In honor of the fact that this year’s DCE seniors will find out where their internship sites are for this coming year, I thought I’d recall what that experience was like for me one year ago today:
The anticipation mounts throughout the last week as professors make jokes of the weird places they may send us… giving JUST enough information to make us go crazy, but not enough to really know anything.
The interviews are done, the decisions had been made (or so we thought) and at this point, it’s all out of our hands.
Family, friends, and other professors gather at a nice restaurant in Lincoln.
The food seems to take entirely too long, despite the fact that the service was probably actually very quick.
Excitement and anxiety grow inside each of us.
Finally lunch ends and the announcements begin.
Childhood pictures are followed by some of churches and other people…places those “no-longer children” will work and learn and grow for the next year of their lives… people with whom they will do the working and learning and growing.
As each person receives the news they try to pay attention to where their friends, classmates, now-colleagues will be going as well but their minds are already curious about “that place”-the one whose name was on the screen moments ago. What will it be like? Where is it exactly? How far from…home…family…friends…Seward? What will the staff be like? What will my responsibilities be?
Those of us still waiting to hear our exciting news think many of the same questions… just without a specific place to think them about.
Finally, I see my face, a few years younger, appear on the screen. Instantly, all the discussions, interview questions, preferences, and rumors flood through my head:
– A smaller congregation, but bigger is okay too.
– High school ministry not top on my preference list
– “The warmer the weather, and the less snow, the better”
– South/Southwest/West US would be my first priority
– Then Southeast
– Then northern midwest
– Lastly northeast
The name of the church appears with a picture of it’s building: “First Trinity Lutheran Church”
I now know the name… but that doesn’t really tell me much when suddenly another picture pops up on the screen. It takes me a second to figure out what it is… “water maybe, oh, that’s a waterfall… and not just ANY waterfall…”
At the same time I figure it out, Tim announces, “20 miles from Niagara Falls. You’re going to Tonawanda, NY.”
Not quite my preferences, but definitely excitement! Even in that moment, there was a sense deep of peace and anticipation in my heart trusting that God must have something bigger in store for this year than I could dream up.
And that he did!
So thankful for this truth:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earthy, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8-9)
This year has been beyond my imagination of what my internship could be like.
I LOVE my job, and hesitate sometimes calling it that because so much of it is just exciting and fun to do.
I love the high school students, and young adults, and preschoolers I see throughout the day, and adults that I’ve gotten to lead in short courses subbing for Sue a couple times, and the kids at children’s sermons and VBS. I just LOVE it!
I love my coworkers…. eating lunch together, laughing
at, I mean with, (no, I’m pretty sure much of the time it’s “at”) each other, sharing life together, serving God together, and a lot more of the laughing together.
I love the other leaders I get to work with and see in action. First Trinity is definitely a place where people aren’t afraid to get in there and get stuff done for God’s glory and it’s a beautiful thing.
I love the ways I’ve been challenged and encouraged and supported and cared for in this place.
I love that God knew what I needed, and what gifts he had given me to offer, and matched up a place that indeed was greater than I could have ever imagined!
So thank you, First Trinity, for your open arms.
Thank you, Tim and the DCE program for working hard to make placements "fit”.
Thank you, family, for supporting and loving me from afar.
Thank you God, for guiding and leading down ways that are higher than mine!
(Check back tomorrow and maybe I’ll share what I’ve learned was going on behind the scenes last year in the weeks leading up to this announcement day while I was sitting in Seward clueless as to where I was going.)
For now…. 2011-2012 interns…. I’M PRAYING FOR YOU TODAY! May you rest in the assurance that wherever you end up, God’s picked that spot out just for you! Enjoy today! I can’t wait to hear where you’re going (and wouldn’t mind if some of you end up out East!)