A year ago I was angry at God: life was not going the way I expected or the way I planned.
After being involved with Power to Change Students at the University of Guelph for 4.5 years I felt God calling me to serve Him in ministry once I graduated. Transitioning to a one year internship with P2C was an easy and logical next step for me.
However when God’s plans for my life started unfolding, they were unexpected, unwanted, and unlikely.
But let’s back up.
As a student I had set my sights on a short-term international internship (Stint) in Gateway. I had dreamed of serving God overseas for a few years, and with my passion for helping students discover Jesus, Stint made perfect sense to me. A missions trip with the Gateway partnership had cemented my love for South Asia and reaching people there with the gospel.
Then there was my interest in writing. I had blogged as a student for mycravings.ca, and so also was considered interning with P2C-Students’ Creative Communications team. All that to say, after attending P2C PLUS in 2013, I felt God shift my sight away from both Gateway and Creative Communications, and towards the Expedition Team in Canada and the Peru partnership.
So I applied to do an internship with the Expedition Team in Canada/Peru, and then God told me that I would serve Him at McMaster University. What?!
To be frank, McMaster was the absolutely last place I wanted to go. Never mind staying in Canada for an internship, I hated McMaster. The bitterness of old school rivalries developed a hardening in my heart and strong dislike for the campus and the students there. When I stepped on the campus I would instantly get frustrated. I didn’t know a single person in Hamilton. And maroon? Please. I was a black, red, and yellow girl: a Gryphon to my deepest core.
As my interview process began and changes outside of my control occurred with the Expedition Team, it became clear that I wasn’t going to Peru that next year, nor Gateway.
And strangely enough, God was increasingly placing McMaster on my heart: I couldn’t stop thinking about Mac! It drove me crazy. I couldn’t stop thinking about the movement, the students who didn’t know Jesus, and the large number of South Asian students there.
Yet, I hated it. I felt so frustrated. Why would God lead me to work at the last place on the planet I ever expected or wanted to go?
God broke down my stubbornness and revealed to me His deep love for the campus and movement at McMaster.
Erin, he said, I love McMaster. You need to love all people, not just the ones you want to love.
I started to view myself differently as well. At my deepest core I was God’s daughter; being a Gryphon was simply a season of my life that had ended and of which I needed to let go. I also saw more clearly the skills and gifts God had developed in me as a student: my love for evangelism and ability to help new believers grow in their faith.
Erin, God said, there are changes coming to McMaster, and I want you to be part of them. Let go of your plans for your life. Mine are better. Trust me.
God was clearly calling me to serve Him at McMaster University for a national internship with P2C Students. I knew that I needed to be obedient to that call, no matter how scared, nervous, or anxious I was.
What plan for your life are you clinging to desperately, even though God may be calling you elsewhere?
Are you willing to let go of the control of your life, and fully entrust it to God?
Are you willing to do Anything, Anytime, Anywhere and at Any Cost for God?
Over this past year working at McMaster, God has dramatically changed my heart. He took my hardened heart, full of hate, and filled it with love and compassion.
I arrived in September excited and eager to share my faith with students and to build up a movement of bold evangelism. I instantly and easily befriended the South Asian students on campus – and even saw a South Asian student accept Christ the second week of school! God is using my passions, experience, and strengths in the most unexpected and unlikely context. I have developed a deep love for the students in the movement, and desire to see the movement grow and change in new and exciting ways.
Doing a national internship has allowed me to grow, learn, and develop new ministry skills that will be instrumental as I move forward. I’ve realized this year how much God knows and provides for all my needs. God knew that I needed to stay in Canada this year. He knew that I needed the students and staff team at Mac, and that I needed this time to grow and develop.
Now I love my students and the McMaster campus. I even wear McMaster swag around campus and am proud to be an honorary Marauder. Following God to McMaster this year has been challenging, but I’ve experienced God’s love in new and deeper ways.
Will you prayerfully consider surrendering a year of your life to serve God and help His kingdom expand either in Canada or the nations?
Check out our Work at P2C page for more information on internships and full-time ministry.