How to Save a Life

The other day I was looking for something in my documents and stumbled upon a file called “How to Save a Life.” It’s been a while, and I thought it was just some bible verses I wrote down last spring but I opened it up and was suprised to find a long list of things I should pursue. Last spring, I was in a really rough spot and writing out something like this was a pretty huge deal for me. Looking at it almost a year later, I just smiled and laughed a little bit.

The past few months have been a huge blessing. I spent less than half of March sleeping in my own bed. I left the country for the first time, and visited a little country called Nepal with some of my Illuminate Nations buddies. I spent years saying I’d never go on a mission trip and then God came along and said Hah! Yeah Right! and I’m so glad I went! I’m sitting here 3 weeks later hoping to go back soon or visit India. I haven’t mentioned Illuminate Nations on here that much because I was scared the idea wasn’t moving but since this year has started, we added 3 more people to our board and I’m super excited to call them all my friends now. We’re finally pursuing nonprofit status and I’m working on building us an awesome donation platform so we can support our friends and children’s homes in Asia. I’ve met the people running these homes and seeing how they take care of their children brought me so much joy!

I guess the list was silly. I had “learn to play a violin” on it. Sooner or later I plan on gifting the violin to my sister, music isn’t my strength! It also said to “research pilots licence”, which I was saving up for before I decided to be a missionary instead! My entire code project list was ignored as soon as I went into last summer (except for the “Make Illuminate Nations shine item”). I had a few lines about people in my list of pursuits and I’ve chased some of these so much more intensionally the past year and people have been biggest source of joy in my life and the reason I’m so attached to this no-name Virginia hometown!

I had a few things to chase that never made it onto the list, like “buy a car”. Chasing after a car loan was shot down quickly - after being quoted at a 25% interest rate, I bought my Grandma’s SUV instead and have had a total blast just driving it across the country and through the woods. Then I randomly decided to pursue photography and got myself a professional-quality camera and a great lens and after hauling that thing across the world and back, I am just in awe of the things that camera has captured. God blew my mind with that one! I haven’t gotten around to the ride-the-train-across-America-again idea, which I’m sure will come soon enough!

But the craziest part of my list was at the bottom. The title was simply “World Change” because late last spring was when God gave me a dream to somehow change the world around me for the better. I had a lot of ideas come and go before the Illuminate Nations one stuck but just to see that one year ago, my dream was just to be a part of something and to see that a short time later it’s all coming together is wonderful. I used to think that being a Web Developer invalidated me for so many things. But it turns out communicating on the web is such a crutial asset for causes to have and that God can use ANY talent for his glory. I am sad I learned this so late in life, but watching him do this with all my friends is amazing.

You should make a list too. You’ll just be blown away 365 days from now if you chase it!

p.s. - I wrote a little about my time in Nepal. Check it out!