I was not raised in church. In fact, I did not accept Jesus into my heart until I was almost thirteen. I have always been what most would call different. I have never been the type of person who followed the crowd just to fit in. Even before I knew Christ, if something was wrong in my heart I wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.
God has blessed me with many talents and passions. I enjoy drawing, singing, writing poetry, and children. I remember my junior year of high school pondering what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that in whatever I did, I wanted to serve God and bring glory and honor to His kingdom. I finally narrowed down my choices to two careers: an art teacher and a youth minister. I decided to try out both of these fields and see which I felt God was leading me into.
Art Teacher? Youth Minister?
I signed up for teacher cadet at my high school. Teacher cadet is a program in which you volunteer at a local school and help out within the classroom. I also signed up to be a counselor at a small Christian camp in Hertford, N.C. called Cale Retreat. The summer before my senior year of high school, I worked for four weeks at camp. I fell in love with every aspect of this ministry. I was able to minister to children, ages 7-17, from all different backgrounds and to lead them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I worked hand in hand with the body of Christ and I could feel the spirit of God moving powerfully. I felt very confident that this was the kind of life God was calling me to lead.
However, I thought I would still give teaching a try and do my best to be open-minded. I loved my teacher cadet class. I fell in love with the children and they fell in love with me. The problem was I did not feel that teaching in a classroom setting was the area where God was calling me.