Becoming a Proverbs 31 Intern has been my biggest “Say What?!” moment to date. In honor of my last days in the office, I’m linking up with Online Bible Studies to celebrate what this summer has meant to me.
Proverbs 31: Bringing Peace, Perspective and Purpose to Today’s Busy Woman
I’m pretty positive I saw the phrase “today’s busy woman,” and took it as a personal challenge. As the self-proclaimed Involvement Queen on my college campus and Overeager Young Professional, I made it my mission to be the most unique email in a potential employer’s inbox. “I’m currently living in another country, but I’d REALLY like to intern for you,” I wrote. But when I sent a perky message to P31, they stayed true to their word and exceeded my slightly ridiculous expectations by intersecting my life in the Mediterranean Sea. That’s right, God confirmed my internship plans for the summer when I was somewhere in between Santorini, Greece, and Dubrovnik, Croatia. I was living a life of riding donkeys and eating gelato, but my mind was focused on a ministry several thousand miles away. Little did I know this “Yes” would just be the beginning of my “Say What?” adventure.
Minutes after I walked into the P31 office, Satan began attacking me with fears and doubt. The stable foundation my testimony was built on was flipped upside down and inside out. He whispered, “What did God do for you? I don’t see any proof of that here.” My peace was gone, my perspective was fogged, and my purpose uncertain. I wish I could have coffee with each of you to describe how much this has changed this summer, but here are a few snapshot moments that will give you a small glimpse:
Peace: I started praying circles. Leah, my supervisor, and I began to go through The Circle Maker together each week, planning to pray for big things and more than we could ask for or imagine. In the beginning, peace was way, way, way, more than I could ask for or imagine. Battling terrifying nightmares and restless days, I truly did not believe it would happen. But God. Each night, I circled and circled and circled prayers with a specific verse, until one night in particular, I had a different dream. In it, the worst possible scenario was happening and my family and friends were gathered around to tell me how awful my imminent death would be. Confidently, I stood up and told them they were all liars, that no matter if I lived or died, Christ loves me and He will wrap His arms around me no matter what. The next morning at work, I skeptically mentioned the details to someone who responded, “Kait, that means you finally fully believe with all your heart, even in your subconscious mind.” What verse had I been circling? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Perspective: Each week, we had a teaching from a woman in the Proverbs office on their topic of choice. This was the best part of the week, and we were fortunate to hear from so many different walks of life. Although each story was different, they each shared a common thread. The story of a young woman, raped two days after her college graduation. Someone raised in a cult who was shunned for leaving the church. The granddaughter of a drug dealer and prostitute, who was known as the popular cheerleader in high school but never as the homeless, broken girl she really was. A speaker whose dreams were shattered when asked to step away and reevaluate her gifts. A woman who was engaged to a man who later took back the proposal twice. As time went by and I heard one story of redemption after another, my faith perspective shifted from one of rules and predictability to grace and expectation. I entered a girl holding onto a pocketful of short glimpses of grace, and am leaving with open hands, confident in what has happened and joyfully expectant in what will happen.
Purpose: I came into this internship hoping for experience that would either deter me or spur me on toward a particular field. I didn’t get what I asked for, but I learned I didn’t need what I asked for, either. Through these amazing women, God taught me that I don’t have to have it all together. I learned that radical obedience is better than the most detailed plan. The question is not, “Should I go into ministry?”, it’s “Where is God leading me today?”
Thank you, Proverbs 31 Ministries for providing peace, perspective, and purpose into this busy-turned-quiet-heart and taking part in my most exciting “Say What?” adventure yet. Your encouragement, commitment, and example of trust refreshed my hope and challenged my faith in the best way possible.
I began as an intern wanting to spread encouragement and Good News to women around the world, but it turns out I was the one that needed to hear it the most.