Over the last year, the Lord has revealed to me his wonderful sovereignty and lavish grace over the events in my life. Through the midst of hardships and difficult decisions, He has carried me through. As I have reflected on this last year, the Lord has graciously made His will abundantly clear to me.
About a year ago, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a friend post about her decision to move to Mexico and teach with GEM. I was immediately intrigued by the organization and started to ask this friend a million questions about how she found the organization and what exactly she would be doing in Mexico. The more we talked, the more I desired to be a part of this ministry. We kept in contact throughout the first half of the school year, and she updated me on her students and what the Lord was doing through her in Mexico. My heart was so excited to hear about the amazing opportunity she had to be able to teach, but also intentionally share the gospel and care deeply for these sweet children.
A Difficult Summer
As the summer started to progress, life slowly began to fall apart, and the thought of Mexico was quickly pushed to the side. In June, my Dad began to quickly regress in his battle with lung cancer. He went into the hospital for a stent, and through the procedure, the doctors found that the cancer was starting to spread to other areas of his body. He stayed in the hospital so the doctors could determine the best plan of action for tackling the cancer. However as the days went by in the hospital, the news we heard from the doctors got worse and worse. I got a call from my mom that he was in the final hours of his life, I made my way to the hospital as quickly as I could. However, when I arrived I was too late. He had passed away about 10 minutes before I got there. I had so many thoughts running through me, and confusion and frustration arose as I battled with all the why’s that started to arise. Thoughts of why did I have to be so far from the hospital, and why didn’t I say this, and why was this happening. I began to sob uncontrollably. I sobbed for his life, for the conversations I wish I had with him, and for the reality that life this side of Heaven is filled with death. But, amidst this difficult time, the Lord drew near to me like I had never experienced before and provided me with a deep sense of comfort and trust in Him that I would have never experienced otherwise.
Pushing Mexico to the Side
As time went by, I began to add way too many things to my plate. I entered into a new dating relationship, and the anxieties of a new school year quickly absorbed my free time. Mexico was the last thing on my mind as I allowed these present tasks to consume my life, and I pushed going to Mexico to the back of my mind. However, God tends to laugh when we make our own plans. The Lord began to put people in my life who helped me see the need for the Gospel in Mexico. One person who began to help me see the need was a student in my class whose family was from Mexico. I absolutely adored her, and she spoke so highly about the people and the rich culture of Mexico. As I began to know this student and her family more, I researched some statistics about the country. My heart began to break for this country whose homicide rates were increasing at an unprecedented rate. The Lord began to stir up my affection for the people there. I realized that I was holding way too tight of a grip on my current comforts and new relationship.
The Lord began to loosen my grip on the things in my life that were keeping me from going to Mexico. My eyes were opened to the fact that I was more concerned about the emotional fulfillment in my relationship than using it to further God’s kingdom. I began to pray that God would give me the strength to fully surrender my relationship to Him. Just two days after I prayed, my boyfriend and I sat down and had a conversation that made it clear to me that we were better apart than together. Mexico came up in our conversation, and he encouraged me to apply. After that, I began the application process with GEM. After my first interview, I cried tears of joy because I knew that this was the job that the Lord had been calling me to.
After seeking counsel and advice from elders at my church and friends who knew me well, I said yes to moving my life to Mexico! The months after saying yes have not been without hardship and doubt, but as I consider all that the Lord has shown me this last year, I am at peace that this is where he is calling me. He has reminded me that life this side of heaven is short, which has prompted me to ask myself the question, “How can I better glorify God through my life?”. This verse has given me hope and perspective on His glory and goodness…“holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain” (Phillipians 2:16). I realized that I was not applying this verse to my life-the shortness of life was apparent after my Dad’s death. I want my whole life to glorify God and to run this race of life well.
If you’d like to support Kayla as she serves with GEM in Mexico, you can do so HERE. You can also contact her directly to talk further about what it means to be on her support team and find out how you can be praying for her!