When you’re a little kid, someone always questions, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" There’s the popular options of firefighter, policeman, or cook, but for me it was a forensic scientist. It wasn't a popular choice amongst young people, but I always knew what I wanted to be. After graduating high school, I went to college at Sam Houston State University in the fall of 2018, full of dreams and plans for the next four years of my life.But God wasn't part of that plan. It wasn’t that I wasn’t a Christian; I just never grew up knowing how to have a relationship with God. I did what I was taught: go to church once a week, go to youth group and fellowship with other believers, and then maybe read the Bible when I had free time.
Half way through the college semester, God took my life off track, in an amazing, complicated way. I had a panic attack at midterms. It sounds weird to say, but I’m really grateful for it. God woke me up and helped me to realize I wasn’t doing anything with my life. So for the first time that I can remember, I asked God what I should be doing with my life. Immediately, there was this sudden and new feeling on my heart that I was supposed to be doing mission work.
I nearly laughed. I didn’t think God would want to use me for anything, much less something as important as evangelism. Here I was, this introvert who would nervously sweat if the conversation lasted more than five minutes. I was the girl who couldn’t even look at herself in the mirror because she believed the lies that told her she was ugly, useless, and untalented.
But God had different plans. He helped me to finish out the school semester, while working through the anxiety of life and homework. After finishing the semester, I withdrew from college and started preparing for the next season of life God was calling me into. I came to Tyler, Texas in the spring to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS), not having any idea what I was heading into, but God completely shattered my expectations.
God showed me the value I have in Him. I am brave, beautiful, and worthy. God restored my broken past and helped fill the cracks in my heart with His love. During outreach, I got to see that He loves others just as much as He loves me, and He wants to be in relationship with everyone. Now, I can do something permanent to show others the love that their savior has for them, unashamedly sharing the gospel. It’s not just winning souls, it’s being in relationship with people that God made in His own image.
God had different plans than I did, and I'm thankful for that! His plans are best!
~ Hannah Schneider, current SOE student