It was my first day at CLDI as an intern and my nerves were only slightly tempered by my excitement. My new boss gave me the wrong address and after I tried to move into the wrong house, I couldn’t help but think—was this really where God wanted me?
This past year was full of tears and hugs, as well as difficult and deep conversations about life. Working with youth on the South Side of Billings stirred up many thoughts that made me question my life and my faith. My team loved me so well through it all and looking back, I guess you could say that my life changed in seemingly ordinary moments.
It happened so subtly, I almost didn’t notice. Tuesday night community dinners and long games of cribbage created space for my questions: what the heck does it mean to be blessed? Why are there times when God doesn’t show up? What is the meaning of life? Through conversations on trips to Walmart, rad ski adventures, and running over lunch breaks, I slowly felt my fears fade and clarity emerge.
As I wrestled through these questions, my supervisors continued to show up for me. They made me feel known and valued and pushed me to draw closer to God. I’ve realized that maybe the point of life is to live deliberately for God and with his people. When we do, the world is far sweeter than anything we could imagine. I discovered that I cannot live the same as I did before.
I will continue to be a huge advocate for this internship as I have felt more growth this year than any year in college. The hard work of the internship and Youth Works has changed my future—I cannot see myself doing anything that doesn’t involve social services, community development, helping people grow, and sharing the good news of Jesus. This year revealed my heart for missions, taught me compassion for the Imago Dei in each person, and gave me the conviction to align my words and deeds. I’m excited to see where the Lord takes me next.