Sweet Sixteen

Junior Prom
Junior Prom. Look at that hair!

Earlier this year when I started preparing for my support raising talks, one thing hit me that I had never thought about: my 16th year of life played a pivotal role in my life’s journey.

No, it was not your typical teenage stuff—first kiss, driver’s license, and all of that; but three things happened to me that totally changed my world.

Somewhere in Germany
Somewhere in Germany

Trip to Germany. For my 16th birthday, my parents gave me a choice to take drivers’ ed. in the summer and get my driver’s license or to go to Germany with my mom to visit my brother. It was a no-brainer for me; I went to Germany. It was the first time I had been out of the States, and it opened up a whole new world for me. Never again would my world be small and confined; there was a big and exciting world for me to explore.

Seed Planted to Be a Missionary. When I was 16, a faithful and prayerful person from the church in which I grew up told me that God was calling me to be a missionary. It totally freaked me out! That was the last thing I wanted to do. Life went on, and I forgot about this person’s words until I started my missions discernment process a couple of years ago.

Led to Church Home. I was in the choir when I was in high school, and each year we would perform Handel’s Messiah with the Nashville Symphony. My junior year, we couldn’t have our dress rehearsal at TPAC, so we practiced at a local church. I remember walking into the church, thinking it was the most beautiful church I had ever seen. I had no idea what type of church it was; I didn’t even know in which part of the city it was located. I just thought it was beautiful. Six years later, I became confirmed in this church’s denomination and four years after that, I visited this church in my quest for a church home, unaware that I had been there ten years earlier as a 16-year-old. It was St. George’s, my new church home.

So, as you can see, God was doing some major work behind the scenes of my 16-year-old life, and I had no clue. It’s amazing to look back now and reflect on how these pieces have all come together.


No-Go Books

As I have mentioned several times, my books are going to be the hardest thing for me to part with; but upon a quick glance-through, there are some I definitely plan to leave behind.

Top-10 Books I Won’t Be Taking with Meno-go books

10. Moby Dick by Herman Meville (I never liked this book. I don’t know why.)

9. Henry IV, Part One (only because it has a big rip through the cover)

 8. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (I have two copies. I’ll be taking the hardback with me. Had you fooled, right? Doctor Zhivago is one of my top-three favorite books of all times.)

 7. Ernest Hemingway’s short story “In Our Time” (I’ll be taking the complete Hemingway short stories with me.)

 6. The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene (I didn’t like it.)

 5. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (It’s full of helpful information but dry and boring as dust. Plus, it has no chapters!)

 4. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke (same as above)

two of my three bookcases, not including spill-over books in corners

3. The Stuart Constitution (I was never into parliamentary history.)

 2. Tennessee: A University Portrait (Why on earth do I have this book in the first place? Someone please tell me.)

1. John Calvin: Selections from His Writings (Oh, my, the writings of Calvin. Enough said.)