One summer’s afternoon I got a phone call from my buddy, and campus minister, Joe Nelson. I was in Target with my mom when I got the call. Just the usual super-friendly verbal handshake I’d expect from Joe, but then he told me about this mission to New Mexico. I had never been on a mission before, and he said there was only one space left on the trip. It’s insane how I still seem to take that 10-minute phone call for granted. What I will never take for granted is the overwhelming amount of grace I received on that mission trip; the grace I received with just one “yes.”
I made big steps towards growing in my faith in the months prior to the trip, but I honestly had no expectations. I could have never imagined that the small price I paid to go on that trip, would afford anyone the life changing experience I received. It was an experience that set my soul on an unimaginable course, that would lead me forever closer to God. I came back from that trip knowing with all my heart that my purpose was to bring the fire God placed within it, back into my ordinary, every-day life. In doing so, I not only feel that change in my soul, I see it continue to bear fruit every single day.
My relationship with God grew incomprehensibly stronger while in the company of my fellow missionaries. Many lifelong, virtuous relationships were built in that seemingly short week; relationships that will continue to bolster my faith and allow me to live my life for Christ. I need to tell everyone who doesn’t already know, that the moment you substitute your own will with the will of God, your life will never be the same. Unless you’ve experienced this yourself, you may never understand the truth of my words. We are all called to mission, and mission work isn’t just for those we serve, it’s for us too. Do yourself and everyone in your life a favor, just say “yes” to God. Trust me, He will repay you with much more than you ever thought you deserved.
“Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned.
For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them." - Romans 12: 2-6
P.S. Five months later, Tanner answered the call to go to the seminary in January 2018.
We are so thankful for you Tanner!