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It all started when I was returning from my first trip to the Philippines 6 years ago. I realized how much I loved it there and wanted to move there. Little did I know what was to come! After my second trip, I developed such a passion for the Philippines I found myself crying as we were leaving the country. I was so eager to go back after that second trip! Three years later, when the opportunity came for me to go back, I was filled with so much excitement and happiness. I had the best time of my life on that trip, and even told my dad how much I wanted to live there, but then high school came. 

When I started high school, it was like I had finally found my place — I had the perfect group of friends and had a great time being at school, which had never happened to me before. The news of us moving to the Philippines hit me so hard that it broke my heart a little, as I knew that I would have to leave my friends, my house, and my whole life behind. I had always dreamed about moving to the Philippines, but now I was dreading the move. I became very secretive of my feelings about the move and felt as though I had to act like I was excited about it. I found myself questioning God and asking Him why he was doing this to my life after I was finally finding my place and enjoying life to the fullest. I was having a lot of trouble trusting Him because I didn’t understand why He was calling me into this role while I was so young, and when I had just started a whole new part of my life. 

A couple of months later, we were going to the Philippines for Christmas and I didn’t know what to think other than “why would we want to go there on vacation when we’re going to move there?” 

The first time I really thought about how selfish I was becoming was when I listened to the song Make Room. In the song it talks about shaking up the ground of all my traditions. And those words stuck with me. I finally saw how much I was being impacted by myself and my selfish thoughts. All I cared about was how I’m not going to be able to go to football games or have a traditional Christmas. At that point, I decided I just needed to put all my trust in God and step into obedience, even though I didn’t know what would happen. 

After that last trip, I realized how much of an impact this journey would have on me and how many people were so excited for us to live there with them. After the trip my trust was fully put in God and I realized what an impact I would get to be making in the communities. It will still be hard at times, when I’m missing friends and school, but those traditions won’t ever last. God’s way is better!