Have you ever thought "Oh I wish I could go and do that, but it's too late for me."
Or maybe "I should have done that when I had the chance" I had the same thought.
I never thought I’d get the chance to do something I've always wanted to do. Something that I'd look back on and think I'm so glad I took that leap of faith to follow Jesus.
I Thought It Was Too Late
After graduating from University I started working full time as a teacher and volunteering at youth group. I thought well I could have done something but it's too late, I missed out on that, and I'll just stay in my comfort zone doing what I'm supposed to do. The thing is that it wasn't too late, God wanted more for me, He wanted me to do something different, something that wasn't exactly in my plans.
It's like Pope Benedict XVI said, "The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness."
I was comfortable and I thought I was perfectly happy staying in the same place, working the same job, doing the same old thing. I was doing my best to have a close relationship with God, I was helping out at events with the youth in my parish, I was working, doing a job I love, teaching. Yes, I was happy, but was I truly living my life fully and giving all glory to God?
I knew that deep down I wanted to do more, I wanted to challenge myself, and finally step out of my comfort zone.
A few years before this I found out about NET. I came to Ireland on vacation and during that time I knew I had to come back, I had to find some way to come back to Ireland.
I didn't know then it would be volunteering with NET, but I knew Ireland had captured my heart.
After receiving my degree, I thought, I don't want to settle yet, I don't want to just do what is expected of me. I began teaching right after college, though I kept saying I'm not settling yet and I prayed to seek out an understanding of what the plans were that God had for me.
With No Hesitation – I Left For Ireland
When I was accepted onto NET I immediately said YES, no hesitation. It took a moment to get my feet back on the ground, but I felt as though it's where God was calling me to.
I knew saying yes would mean that my life would change completely.
It meant I would have the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to live in a different country, and to have an experience that I'll never forget.
I had been given the chance to do two things I love the most:
Sharing my faith.
I also realized it would mean sacrifice, but I was not letting the fear of the unknown keep me from following Christ.
It meant I would have to lay down everything that kept me from fully having God's will in my life. I would learn a new way of living life, a true Christian life, picking up my cross daily and following Him.
Now I'm not saying that I wasn't doing that before, but it was difficult to bring Christ into everything I do. Through learning how to sacrifice in a loving way, it has benefited my life more than I could have ever imagined. I have been able to truly practice how to actually live as a Christian in all aspects of my life.
There's a saying that whenever someone asks about NET, they say “NET is hard, but NET is really, really good.” Before I didn’t but now I’m grateful to say I understand and agree.
It's been an opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone, an experience that I know I'll never forget, and I couldn't imagine how different my life would be if I had not taken this chance.
Sometimes things in life are difficult or scary, but they are the things that strengthen you and give you courage.
In the process you learn – you grow – you understand more about yourself – and the plans that God has for you.