What a Difference a Year Can Make

Last weekend, young adults from all over the US met in Chicago for the ELCA’s DIP (Discernment-Interview-Placement) weekend for this upcoming year’s YAGMs. That means… JUST a year ago I was in their shoes! That realization hit me right in the heart strings and got me thinking:

About a year ago, I was in the heart of student teaching and felt like the only person not attending job fairs and stressing about the future, in hopes of being accepting into this program.
About a year ago, I flew by airplane by myself for the first time.
About a year ago, I sat at a bench outside of my terminal at the Chicago airport and (by the grace of God) deeply felt “the peace that transcends all understanding”.
About a year ago, I sat next to Genna on the bus to our retreat center, and my first YAGM friendship was formed before we even arrived at our accommodation for the weekend.
About a year ago, I was blown away by the “random roommate” I was roomed with who had SO MANY things in common with me.
About a year ago, I wrote in my journal, “Why YAGM? You’ll be pushed really hard against who you are, how the world works, and who God is”. (AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH!)
About a year ago, I attended meetings describing the Central Europe and United Kingdom programs.
About a year ago, I ate lunch with potential candidates for the two different countries I’d been interviewing with.
About a year ago, I sang songs of worship in different languages with people I had no idea I’d be spending a year with.
About a year ago, I felt a call to go to the United Kingdom.
About a year ago, I met with the other volunteers who had also been placed in the UK cohort.
About a year ago, I left Chicago in a daze from all of the emotions the discernment weekend came with, thinking I’d be in the UK right now.

Last weekend, I soaked in bright sun rays and the blue sky stretched over the small town in Hungary I’ve been called to.
Last weekend, I walked with my host sister the same route we’ve taken to church for the last seven months.
Last weekend, I participated in the Lutheran church’s production, Passió, that we’ve been rehearsing for for months.
Last weekend, I played Lazarus and was “raised from the dead” by one of my dearest friends here, who played Jesus.
Last weekend, I recited lines in Hungarian.
Last weekend, I got to perform on an incredibly unique stage that brought me the joy of theater I’ve grown up with.
Last weekend, I meandered through the Palm Sunday market held at the church and purchased homemade crafts from people in my community.
Last weekend, I marveled at what God has done over the course of the last year.
Last weekend, I was reminded that God’s plans are far greater than mine could ever be.
Last weekend, I thought about how scary it is to step into the unknown, but how faith can outweigh that fear.
Last weekend, I was in awe.

Now, I am thankful.

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