lasting friendships. I am also really, really excited that I get to work in the same building and live in the city as one of my close friends, Becca, whom I met in Israel 2 years ago on our Call to Zion tour. She just wrote a blog about perspective which I highly recommend reading, if you get the chance.

When people hear I am moving, they usually respond in one of two ways. The first is to say, “WOW, aren’t you scared?” to which I say….no. Honestly, Israel feels safer to me than America in a lot of ways, and the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) do a wonderful job of protecting the country and its people. When I was there, Israel felt like home. It’s really hard to explain unless you’ve been there. But no, I am not afraid to live in Israel, regardless of what you hear on the news.

The second response is actually a little harder for me to embrace, and it should be the easiest. Most people say “WOW, that is so amazing! Are you excited?”

Again, this should be the easy question to answer. Yet it is the hardest for me to answer with complete honesty. 

It’s complicated. As I’ve already mentioned, I am really, truly excited. Deep down. And I know I will grow more and more excited about it over time. Please hear me say that I am excited.

But if I’m being really honest with you, my answer is that right now I’m hurting.

Mostly because I am struggling to leave a few close friendships behind for an entire year, and the thought of leaving Cincinnati and the people I love, more often than not, makes me burst into tears almost daily.

I realize that technology is wonderful, and WhatsApp will allow me to remain in close contact. But it’s still hard, and I know this upcoming year will be an emotionally challenging one. I’m excited for the ways I will grow, develop, and be stretched. And at the same time, I am not excited about all the emotions that will come with it.

I’m saying yes because I am choosing to follow the call God has given me. This life was not made to be easy, and being obedient to God is often one of the most difficult things for me to do. What I want to do, in all honesty, doesn’t matter. What God wants me to do, however, matters a lot. A whole lot. So I will follow what He wants for me, even when it’s hard. And I will praise Him through the hurt, knowing that good things will follow.

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“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!”
-Psalm 27:13-14

That’s where I am right now. I plan to blog about my experiences while in Israel, so I hope you’ll subscribe via email and follow along with my journey. I love you all – thanks for letting me be honest, and know you can be honest with me as well.

Shalom, friends.

loverae1

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