It was January of 2014 when I packed my life into a backpack and got onto a plane to head to our first country of 11. Little did I know my life would forever be changed when I said “yes” to the opportunity of going on the World Race. There would be so much I would learn, people I would meet, talents and gifts I would discover in myself, and unforgettable memories. I had no idea what was in store for me and I had no clue what to expect when I returned from this epic adventure.
After constantly being around people for 11 months, it was strange and uncomfortable being alone on a plane heading back home. My parents greeted me at the airport with huge smiles and hugs. I was happy to see them too, but exhausted from traveling. I remember laying in my bed in a room all by myself and despite my exhaustion, sleep did not come easy. I felt as though my last 11 months were a dream, or was laying in this ridiculously comfy bed a dream?
The next day was Thanksgiving and 20 of my family members would come over to my parent’s house. As much of a reunion it was with my family I told them I didn’t want to talk about “my trip” because I didn’t know what to say and had not had time to process anything. I felt as though I was in a daze the whole day. I will never forget a family member asking me, “Now what are you going to do?” I stood stunned and responded with a little sass, “I was in Africa yesterday!”
The next month I was numb to all that was going on around me. I was trying to process my last year but didn’t know where to begin. I really wished I had someone to talk to who knew what I was going through. Who had gone on this journey before me to offer advice. I felt alone. I was back living at my parent’s house without a job and without knowing my purpose. No one seemed to want to listen to what I had to say. If they did ask it was out of being nice and then they wouldn’t listen to what I had to say following their question. Or they would ask questions like, “How was your trip?” or “How was your year?” And I would again be sassy and say, “Trip? How was your entire last year?” Obviously I didn’t know how to handle my re-entry and didn’t have anyone to help me.
It wasn’t until Christmas it all hit me. I was sitting on the floor watching my little cousins rip open their presents and I began to have flashes of every single person I had met while on the race. I was overwhelmed and did everything I could to hold it together. Around midnight when the family left I ran outside and began to sob. This was the first time I had let myself feel since I came home. I knew my life had changed and I needed to do something about it. But first I needed to allow myself to feel the emotions and process what I had experienced and what I was experiencing in the moments since returning.
I decided to give myself a 3 month goal. I would move out of my parent’s house and get a job in 3 months. And I’ll have you know that’s exactly what happened. Once I pulled myself together I applied for jobs and searched for a place to live that was my own.
A couple years later I received my certification as a life coach and decided I wanted to help missionaries with re-entry since this was an area I struggled with. I wanted to help those in a time of need, like I desperately wanted.
I reached out to my squad mentor, Jeremy Cearbaugh, and asked if there was a way I could coach those coming off the World Race. He responded with, “You need to meet Bruce!” He immediately connected me to Bruce and I instantly knew Bruce and I were supposed to work together. Bruce had started M2B Ministries and had a passion to help racers with re-entry. And so here I am working with him to pursue both of our passions to help missionaries.
God uses our pain and turns it into our purpose and passion and that is exactly what he did with me. I want to help you become all you were Meant to Be in God’s Kingdom.
Along with working as a captain with M2B and being a life coach, I am a Certified Athletic Trainer, as well as an athlete myself. I live near the ocean so you will find me there frequently. I have a passion for Jesus, helping others, traveling, and being outside! It’s nice to meet you! Leave a comment! I would love to hear from you!
(Me on the World Race in Cape Town, South Africa)
(Me in one of my elements, the beach!)