If I could try and find one word to sum up my experience as a Raleigh Fellow this year, it would be the word “Surprise.”  This year has been a surprise from start to finish. I never expected a lot of things about this year, but then, I never expected to be in the Fellows program in the first place. It is this unexpected that is the blessing, the gift. The Surprise.

Last year around this time, I was thinking about and praying over my future and the Lord put on my heart this verse:

Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Praying over this verse, I thought, “Wow, I don’t know. I can ask and imagine a lot. How in the world does this verse work?” And you see, what I discovered this year is that, it is not that the Lord takes our plans and does more than we ask. It is that the Lord has his own plans and then places them in our life to bless us in ways we never thought possible. It is the very surprise that makes the gift “more than all we ask or imagine.”

And that is what I can truly say about this year. I never expected to live in Raleigh, to live with a family that feels like home, to have a community of peers that quickly have become “my people.” I never expected to work in Youth Ministry and then step into a full-time ministry position. All of this is more than I could ever ask. The truthy of the matter is this year has been totally unexpected. A Surprise - immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine.  

And as I look towards the future, what is after Fellows, there are a few things that I know and a lot that I don’t.  The cool thing though is that God is not done working. I believe He still wants to surprise me and I can’t wait to open some more of His good gifts.