One week until my training week begins. One week until I meet my summer team. One week until the beginning of an intense, Jesus-filled summer. One week until I begin a radical change in my walk with Christ.
Of all the feelings I have been experiencing leading up to this summer, the most abundant has been excitement. I am excited to meet the incredible people I will be spending the whole summer with. I am excited to be in South Carolina for a summer. I am excited to love more wholly and freely. I am excited to see Jesus working in really big ways. But mostly I’m excited to share Jesus’ love with all of the students I will meet.
As I’ve mentioned before, Next Step has been HUGE in my relationship with Jesus. The first time I saw students my age raise their hands in praise was on a Next Step trip. The first time I prayed out loud in a group of others was on a Next Step trip. The first time I experienced freedom and peace in the Lord was on a trip. Throughout the four week-long trips I’ve taken with Next Step I’ve witnessed more growth than any other time in my life (except maybe transitioning to college). But the point is, I grew in SO many ways, and I get to facilitate that growth in others!!!!
Next Step trips are awesome for soooooo many reasons, but one of the big ones I’ve experienced personally is the relationships we all form: students, youth leaders, and interns. My freshman year in high school one of my best friends connected with an intern and they’re still in contact today, five years later!! When I was going into my senior year on the Milwaukee trip I met an intern named Allyssa (I hope you’re okay with me talking about you if you read this, I just love you tons). She and I worked together on our work site everyday and she also led worship each night. Throughout the week we had grown so close that by Thursday or Friday we were wrestling in the grass as a community event. We talked everyday at work and hung out every night. On Saturday, the day I left Milwaukee, we had a big goodbye with all the staff, taking pictures and hugging and thanking them for their hearts. Right before I got on the bus to return home she and I hugged and we both left in tears. Two years later we still send letters and chat as often as possible.
My point in all of this is to try to explain the GIANT impact interns have had on me, and share my excitement with you!! I get the opportunity to be the Allyssa to so many students this summer! I get the opportunity to talk with them and joke with them and learn who they are. I get the opportunity to love on them with all the love I have and all the love of Christ (which is a ton)!!! I cannot articulate what an immense privilege this summer is, and I am simply praying to make an impact on the students I’ll meet like the impact past interns have had on me.
Nervous. . .
Obviously I am a bit nervous about the summer too though, because I am still human. As the days wind down before training week, the tiny knot in my stomach gets just a little bit bigger-not because of reasons you might expect though. I’m not nervous about how the summer will go logistically or if I will enjoy the summer. I’m not nervous about meeting my team or preparing and serving the food. I’m only nervous that I won’t be used in as huge a way as I want.
I should preface by saying that I do entirely trust that God will use me in whatever way He plans, and that I am overly prepared to do as He asks. However, because I know how incredible interns can be, I am just a tiny bit nervous that I won’t be able to have that kind of impact. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I am not in control of that, but it is still present. All I can do now is pray and love on the students the way Jesus loves on us.
So I figured I’d keep everyone updated on the last little bit of my school year and how close this internship is!! I hope you guys can all keep checking out my updates (especially during summer, because that is the point of this whole thing) and keep working towards the people we were created to be!!! I’m praying for all of you and I hope you have incredible weeks.