Editor’s Note: As part of our “Comfort and Joy” Advent/Christmas blog series, newly commissioned missioner Aubrey Kimble shares part of her discernment journey during her semester abroad in Seville, Spain.
During my junior year at UNC, I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Seville, Spain. It was absolutely one of the most formative experiences of my college career.
I didn’t know anyone going into the program. I didn’t even know who my roommate for the next six months would be – I opted for a random placement, which can definitely be a risky move.
Fortunately for me, God had my back (as usual). I became roommates with Mallory, someone who would quickly become a great friend and an incredible ray of sunshine in my life.
This friendship began with a mutual love of Michael Bublé and SpongeBob Squarepants, and quickly developed into a safe place to share our faith with each other and discuss where God had been present for us in our day.
Faith sharing became very habitual for us, and it wasn’t long before we discovered that we had a mutual desire to go on overseas mission after college.
Mallory already had a specific program in mind. She knew that she wanted to go on mission with The World Race, a non-profit mission organization that travels to 11 different countries in 11 months.
I had been considering going on mission for a while, but was really struggling against pressure from family and other friends to “do the responsible thing” by staying in North Carolina and getting a “real” job.
Mallory helped me to see that what I was feeling wasn’t a mere inclination – it was a call from God. It was the kind of call that cannot be ignored. It was a great comfort to be understood and supported by a friend who was also considering a call to mission.
We had many conversations throughout the semester on the topic, but one thing that stands out in my memory is her reminding me that anything worth doing is going to be hard. If it’s scary, that can be a good thing – it means that we are being pushed outside of our comfort zones to grow.
It’s also a beautiful opportunity to truly put our faith and trust in God.
Through this beautiful new friendship with Mallory in Spain, God sent someone to comfort me through my anxiety and uncertainty and encourage me to follow my passion for mission. It is such a joy to be following my vocation and living the life that I am truly being called to. Through that comfort which helped me to pursue becoming a lay missioner, I have found so much joy with Franciscan Mission Service (and I’m not even on mission yet!).
Thanks be to God!
Question for reflection: Who has helped you through a time of discernment and decision making?