My world used to be so neat and clean. It used to consist of my husband, our little dog, and me. We had a nice little group of friends. We went to church, but didn’t do anything crazy with our faith. We went on vacation and watched TV shows regularly. We had a good little life.
Then, in the summer of 2010, we went to IDEAfarm.
And God turned my nice, clean, neat little world upside-down. Now I navigate this upside-down world as if this is where I really belonged all along.
I’ve been pondering what IDEAfarm really has meant to me over the last few weeks. It’s hard to express in words. But here’s my humble attempt.
I was at an impasse in my faith. I was tired of doing the Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night church thing without it really meaning something. I felt like my life was just on auto-pilot.
And somehow God led us to attend IDEAfarm in the summer of 2010. And, honestly, my life hasn’t been the same. I went for Evan, but it was as if God breathed new life into me through the retreat. It was at Lake Jackson, GA, at this retreat, with 10-ish other crazy passionate people that I discovered what God had purposed for my life (living Isaiah 1:17). Who I was. What my talents and gifts are. How I communicate. How I best do things. And then, how to take all of that and go forward with this dream to serve orphans throughout the world. Before that weekend, I didn’t even know that half of that stuff was inside my heart. Now, I can’t imagine life without the constant thought of the fatherless in my head, or without looking at my son’s beautiful dark eyes.
Since IDEAfarm, I’ve gone on two mission trips to Africa, visiting four countries in Africa (Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya). I’ve helped coordinate a mission trip with my church. We’ve adopted. Simply, my perfect, nice, neat world no longer exists. Life is messy and beautiful.
And I know this didn’t just happen to me. I can tell you about so many others who have experienced this same upside feeling to protect the fatherless, or fight for social justice for the “nameless,” or serve in Haiti. We have friends whose dream is to see the end of human trafficking. We have friends who serve God through creative arts. Their lives are all messy and beautiful.
So here’s the point I’m trying to make, if you are a college-aged person out there, if God has placed dreams in your heart, if you feel like your life needs to mean something, you must apply for IDEAfarm. Maybe God isn’t calling you to serve orphans or fight human trafficking, but whatever is in your heart, whatever passion keeps you awake at night or helps you get up in the morning, God will take that and make it explode. You will never be the same.
Here’s an added bonus for all you college students, aside from gas/airfare to get to Atlanta, GA, it’s free. FREE. It’s literally the best investment you can make over your summer. So, go, apply, and see what God will do to your world.