By Kristyn Zollos
I had a plan for this summer, and ELCA World Hunger had nothing to do with it. I knew where I wanted to work and everything about it seemed perfect for me and my future goals. In my mind, it was so clearly meant to be, that God had to have placed that opportunity into my life. When the opportunity was denied to me, I was devastated. That was God’s plan for me! How could it have gone so wrong? There must’ve been some mistake. I cringed every time someone told me that God had something better for me and that the opportunity I had wanted so badly was not meant to be at the time. What could possibly be better? The only possible explanation was that God was out to ruin my plans, my life, and my goals for the future.
My plans. My life. My future goals. Now, almost five months later, I can confirm that the Lord was most certainly out to ruin these things for me. However, I say this without bitterness, but with joy and humility. Those things were never my own. They were never under my control. I was on my own path, wanting things so desperately for myself, that I was confusing what I wanted for what the Lord wanted for me.
Today, as I near the end of my internship I can also look back and say that in fact the Lord did have something better for me and I am exactly where I was meant to be. God ruined my plans and replaced them with something unexpectedly and exceedingly better. I end this internship in awe of how God has used this experience in my life and excited for the ways I will be used for God’s purpose in the future. God’s purpose. God’s future. Not my own. Lesson learned.
As you may have picked up from reading this post, as well as the others, this summer has been one filled with many realizations and deeper understandings. This has been brought about through discussions with co-workers, their recommendations, and research using educational tools including books, videos, and articles. There is certainly an endless supply of resources out there. So if you are not already doing so, I encourage you to educate yourself on the matters such as poverty and injustices that are taking place around the world. Share your resources with those around you and ask for suggestions from others. Go deeper by starting discussions with your friends, family, and your church.
As you go on this journey, do not travel alone, but with the Lord as your companion, and more importantly, your guide. It is the Lord from whom all blessings flow and it is the Lord who calls us to use these blessings for the greater purpose. I can honestly say that I don’t know where I’m going, I’m not sure if I ever have known or I ever will know. Life is complicated and confusing, but that’s often what makes it so beautiful. Life and the journey I feel called to take do not have to make sense, for they are not under my control nor within my understanding. As Proverbs 20:24 states, “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord, how then can anyone understand their own way?”
God’s blessing to you all and thank you for your support during this blogging adventure. I have truly enjoyed sharing with you, all that I have learned through this internship with ELCA World Hunger and in experiencing the incredible work being done through their efforts. God is certainly using the ELCA to do incredible things and we should all be excited and humbled to be a part of it!
Kristyn Zollos is an ELCA World Hunger intern