This morning, after a 45-minute interview, I was told that I am officially nominated for the Peace Corps!
The way it works is that first you’re nominated, then you get a complete health check-up (eyes, dentist, physical, etc.) and if that all checks out then you’re invited to a specific location and work assignment. This whole process takes about 12 months so if all goes well I will be receiving my location assignment at this time next year.
When my interviewer first told me that I was nominated I was shocked and excited. I felt like a pageant contest who just got crowned — fluttering hands, look of surprise and big smile. Then the fear set in. It really hit me in the following hours that I will be sent somewhere in the world with little information or support for 27 months! I’m very excited but terrified, too.
I remember when I decided to go to Spain for college my senior year of high school. I was accepted to the school in late December and spent all Spring planning and packing and basically just being so excited I couldn’t stand it. I was working as a cashier in Target that summer and I would try and work my travel plans into every conversation with customers. I still blush a little when I remember how I started bragging about going to Spain to one customer and she said “Oh yeah, you told me that last time I was here.” I was just so excited I couldn’t keep my mouth shut!
Then the day came to actually leave. My mom took me to the airport at 5:00 in the morning and went with me all the way to the security check-point past which only ticketed passengers are allowed. We hugged and said goodbye and she turned around and walked away. I turned around and faced the line. All of the sudden it hit me what I was doing. “This is the biggest mistake of my life,” I thought to myself. But, it had gone too far. I was already in. I arrived in Spain exhausted, accidentally spoke Italian to the cab driver and got to my apartment, cried, slept and cried some more. It was a hard first semester! But, far from being the biggest mistake of my life, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If for nothing else than the fact that I came to know Christ in Spain.
So, although at the moment being sent to God-knows-where for 2 years is a scary prospect, it’s also a very very exciting one. And, in beginning this trip I have the assurance that God is in control and whatever happens is within his will. So, bring it on, Peace Corps! I’m ready and excited for whatever comes my way!