It’s my senior year at UNC-Chapel Hill. I’ve finished my Biology minor and I am taking 4 language classes this semester. When doing homework, I change from Spanish to Portuguese to Greek and Latin and then back to Spanish. English is overrated anyway, right? This year feels so different, so separate from the last three. I no longer live on campus. I have a real place now…one where I pay rent, electricity, and a few other monthly bills. Most of my social interaction comes from being in small classes and meeting old friends at our favorite study spots- usually coffee shops or cafes of some sort. The anticipation of fall is in the air. The coffee shops are selling pumpkin flavored drinks again. Everyone is making one last trip to the nearest beach or pool this weekend knowing that it will be their last of the season. For college students, this is the calm before the storm. Many of us will have our first midterms this month. Anticipation of fall will turn into anticipation of the end of the semester- where the magical days of winter break will be filled with hours upon hours of NOT studying.
This year is my last in this lovely place I’ve called home for 3 years already. I thought I would be sad to go- and I am sure I will be when the time comes- but I am also glad to leave the endless cycle of studying behind me at least for a season. Where will I go? I will go wherever God leads me. At the moment, my hope is that he takes me somewhere far from Chapel Hill. Not because I want to leave the people and the places I have come to love so dearly, but because for so long I have wanted to go. I feel that God is calling me to leave the US of A. More specifically, I would like to think he is calling me to a place where I can use my studies over the last 4 years to reach more people for him. I love, love, love studying other languages and cultures. I have been learning about the Spanish language for over 8 years now. But learning is not the same as experiencing. And saying I will go is not the same as going.
I am in the middle of the application process for the Journeyman program. It’s a two-year, international mission assignment with the International Missions Board (IMB). The application process is long and I won’t know until spring semester whether or not I have been accepted. I do not doubt that God will open doors if this is where he wants me. Nor do I doubt that he will close them if it is not. One thing I know for sure. If this is where he has called me, this is where I will go. And if it is not, I know it is because he has something better suited for his overall plan for my life.
As fall slowly makes its way to Chapel Hill, my hope is to savor every moment. I am excited about the places God will lead me in the next few years, but I am equally happy that for the time being he has placed me right here. He has put so many people in my life who are a blessing to me more than they will ever know. And after all, Chapel Hill is the “southern part of heaven”.