I spent most my senior year of high school thinking of excuses to avoid service. Growing up, taking a year of service before college seemed like the norm. My church commissioned at least one or two young people for service each year, most of my cousins had taken a year of service, and my dad worked at Mennonite Mission Network. Yet I wasn't ready to leave my comfortable life. I had a great group of friends, a close family, and a community that I loved.
Why would I willingly trade all this in for the unknown?
As graduation neared, I was fighting an inner battle. Deep down I knew service was the 'right' decision, but the fear of stepping outside my comfort zone was still holding me back. I'm not really one to believe in signs, but in my desperation, I began praying that God would somehow give me the answer. In a way that I have not experienced before or after, I was given a very direct answer to this prayer.
As always, I attended church the following Sunday. I can't recall the specifics of the sermon, but the topic was about getting out of your comfort zone and listening for the call of God (how convenient). The part I remember clearly is the reading of 1 Peter 2:11, which begins, "Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it" (from The Message). I don't remember much after this because I was so stunned by the directness of this answer to my prayer. I also can't say that it was completely easy to make my decision, even after this moment of clarity. However, it did give me peace in my decision to do a year of service. And I am so glad that I listened to this call! To this day I still credit my term with Service Adventure as one of the most influential experiences in my life. It not only led me to my current career, but opened many doors for me, gave me a new set of "family," and ultimately changed the way that I view the world.