The feeling gnawing in my soul was more about God and how He failed me.
I walked into the building yet again with the same feeling of dread. Day #273 and here I was, a graduate with honors from a top university, showing up for another day of my internship. The nagging feeling I was gripped with wasn’t about all the important responsibilities that I was given like I wanted it to be. The feeling gnawing in my soul was more about God and how He failed me.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved serving with Love Thy Neighborhood. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that serving with this ministry was a step that the Lord led me to take. It was hard to believe that a new city 749 miles away could become a home where I would grow to feel loved like never before. But it did. Oh, how it did.
I was able to tell them about my deepest fears and my worst mistakes. I could fall apart as I shared things that I had never told anyone before. It felt safe.
I loved having a community that I could rely on and trust. I was able to present my true self to my teammates, and they still loved me. I was able to tell them about my deepest fears and my worst mistakes. I could fall apart as I shared things that I had never told anyone before. It felt safe.
I also loved serving under well-respected leaders at Louisville Rescue Mission, the fourth oldest rescue mission in the country. I learned how to better serve a population that is often overlooked or disregarded unless their situation was a butt of a cruel joke. It was a place where I could learn from seasoned leaders whose honeymoon phases in ministry had ended, so they were well-versed in how to handle messy and hard situations that came up. I valued that real and practical steps where Gospel transformation was pursued was the answer instead of handouts.
Although I genuinely loved serving with Love Thy Neighborhood, what I didn’t love was how different my reality was versus what I expected my life would be at this point in my life. Two of my supervisors at my service site were only three years older than me, yet it felt like we were worlds apart. They were each in prominent positions at a well-respected established nonprofit, married and already started having babies. Here I was still in an internship after graduating from college and trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing with my life. Obviously, I knew what was best for my life, and this wasn’t what I had planned.
How self-righteous of me to think that I was able … no, deserved, to tell the God of the universe what He owed me.
I was growing bitter towards the Lord because He had failed me. How self-righteous of me to think that I was able … no, deserved, to tell the God of the universe what He owed me.
Spoiler alert: He doesn’t.
It’s been over a year and a half since my term with Love Thy Neighborhood came to an end. I am able to see things clearer now and how the Lord was carefully guiding me. Each step has led me down a path that is abundantly evident of the Lord’s sovereignty and grace.
There is an incredible freedom when you acknowledge that both God is good and the specifically designed roadmap for your life is to ultimately bring Him glory.
I have to be honest that sometimes life still isn’t what I expect for it to be. I am learning that in hard seasons with perceived setbacks, it is absolutely key to focus on and be grateful for the sovereignty of our God. There is an incredible freedom when you acknowledge that both God is good and the specifically designed roadmap for your life is to ultimately bring Him glory.
Just because life doesn’t go as you planned, it doesn’t mean you are settling or the Lord has failed you. It is an acute (and probably needed) reminder that God is God and you are not. Just because I expect God to reveal a certain thing doesn’t mean He will or that it will necessarily be (my expectation of) good. But what He will reveal is ultimately for my good.
Brittany Chimento serves as the Recruitment Manager for Love Thy Neighborhood. She is also an alumni of the program and served with the homeless for a year in 2015-2016. She still lives in Louisville and is a UF graduate (Go Gators!).