Ready for the Next Adventure

I’m not exactly adventurous

Surprises are not my friend.  I like to follow the rules, live by my to-do lists, take the path of less resistance.  I’m afraid of roller coasters and I drive under the speed limit.  I take my vitamins and wear sunscreen.  I am scared of change.  I cried at my high school graduation, and on my wedding day.  I want to know exactly what will happen next, and prepare for every eventuality.

But, I’ve always been intrigued by the excitement of travel.  My parents took us all over the US on our summer trips – seeing 45 US states by the time I was 21 (I’ve now been to 49!)  I got to visit China during middle school, and I took a semester abroad in college.  Each trip opened my eyes to people, geography, and history, teaching me through experience what I had previously only read in books (lots, and lots of books!).

Travel experiences have connected me to God’s story in dynamic ways.  On an average Sunday morning in a basic US church, I can imagine friends all around the world doing the same thing, in their language, and it reminds me that our prayers are all heard by the same God in heaven, who cares about all of us.

Then, I met a boy with a bike

Just a few months after traveling to Europe in college, I met a man who is also very responsible and sensible.  But he’s also a lot of fun.  Fun enough to build his own motorcycle and drive it around town.  I did not think that riding the motorcycle with him would be fun.  It sounded terrifying (No seatbelts!)

But, because I trusted him, I tried it once, just to be nice, and I prayed for angel protection the entire 2 minutes I was on the back of that motorcycle.

IMG_20160702_162017 (1).jpg

13 years later, I love riding on the back of my husband’s motorcycle.  But I won’t ride with anyone else.  I know that my DH has passed a safety class, and takes every precaution to keep me safe.  He drives slowly, and takes breaks for me; he chose a bike that keeps me comfortable.  The only other person I would ride with is my dad – who also takes those precautions.  I was raised with high standards.  🙂

Time for the next adventure

The exciting part of the picture above isn’t the motorcycle (we’ve been riding that for years).  The adventurous part of the picture above is my white collar – I’m just about ready to be ordained as a reverend in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  And in the months between now and then, I get to travel to 16+ countries on 3 continents, as a representative of the ELCA, learning more about the church’s work with the current global migration crisis, because I received Luther Seminary’s Graduate Preaching Fellowship.

If you had told me 5 years ago that today I would be packing my clerical collar as I embark on a 6-week European adventure, I would have laughed at you.

Getting ordained feels about like my first ride on that motorcycle.  I’m not sure where we’re going, or how long we’re going to be there, but I’m praying for angel protection, because there is no seat belt, and I am scared to death.

Going to Europe this time feels only a little less scary than my first trip there 14 years ago.  That time, I knew I would be homesick, and I knew I would be scared, but I didn’t know how much those 16 weeks would change my life.  Now, I know I will be homesick, and I know how much these 6 weeks would change my life.

But this time,  I’m not scared.

Last Sunday in church, we sang this song together:
     I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind
     The God of angel armies  Is always by my side
     Whom shall I fear?
A lifetime of travel has taught me something important about following God, wherever that faith might lead us:  If we are going where God has sent us, nothing can stop us, but if it is our own idea, it will fail. (Acts 5:39)
The next year, hubby & I will be traveling around the world to learn more about God’s work in the world, especially in the midst of people on the move.  We strongly believe that God has prepared us for this moment, and we are excited to embark on the journey.
Please keep us in your prayers.
Follow the blog (click on the “follow” button on the right) to get updates.
Invite me to visit your church or community group, to share pictures and stories.
We can’t wait to see where this adventure leads us.

 

One thought on “Ready for the Next Adventure

  1. Matt Brunoehler says:

    Praying for you and your DH (designated hitter? 😉 sport…) Kelly. Looking forward to seeing what God has in store for you, the church, and our world and the ways all three connect.

    Like

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