On the last day of my internship, the staff at my church did something great. It was a bonding time for all pastoral staff members, interns, and that one random IT guy who's super cool. Actually, we all left for it on Tuesday immediately after work, and then stayed until Wednesday at 2.
It was a campout and it actually cancelled my last day of the internship, but all was well. The break and fellowship was worth it, and was encouraging.
One thing we did was sit around a campfire and talked about all the little unexpected things that brought us all right where we were ministering (even if just for a summer) at First Baptist Church of Milford.
Something was in common surrounding all of these accounts - the Lord used small things in our life over which we had no control to put us right where He wanted. A place we loved more than anything we could ask for, but that we would never have expected.
Whether it was getting offered a four-year internship in the same office that had told you that you couldn't stay in the school any longer just two years prior, to getting interviewed for a position as a 1-year internship (which unbeknownst to you will end with you as the youth pastor) while getting ready to propose to a member of the church, or maybe even being a rep for a college coming to a church and exclaiming that you would love to serve in a ministry like this, just to find that 8 months later, you would be doing just that.
Yes, there were lots of interesting stories, and they were all encouraging of what the Lord had done and is doing in all of our lives. And I trust that the same is true in the lives of most of my readers.
You know what else? It is indicative that oftentimes, you just don't know what the Lord has in store for you, and you should never be so confident that you have it all figured out. Ever.
And since you're probably curious, this was my testimony (with slightly different wording choices and detail inclusion).
What brought me to this church? Well, I was saved in this church. It is the only church that I have ever been a member of.
What brought me to intern at this church? It wasn't my idea. This summer, I found my schedule very busy, and I just wanted a part-time job to give some money; nothing too much of a time commitment. But the first Sunday night after I got back from school there was this crazy ordination service at my church, where four members of the pastoral staff were ordained all at once.
I now know all four of those men well, but at the time there were two that I particularly knew and who had been my Sunday School teacher and had an impact on my life. I wanted to be sure to congratulate them on this and wish them well.
So I did, but when I talked with the Associate Pastor, things were a little different than expected. For some reason, I kept having to speak about my life and not his. He asked me about college, and about my summer plans.
I expressed them as they currently stood, and then he asked me if I was going to get a job. Well, yes, Mr Wright, I would love to, but I don't know how that would look since I will be out of town for two weeks of the summer.
"We have a summer internship program available if you're interested. We'd be able to accommodate your weeks off as long as you gave us advance notice. Just call me if you're interested."
Well, I prayed about it for a day or two, but it was obvious from the start that God wanted me to have this internship. This internship which quite figuratively fell into my lap (grammar nazis that word not sound as good in that context...).
So I took the internship, and it has been a fun ride. From the very start, it was clear this internship would be a great experience, and I know I have learned a lot. Being with the other two summer interns (their names, in case you're interested are Ryan and Ryan) was great. I loved getting to know them better as we all got to know the program together. Starting next summer would have been a different dynamic because they (if they come back) would already have had the experience and we wouldn't learn it altogether.
I am glad the Lord orchestrated it so that I could have this opportunity this summer. Even if it does mean, I'm suddenly excited about returning to Cedarville, so I can sleep in two extra hours each day. I even think there is enough for me to learn from this church to do a summer internship next year. I've already started praying about it.