Summer Lovin’ (Thy Neighborhood)

Junior year of college.

Also known as the time in your college career when you should start thinking about “serious” things. Working on your thesis, looking at grad schools, nabbing internships – those sorts of things.

SO, can we just throw some praises up to the Lord that I’m over halfway through my junior year and haven’t had a major breakdown yet??? PTL, y’all.

About six months ago, in September, I was doin’ as I do and worrying about things I shouldn’t waste time worrying about and looking for potential summer internships. I heard about this one program, Love Thy Neighborhood, from both my roomie and my boyfriend. I checked it out, and y’all, it was love at first sight. The program’s tagline is “Social Justice Internships and Christian Community” – literaLLY??? I was sold.

And even though I knew it was frickin’ crazy, I felt like I HAD to apply right then and there. Even though the deadline to apply was still, like, 7 months away, I felt that I needed to apply that night. In hindsight, I gotta believe that those feelings of urgency came from God pushing me towards this internship.

So, I applied. And, like, I wasn’t expecting anything to happen for a while, right? I figured I’d have time to explore other options before I heard anything back. LOL, well, I had an interview with the Recruitment Manager less than 2 weeks later.

I really, really thought I botched it, y’all. I totally wrote it off and moved on because I thought that I made a really bad impression in the interview. BUT a big, fat, manilla envelope showed up at my house a week later, and I was accepted!!!

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I was pretty hype.

UNTIL my dumb brain started overthinking everything (per usual), and I started hardcore doubting whether or not I should commit to this program. Like, summer was still 9 months away at this point, and I was going to commit to the first internship I’d applied for?? I was *real* scared of support raising, and I had no idea if this program was even right for me.

I think I had a week or two to make a decision, and I was strugglin’ to sign that contract. I’d been praying about it a lot, though, because I knew that I wanted to be there if God wanted me to be there. I went to church one Sunday morning (October 2nd, if we’re tryna be exact), and my pastor ended his sermon with Acts 2:42-47. This hit me so hard, guys, because I’d just read the LTN handbook, which highlighted the program’s Biblical roots in Acts 2:42-47. Maybe it doesn’t even seem like a big deal if you’re reading this now, but I was SHOOK. My spirit felt so stirred, and I kNeW that LTN was where I was supposed to be over the summer. I signed the contract after church that day, and I felt so at peace about my decision.

Since accepting the internship, I’ve still had some doubts and anxieties crop up, but God has silenced every single one of them and reaffirmed over and over again that I need to be in Louisville this summer, serving full-time with this organization. Honestly, I’m still scared outta my dang mind, because I know that I’m gonna be pushed so far out of my comfort zone and have to love a lot of people that may be hard to love. I’m also gonna be socializing, like, 24/7 which probably scares me the *most*. BUT, I know that these worries are so insignificant compared to what God is going to do this summer and the tremendous amount of growth (and super fun) I’m going to experience.

And, y’all, I *know* that God is going to bring the support in. It’s been like a one billion trillion mile journey to even get to a place where I can say that with peace in my heart. But, I’ve been constantly referring back to Proverbs 3:5 and trying my very, very hardest to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. And trust me, my understanding is pretty whack and constantly tells me that I do not know enough people who are willing to support this mission and that there’s no way in h*ck that I’m gonna bring in $2,700 with the resources I have. However – the really stinkin’ beautiful thing about it is that I’m not going to bring in that $2,700. I’m so incapable of doing that, but God is so, so, so capable of doing that and so much more. If I end up meeting that fundraising goal, it sure ain’t gonna be because I did it; 10000000% of that credit will go to God.

So, here I am: prepping for a really killer summer, getting ready to be a full-time servant dutifully loving on people in Louisville. I sent out my first support letters on Wednesday, and I’m so excited to ~finally~ get this thing going.

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Through Love Thy Neighborhood, I’ll be spending roughly 30 hours each week serving at one of their partner agencies, Louisville Rescue Mission. LRM is a Christ-centered homeless outreach ministry, and I’m actually stoked to be working alongside such a beautiful organization. When I’m not at LRM, I’ll be focusing on building intentional relationships with my fellow LTN team members (some of whom I’ll be living with in Louisville) and my neighbors + community members. Love Thy Neighborhood also emphasizes spiritual growth, so I’ll be spending a ton of time tending to my spirit and intentionally seeking and learning about the Lord. Basically, it’s gonna be JAM-PACKED, and I’m gonna have *plenty* of stuff to write + post about.

The folks at Love Thy Neighborhood offer such an incredible opportunity to young people through this program, and I’m so thankful that God led me here. I’m scared/excited/overwhelmed/giddy/anxious/FREAKIN’ OUT, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Please stay tuned for this adventure that is to come!!! And, if you’re interested in financially supporting me, I cannot even express how grateful I am for your kind soul!!! You can give online here! (Or, if you’d like to receive a real-life support letter, please message me, and I’ll make that happen!) If you’re interested in supporting me and are unable to give financially, God knows that this girl needs some serious prayers for this mission – prayers that I would step outside of my comfort zone, be a light for the Lord in dark places, be diligent in obedience to Him, and love unconditionally.

I’m so scared, and I’m so excited. I’m a mess, honestly. And I’m totally bringing you guys (aka the readers of this blog, I pretend like there’s an army of you) along for every up and down and high and low, so get ready. May 30th!!!

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