Have you ever been so desperate to get away from it all that you leap without thinking? Well, I never did. I always made sure to calculate the risks. I was a people pleaser that didn’t want to disappoint people with the wrong choice.
However, I was miserable in my life. I was in my second year of college (full time) in order to please others. I didn’t want to be in college. In fact, it was giving me actual anxiety attacks! I was working as a full time nanny and – although I loved the kids – it just wasn’t where I wanted to be.
Unashamed about my faith
I remember when I was growing up, I was unashamed about my faith. I was born and raised Roman Catholic and proud to be so!…until I was 19. By that time I was feeling beaten down by the world and saw it as much easier to just start conforming. Make jokes with my friends that I never had before because it wasn’t “ladylike.” I moved into my own apartment when I was 21 and then I needed to start making the choice to live my faith myself.
I knew myself. Why get up on a Sunday if I could stay in my nice, cozy, warm bed and watch Netflix? I’d much rather watch Pretty Little Liars, Parks and Rec, or Sherlock on my day off. I knew myself. I knew the only way to make sure I participated in my Sunday obligation for my faith was to make sure I was serving someone else. Pleasing someone else. So, I volunteered to help run the Children’s Church at my parish. This consisted of spending my Sunday mornings teaching 2-6 year olds what the gospel meant on their own level.
I loved it! They were sooooo cute! But something still nagged at me. I wasn’t satisfied. I knew I was on the right track but it was only the cusp! I was reaching for something that would fulfill me but my finger were just brushing it. Just out of my reach. I decided I needed to make a change. I needed to leap in order to reach what was calling out to me.
What about a retreat? Yeah. Yeah, that could work. Get that spiritual high!
When it ended I’d have to come back to my apartment. The same temptations to forgo my faith. The same routine that had me board out of my skull waiting for something amazing to happen in my life. And I needed something amazing to happen. Something big and life changing.
And then something amazing did happen.
I got a text from my mom.
“Hey Honey, I’m just sitting here with Mrs. Lisa and she said NET Ministries is now in Ireland. You should check it out.”
NET? You mean the mission company that had a waiting list to join them in the US? The one that told me to try again next year when I was 18? I wanted to go some where that needed me and I was pretty discouraged to be wait listed.
Well, I had always wanted to go to Ireland…
I checked out the website.
Hmmm, the people in the pictures look happy…*flips through the website without reading much because I’m lazy*….a year in Ireland? With people my own age? Living out the faith?
I applied right then and there.
What have I done?!
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD?!
I didn’t hear back for 2 months…Oh geez. They hate me. No, wait, maybe they lost my application! Ugh, I forgot to send a paper…I heard back in 2 days.
I got an interview!
I remember getting up early that day for the skype call that would determine whether or not my impulsiveness would prove fruitful. I was so nervous!
Afterward they said I’d hear back within 3 weeks.
Exactly 1 week later, my phone rang…
Now, I had spent a lot of time seeing my friends get accepted into their dream college and cry with relief. Get a job they really wanted and celebrate with an after glow on their face that made me green with envy.
My time had come.
“Hi, Sarah? Yes, this is Eliza with NET Ministries of Ireland? We’ve accepted your application and would like to know if you would serve on this year’s mission?”
“Uh, yes. Yes, I would! Thank you!”
It was that short but the moment I hung up the phone I screamed, “I’m moving to Ireland for a year!”
I woke up both my roommates who congratulated me and hugged my as I cried with joy. Something clicked in me that day that said I was finally on the verge of achieving something I was created for! Satisfaction was so close!
2 months later I got on a plane to start my adventure. I cried and kissed my family of 8 goodbye, took a deep breath because I still didn’t have much of an idea as to what I’d be doing. After all, I’m lazy and didn’t read the website…
Click here to find out more about applying with NET Ministries Scotland.
More about Sarah Stoehr
Hi! My name is Sarah Stoehr, I am 23 years old and from New Orleans. This is my second year on NET and I am so excited to be here! I am a newly formed guitar player and can’t wait to sharpen my skills and share them with the youth of Scotland!