By Michele Volk
"I am a missionary."
I love watching stranger's reactions when they ask me what I do for a living. There's typically one of three responses I get. The indifferent one who brushes it off as any other occupation and moves on in conversation. The supportive one who is genuinely enthusiastic and asks more questions. And my personal favorite is the confused one who looks at me like I just told them I train dragons for a living.
Needless to say, it's not your typical day job.
This is currently my second year as a full time missionary. I have the unique opportunity to work with youth and young adults to help them encounter Christ. It's an awesome opportunity that I am incredibly grateful for. But if you told me two years ago where I would be today, odds are I would have laughed in your face.
I do this thing where I like to think I have everything figured out. Two years ago I was trying to do what every college senior dreads; figuring out post-grad plans. I was dead set on working for a non-profit I had been involved in for many years. Amidst my stubbornness, I turned to the Lord to ask what He wanted. I knew what I wanted to do, but in my experience what I want and what he wants aren't always the same.
In the end, I felt the Lord leading me to a very different place then I had originally thought. Actually, it ended up being the one thing I never thought I would do.
Funny how that works.
Today's responsorial psalm is "Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will."
In my short life I've learned a few things. As much as I want certain things for my life, the Lord knows what's best, even more than me. Being open to the Lord’s will and trusting in His plan even when I don't understand have been two of the biggest things I've learned. As well as starting to ask the right questions. I should start by asking what God wants instead of what I want.
Genuine joy comes from following the Lord's will for my life.
The Lord can bring good out of different paths I choose but the most fulfillment I will find in life is in doing God's will, not my own.
Being a missionary full time may not make sense in a lot of ways to the outside world. Sometimes I allow that to be a hindrance to doing what the Lord is calling me to. I make little to no money, my belongings are few, my time is not my own and the work I do isn't necessarily seen as important to many. But the peace and genuine joy I receive in the work that I do and the people I am surrounded by is irreplaceable.
I am still learning. In my humanness I like to be in control. Giving up that control isn't easy, but it is infinitely worth it. And my life couldn't be more of a testament of that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michele Volk is a recent graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville with a degree in Communication Arts. Originally from the city of brotherly love, she is currently serving as a missionary in Minnesota with the organization NET Ministries. She loves anything sports, photography, and is always down for a spontaneous dance party. She blogs at michelevolk.weebly.com