Five years ago today, January 12, 2010, probably began like any other day for me. It was a workday and I was still working for an insurance company in Corporate America. I’d been with the company for about 6 years and was making plans to study to become an insurance underwriter. I’d been working in that department and really enjoyed the work and the people I worked with even more. It was a great company, a great work environment, and it was a very comfortable lifestyle for me. I don’t believe I was looking for any grand change in that area of my life, other than the plans for continuing education that I had been making.

A few days prior to that special day I’d been wrestling with the idea of a new year’s resolution or a goal for the new year. I generally don’t make resolutions, because I break them, but I thought I especially needed a new focus in my spiritual life. I remember exactly where I was driving while having this internal conversation (ok, it might have been out loud). I thought, “I should make myself more of a priority this year.” But that just didn’t sit right with me – it didn’t click internally. Then I thought, “No, I need to be about that which He [God] has for me this year.” That felt right – I felt a peace about making God’s path for me a priority, though I didn’t really see yet that it might affect everything about my life. I just thought I might have to volunteer at church or something!

When I reached that moment when God redirected me to Peru, I had little idea of what that would really mean for my future. You can’t really know that until you walk through it. I suspect redirection doesn’t happen in an instant like that for most people, but maybe it’s because I’m so stubborn that I needed a Gibbs slap to get my attention. [According to NCIS character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a slap to the back of the head is a wakeup call.] Certainly the Lord was working for a long time to get me to the place where I could be open to such redirection, but the clarity of His path for my future hit me in a single moment that’s etched into my brain. It’s been amazing to walk this path with the Lord. It’s had hills and valleys, but I wouldn’t trade it or the peace that comes with this journey into that which He has for me.

Where will the path lead? Or perhaps the more common question that I get from taxi drivers on a regular basis: How long will I live in Peru? I am here until the Lord directs me otherwise. This is where He’s placed me right now, so I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. The same goes for my future – I want to always be pursuing that which He has for me.