Imagine it… you’ve just landed on the ground after skydiving for the first time. Before you jumped, you felt all the feels: fear, excitement, joy, and confusion all at the same time. But eventually, you worked up your courage, took a deep breath and jumped. Your mind screams at you to stay put, to stay safe, but you did it anyway because why not?
You're on the ground now, exhilarated, tired and feeling overwhelmed by emotion. You feel frozen in place. On the one hand, you feel marvelous: wow, I jumped out of an airplane at 50,000 feet and I didn't die! Im invincible! I feel so courageous and unstoppable I can conquer the world!!!
On the other hand a wave of fear and self-anger rushes over you…I could have died, what am I doing with my life! I have so much to live for, think of what other smarter, safer things I could have been doing !!
As you feel this cocktail of emotion, your skydiving instructor walks up to you, grins and asks “Well then… Would you like another go?” And you smile back, "Definitely."
Being asked to do a second year on NET or even discerning coming back for a second year can feel like being asked to skydive for a second time. On the one hand you know that if you take the plunge and jump in, you’ll have another amazing year, one filled with growth, love, laughter and joy. On the other, you know that it's going to be tough, challenging, and you won't get that thing most precious to you: time. A whole year of your life gone. Fear takes hold….
After serving as a first year with NET Ministries USA, I remember feeling as the
year came to a close that the Lord was calling me to do a second year. To be honest, it scared me a little… the early mornings, the late nights, the constant travelling… As I prayed continuously about a second year, I remember asking, “Lord, another year?” But the real kicker came when I felt the Lord call me to do a second year… in Ireland. “Lord you have got to be kidding me… no way, it's too far away, no it's too hard!” it was one thing to be gone away from home for nine months but to be away from home in a totally different country…
Despite my misgivings, despite my fear, I felt the Lord say to me one night, as I lay in bed, wide wake, nervous and apprehensive, that I was going to be ok as long as I trusted in Him and His love. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace wash over my heart and it was there and then I decided to join Net Ireland.
Coming back for a second year isn't easy… that’s the reality. But as the Lord called me to consider doing it, and as I felt my feet slowly walking toward the door of the plane, I realized that the Lord never forces us to do anything… He gives us to freedom to chose between right and wrong: His will and our will. Ultimately, I put my trust in the Lord, jumped and the Lord has held me all throughout this beautiful and crazy experience. I realized that even though I knew nothing about what I was getting into, I was so excited... I couldn't wait to see what the Lord had in store for me. And as my NET year ended, as the struggles and triumphs came and went, I remember thinking, “I hope this year never ends.”