Last year I had accomplished a lot of firsts.
- I went on my first airplane ride
- I traveled to the west coast for the first time
- I went hiking for the first time
- I went on my first mission with M.I.A.
M.I.A. stands for Missions In Action. It’s a ministry at my university that inspires and equips students of Olivet Nazarene University to become global minded disciples for a lifetime of support and service in cross-cultural ministry locally and internationally.
During that year specifically I learned a lot about myself, my faith, and the role that God played in my life- and where I wanted Him to be. I struggled a lot that year before the trip with several different details of my life- I was in a rough patch academically because of my load of course work and I was beyond stressed because of my commitment to extra curricular activities that pushed me over the edge. It was during this time when I knew that I needed Jesus more than ever.
I like to think that I handle stress well, but my idea of handling it is just ignoring it and trying to take care of it on my own. I’m not one to really ask for help when I know I need it. I like to try and fix things by myself- unfortunately that didn’t do much for me in the long run. This was the year when my anxiety attacks started to come back and I hadn’t had one since my senior year in high school. I was constantly on the go- classes to tennis practice to work to homework to studying and then maybe… just maybe I would be lucky enough to get more than 5 hours of sleep.
That year I wasn’t able to go out and have fun with my friends as much, I barely had any time to sleep, a lot of times I forgot to eat, and I lost my joy.
I didn’t understand why my world was falling a part when I tried so carefully to piece it together. I loved my major, my tennis team, my job, and everything else that I was involved in. However it just seemed like one thing and after another and everything started to backfire. Thankfully, with the Lord’s deliverance and grace I was able to finish out my junior year and be at peace before I left before my mission trip.
During that time I truly didn’t understand why God chose me to go to Hawaii. I never thought that I was one to be cut out for missions, or that I would ever be called. At the time I thought my life was messed up. I was very unhappy, stressed, and extremely sleep deprived. I never thought that the school year could possibly end. However, God had a plan and a reason for everything.
As my team and I departed for this beautiful island of Hawaii, God revealed to me so much about this past year and my future.
- I was reminded of the person that He created me to be.
- I was reminded about what pure joy in the Lord was.
- I was reminded that I was not created to live this life on my own.
- I was reminded that I don’t have to take care of everything on my own (even though I still try to).
Throughout our time intentionally investing in this island, growing our relationships with new friends, and spending time with Lord through this ministry I was able to reach my next stepping stone in my faith. I also realized that I had been replacing a lot of vital areas of my life with things that only brought me temporary satisfaction. And in the long run, those things only made me even more stressed. After my mission trip I knew that God needed me to make some sacrifices and focus on Him and the things that were most important in my life more for my senior year. This was when I had came down to the decision to walk away from tennis, a job that I had fell in love with, and volunteering with a nonprofit for the sake of growth and being intentional for my senior year.
These were not easy decisions to make but I knew from the time I got off the airplane back to Chicago that these were the areas of my life that I needed to give back to God in order to get on a deeper level with Him. I tried to fight possibility staying within each one too, but within two or so months of the school year I knew it was time to walk away from it all. And strangely, it wasn’t hard or painful at all. I knew that this was what I needed to do to get back on the saddle and get close with God again and He helped me through it.
I would not have been able to comprehend the half of this if it wasn’t for my opportunity to serve and lead others to Christ through M.I.A. and our mission trip to the Big Island. God really shows us some cool things when we listen and obey.
This upcoming May I have the opportunity to go back! I am very excited to see what God is going to do again and see what He builds off of from last year through this mission. This mission trip last year changed my life and I would not have been able to do it without the power of Jesus, the support of my friends and family, and my home churches (home and home away from home) constantly praying for my team and I.
I am about eight weeks away until I leave with my team and I for this mission trip and we have a lot to pray for! Would you join my team and myself in prayer for this mission as we prepare to go? I personally am still in need financially to go on this trip as well and would appreciate any kind of support or prayers. I will frequently keep all of my team and I’s supporters updating throughout my last few weeks of college as we prepare to go through these blog posts/newsletters.
If you feel called to give to my mission trip please go to the website below and search the following:
- Fraley, Brooke – Hawaii, June
- Fill out the rest of your information.
A Hui Hou,