“And she called his name Joseph.” (Genesis 30:24)
After being barren for years, Jacob’s wife, Rachel, finally gave birth to a child of her own.
After competing with her sister for children (Leah is kind of winning), God remembers her and opens her womb (Genesis 30:22).
In the midst of family chaos, Rachel sees a glimpse of what the Lord has in store for His people. She names her baby boy Joseph which means “future of.” So, Joseph was rightfully named the “Future of Israel” (since his dad’s name is Jacob but will be changed to Israel).
God had a plan.
From the moment Joseph was born, to the time he would save his people from starvation, he was part of God’s plan.
In the first moment when Rachel held her newborn son, there was no way she could have known how God would use him or what would happen.
None of us can know the future – but it is beautiful to watch it unfold.
When I was in high school, we did a video project for a class. It was an entire newscast complete with the weather, sports and reporting.
We videoed several “reports” on location: once in front of the library as a kidnapper was on the loose, another in my front yard as all of the residents of the local asylum had broken out, and something to do with someone’s legs being inside a couch cushion.
I’m pretty sure we got an “A” on that project, but I had no clue this assignment would be monumental in my future.
During my third year of college, I transferred to Arkansas State University and changed my major to Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism.
Before this, I struggled with what I was wanting to do. Some people clearly see themselves as doctors, nurses, lawyers, bank executives… but I couldn’t see a career path for myself clearly.
However, I did love to write and tell stories, so Communications seemed like a good fit. To this day, I’m not entirely sure what made me decide to do it. Maybe it was that high school project, or my love for storytelling, or maybe it was the local news anchor driving by in a black Maxima while I sat at a stop light and thought, “I can do what she does. I’ll be a news anchor.”
Or maybe, it was God.
With my degree in hand, I was hired in at the local TV news station in 2005 as a reporter. I became an anchor for the Midday show, and I filled in for the evening news and the morning shows when the other anchors were out.
I soon moved to doing morning live-shots and finding stories at five am, which is not the easiest by the way.
By 2009, I was anchoring both Good Morning Region 8 and Midday. I loved how the stories of real people could be told in 30 second spots with the use of images, sound and script- all of which created a feeling for the viewer.
But life was happening behind the scenes, and things were changing. I was looking for something that would provide a better income, better hours and a different work environment. While it sure didn’t feel like it at the time, God was at work.
In 2010, I became a recruiter for UAMS Northeast, and 10 years later, I still love what I do.
This job gives me creative freedom for new programs, partnerships and presentations. I build relationships with students and their families as I help them to achieve their dreams of working in the medical field. It’s been rewarding work to see students grow from attending a summer camp in high school to graduating medical school and then becoming a doctor.
It’s the best! Every student who comes through my door has a story. They each have incredible talents, and many have overcome huge obstacles in their short life.
They want a spot in medical school, and their experiences, character and motivation are the only way to get them there. We just have to figure out how to best tell their story.
Throughout my 37 years, God has worked in my life in incredible ways.
I’m not who I once was.
If you knew me a long time ago, I pray you can see that too. My desires are no longer for the things of this world, but instead, my heart’s true yearning is to please God.
To live in full surrender to His will and plan, no matter if I see what God’s doing in that moment or not.
I want to trust Him in the beginning without needing to see the ending.
This past year, I was invited to become a blog writer for Lifeword.
God is using my own story and my love for telling stories through devotionals. Lifeword is one of the most exciting organizations because they are sharing the gospel in countries across the globe.
They tell the story of Jesus.
I’m proud to be a part of something so much bigger than me. So, when they asked me to become a board member, I was humbled and in awe of God working.
This past fall, Brother Donny Parrish, Executive Director of Lifeword and SOAR legend, told me he had a project he was working on and he thought I might be interested. So, I was intrigued, but I knew if he was involved, it would be awesome!
Mission: World, a magazine produced to highlight the work of God through our BMA missionaries and what’s happening throughout the world, is getting a new format. BMA Missions is producing a show called “Mission: World” in a new effort to reach people where they are – social media. The show will air once a month, maybe more in the future, and highlight a report from a different missionary and their family each time.
I was shocked and honored when Donny asked me to be the host.
The day I walked in for the shoot, I was excited and nervous. That morning, a memory had popped up on Facebook and it had been 10 years to the day when I had announced I was leaving the anchor desk. That morning, I was back in the chair and thrilled at the new adventure!
Then, it hit me.
God knew all along and He had prepared me for this very thing.
From the moment I was born, the Lord had a plan to use me in this aspect and here it was. The degree, the experience, the love for writing and telling stories… all of it was planned by God.
I could hardly speak.
In fact, I waited until we were done shooting to even talk to Donny or Brother John David Smith about any of it because, well, you know… I’m a crier!
Overwhelmed by this tiny glimpse of God’s big picture, I really couldn’t say much other than, “I’m so excited to be here!”
I still have my full-time job at UAMS, and of course my other full-time job with our dogs, and a gazillion other things like everyone else, but I’m thankful to be a part of this new project with BMA Missions.
I can’t wait to meet more of our missionaries, to learn about the people they serve and do life with, to see the challenges they face, and to know the support they need and to be able to share that with you.
Getting info right at your fingertips about the work being done in Ukraine or hearing from our missionaries in Romania and Peru about church plants and medical clinics… this is the heart of the gospel.
This is what the church was created for.
This is Mission: World.