I’ve Been Deported!

I’ve been deported! Who would have ever thought that a kid that grew up in central Florida would end up in Germany just a few short months after he graduated college? Not this guy! When I graduated college in May I had this set plan in my head that I was going to get a job as a youth minister in Baltimore, Maryland.  Well I was clearly wrong about where God wanted me to be.  This is apparent by my current location in a small town in Germany and not one of the biggest cities in the United States. God definitely humbled me by making it clear that the plans I had made to move to Baltimore were clearly not his own. He had other plans for me and he was just waiting for me to actually stop and listen to what he had prepared for me.

A continual theme in my life for the past year has been surrender and vulnerability before the Blessed Sacrament. This was relatively easy for me to realize, but not so easy to actually surrender and actually be vulnerable. Another thing that became very apparent to me this year was that I was very independent and always wanted to be in control of my life especially my future. So when the Lord started asking me to really surrender everything to him, my self-reliance and independence surfaced. Every chance I was given by the Lord to surrender to him I would runaway because I was afraid of the unknown because I wanted to be in control of my life.

With me applying to be a missionary this year it may have taken a little bit longer than it should have because I was still running away from the Lord’s will and focusing so much on myself and not the Lord. I decided in the middle of May that I was going to apply to become a missionary. Funny story I didn’t end up finishing the application until the last weekend of July. That was because of this fear that really just took control of me for most of the summer. I was basically just ignoring the Lord because he made it quite clear that he was calling me to be a missionary. The summer was spent running in the opposite direction that I was supposed to be. But then the Lord set me in my place. While I was having a conversation with a friend I felt very convicted that the Lord was calling me into missions for this year. And I knew for certain after I turned my application in that if I was asked to be a Life Teen missionary I was going to answer “Yes” with true conviction.

So fast forward two months. I had started the missionary year with the intention of being a Covecrest for the year. Whelp! That wasn’t the case as is made clear by my current location. The Lord once again was calling me to surrender and into a deeper communion with him. And really to just trust in his will. I still had in the back of my mind that I was going to end up in Baltimore next August. Again I was really not letting the Lord truly move in my life. I was still trying to be in control of my future. About three weeks ago the whole community was asked to pray about if another guy in the community was called to go to Germany. As soon as that was said I felt a tug at my heart and knew that it was a good possibility that Lord was calling me to surrender once again and go to Germany. This was not a part of my plan at all. Apparently the Lord doesn’t like it when I make my own plans. He rather me just trust him and stop making plans of my own. I even tried to pray a novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to have more conviction in whether or not I was being called to Germany. Well he didn’t even let me finish the novena before I had to make a decision about Germany. It was another way the Lord was really calling me to trust in him. I still can’t believe that I am here in Germany. Within three weeks time a lot has really happened in my life. I discerned for over a week if I was really being called here or not. Then when I had decided to come here I had a week and half before I got a plane to come over here. And now I have been here for about three days. So it really has felt like the Lord has deported to Europe because of how fast this all has happened. But now that I am here I know this is where I am supposed to be. I have so much peace with what the Lord has done in the past month and even with how I have been led this year up to this point. It hasn’t been an easy year. Definitely filled with a lot of suffering and pain, but it has been very fruitful. My prayer this year is going to be that I am able surrender more and more to the Lord each day.

So please pray for myself and all of the missionaries this year. And pray for peace in Sudan.

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About the Author

Stephen grew up around the world because his father was in the Air Force, but he calls Tampa home now. He currently lives in Tiger, GA and is in his third year with Life Teen missions. He loves Jesus, the beach, chinese food, soccer, traveling, and dancing. He is always up for a good dance party. Feel free to contact him at [email protected]