This is the second part of my Story of Me series about my high school years. You can read the first one here.
My religious beliefs for the first part of high school were more or less nonexistent. I didn’t really grasp anything and at the time my family’s church had recently fallen apart at the seems and I really didn’t know what to make of it all. I had very little guidance and I was kinda just floating along.
I can’t pinpoint the moment that something changed. I know it was sometime toward to end of my Sophomore year, but I can’t really pick anything monumental that happened to cause me to really delve deeper into the bible. I just remember picking it up one day and that was that. My worldview slowly started to shift and I slowly started to see the bigger picture of the gospel and my own sin.
Not too long after that, a couple of friends were planning a Spring Break missions trip to Budapest and for some reason, I knew I needed to be on that trip. It really did change my perspective on the urgency of missions and gave me a deeper trust in God that I didn’t have before. I subsequently traveled back to Hungary to spend a little over a month teaching English and talking about Jesus to high school students. It was exhausting and it was trying. In hindsight, as my perspective on missions have changed, I don’t know if I really think all the highly of this method now, but I know the heart of the people working there is in it and I know God is working through those people. These trips gave me a deep love for Hungary, which might be strange, but it is an amazing place that more Americans should know about. It’s absolutely beautiful. Some days, all I want to do is eat a palaczinta (basically a crepe) overlooking that beautiful city. That city became so much a part of my life that when it came time to plan my honeymoon we ended up going to Budapest, but more of that in the story to come.
Before, I left for college I also traveled to Romania with the church my family was attending. The most memorable part of that whole trip was spending time in a poor village cleaning a small hut for an elderly women whose brother was dying in the other room. Seeing the need and the trust of that women is something I needed to see at 18 and something I don’t think I could ever forget.
These trips and my high school bible study (which could be a whole post on its own) made my faith stronger. They put me on a path that I could go away to college and struggle with my convictions and theology and not be shaken by the collegiate system. I truly think that in those years God really did work a miracle in my life to put people in my life to teach me and encourage me and to show me how big His plan is and how much He loves me.