01 February 2012

Back to the beginning


This is me.

...or at least it was, about 22.5 years ago.

Floridian by birth, Kentuckian by choice, I'm about to begin an adventure that will change my life forever - a year abroad with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Young Adult Volunteer program.

Right now, I'm playing the waiting game. All of my applications are complete, recommendations are in, and I have 6 weeks to go until the site interviews will determine whether I get it. All of this waiting is driving me crazy - I can't make my decision 100% public until I've actually been accepted, so even after months of personal discernment and applications... I wait!

While YAV encourages participants to host a blog during their year in the program, I decided to start early. During the past few months of researching the program and sites that I find appealing, I've found the blogs by other participants to be really helpful. I've really gotten excited about my decision, and at this point I feel like I know the people I'll be working with at my top choice sites!

Here's a look at the process up to this point:

About about a year and a half ago, I started to work for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I love my job... so don't take the fact that I'm applying for this program to mean anything but! Being in the national headquarters, however, opened me up to the programs that the denomination offers. YAV is one that I had never heard of, but really appealed to me. I began to wish that I'd heard about it when I was just out of college my life was still more flexible. While I was packing up my apartment last fall, I realized it's not too late to make a change.

So I went for it. I put all my stuff in storage and worked up the courage to ask my parents if I could {gulp} move in with them for a year until I left (for the record, I didn't really need all that courage, they are totally supportive and cool about it). I began to talk to my friends and coworkers that had been involved with the program, and they suggested that I start researching sites I was interested in - particularly by reading the blogs of participants.

I started working on the application and rounding up recommendations, which were due mid-January, and had my first round of interviews with the YAV staff. I told them about my first-preference sites (India and Northern Ireland), and they gave me a few suggestions as well based on my interests and strengths, which was really interesting - since they know the site coordinators, they suggested things I might not have originally considered (Guatemala and Kenya).

Now that the hard work is over, I've begun to get a little nervous about the change.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

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