Friday, March 29, 2013

My Plans Are Not My Own

©Allison Rushing

Over the years I have learned to hold plans loosely, but sometimes God still has to beat it into my head that my plans are not mine at all.
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9
 This is one of those times where my plans changed, but I know that God is so much bigger than my plans. I'm not saying I handled it well...I bawled me eyes out in front of people I barely knew.

I never know quite where to start when I'm telling people about my plans to head to S. Asia because this has been a slow chipping away process over many years. It started when I went to Greece in 2008. I realized on that trip that I could use my skills in media to share my faith overseas. Through a series of events, this lead to me applying for and getting into seminary...Southwestern Seminary. If you know me, then you know that's not where I wound up. I'm in Louisville at Southern Seminary and loving it here.

My change in seminary plans is the first time I had big plans completely pulled out from under me. SWBTS used to have a media program. I was planning on doing this program and moving there right after working at camp in TX summer of '09. It was on my last 24 hr period off that my mom called me and told me she couldn't find that emphasis on their website anymore. She woke me up with a call that morning to inform me that she talked to the school and they no longer offered that emphasis.

Getting this type of news right as you wake up is not pleasant...and your emotions aren't very rational when you're awoken like that. I started questioning what I was doing with my life. Was I supposed to go to seminary? I've graduated college. I'm working at a summer camp. I don't have a backup plan. WHAT AM I DOING?! Those were the thoughts going through my mind. Thankfully a friend of mine calmed me down, we continued with our plans for the day, and my parents and I started contacting anyone we knew who might be able to help.

My former pastor, Dr. Sills, was one of the people my parents contacted, and he responded with a long email about the M.Div. Great Commission emphasis at SBTS. I was told I could get in on special student status. I don't really remember my thought process that day, but I decided to go for it. The next day I was in at SBTS and had housing available in the dorms. I drove the 10 hrs home from camp at the end of the week, got in at 1 in the morning, then headed to Louisville early the next morning. I was the last girl to move into the dorms, and classes started the day after I got to Southern. I'm pretty sure I was in seminary culture shock for at least my first month. I have fallen in love with this city and my church here. Leaving will be incredibly hard, but this experience is one I can look back on and see firsthand how God has been faithful. His plans are so much better than my own. (Side note: I came to seminary with the idea of doing some sort of media ministry.)

Fast-forward to this past summer when I went to Nepal. I fell in love with the people there, and with the vision of Sojourn. This renewed my interest in heading overseas and I began the application process. I was accepted and thought another girl from Sojourn would be going to the same conference as me, but that fell through. Just days after that fell through, I was contacted by someone asking if I was interested in doing media since they saw I had a background in it.

Of course I was interested. There were emails back and forth until right before I went to the conference where I would be putting job/location preferences. I thought the job I wanted was a sure thing. I love photography and was excited to get to combine my passions. The conference was from a Wed. evening to a Sat. morning. Friday I was told that I needed to meet with the head photographer. I had no clue that I would be meeting with him while at this conference, and it didn't go well. Once again, my plans were suddenly changing. I walked out of the room and started sobbing and asking God why. I knew though. I knew I was too set on my own plans, and that he had better plans for me. I was still upset, but I knew that plans were out of my hands at this point. I had a night to figure out which jobs to put down as my top three choices when everyone else had been figuring this out for the past few days. Whatever happened was exactly what God had planned for me. I had my past experience with my seminary plans to show me that.

I believe God used the possibility of that media job to open me up to the location. I don't know if I would have considered this particular city if it weren't for those emails and some friends of mine also moving to this same city. I wasn't surprised at all when I got the phone call letting me know I had been matched to a job in S. Asia. It hasn't been an easy journey, but I'm truly excited about the future. I'm also quite nervous, and there are many days I don't feel adequate. And you know what, I'm not adequate. But with His strength I am.

Specific ways you can pray for me:
• That I don't let the busyness of my last semester keep me from being in the Word.
• That my various transitions from Louisville to MS to VA to S. Asia go smoothly.
• That I don't let goodbyes keep me from being present wherever I'm currently located.
• That I don't let emotions (about my adequacy, goodbyes, learning a new culture, etc.) overrule what I know to be true.

Sorry this post was so long, but it's hard to tell my story in an abbreviated manner...and this was somewhat abbreviated! ha

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Warm Weather & Goodbye Thoughts

I'm ready for it to actually feel like Spring and to see sites like this. I want to see the Dogwoods blooming and the sun shining. It looks like it should finally warm up this week. Let's hope it's actually true. I think I speak for most of Louisville when I say I'm tired of wintry weather. I'm not a fan of winter. Cold weather is just not my thing. I am from Mississippi after all. 

Backlit Pink Dogwoods in the Spring ©Allison Rushing

On a different, but kind of similar, note, it's finally spring break for me...or Spring Reading Days as the seminary calls it. It's hard to believe that it's my last spring break. Knowing that I'll graduate in May is bittersweet. I'm excited about finishing school, but at the same time, I'm used to being in school. I've been in school pretty much my whole life. 

Goodbyes are hard for me. I've seen how God has been faithful in the past when I've made big transitions like moving to Louisville, but I'm still nervous and sad to leave my wonderful community here. You'll probably get tired of hearing me talk about how hard leaving will be, but that's a huge thing on my mind right now, and it helps a little to write about it. I'll talk a little more in one of my next posts about my upcoming move to S. Asia, and how God has lead me there. While I hate that saying goodbye to Louisville will be so hard, I am blessed that my time here has made it hard to say goodbye.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." –A.A. Milne

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Do you like Pride & Prejudice?

Yes? Maybe? Not sure?

Then you should check out this awesome youtube series if you haven't seen it already. It's a modernized adaption of Pride & Prejudice told primarily through Lizzie Bennet's video diaries. You can just watch her videos, or you can get even more involved by following the characters' twitter accounts and some of the other characters' videos. It's pretty great. I have Laura to thank for getting me hooked on this series. Because of this series and Laura's passionate discussions about the awesomeness of Jane Austin, I am now rereading Pride & Prejudice.  I am quite sad that there is only one new episode of this youtube series left.

Here is the first episode. You can find them all on her youtube channel, and you can find out more about the series here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fresh Start

Decided to give this blogging thing another go. This isn't my first time blogging, but I decided to go for a fresh start because I hated my old design, and it was just easier to start over, so welcome to Adventures of an Allison!

These posts will be, simply, whatever is on my, school, travel, what God is teaching me, etc. I tend to be a sporadic blogger, so I apologize now for that, but I'm going to try to be better this time around.

I'll use this first post to tell you a little about myself. I'm sure if you're reading this, there's a good chance you know me, but maybe you'll learn something new. :)

I feel like my life has been an adventure, hence the name of this blog. I currently live in Louisville, KY, and am in grad school as a seminary student. The decision to come to Louisville was made a week before I moved I said, my life has been an adventure. I've been here since Fall '09, and have come to love this place. I'll be graduating in May with my M.Div., which is both exciting and scary. I feel like I've been in school all my life, so it's weird to think about being done soon. In fact, I don't let myself think about leaving Louisville and my friends here because, while I'm excited about the future, I'll cry if I start thinking about saying goodbye to people here.

Once I graduate, I'll be in Louisville through the end of June, then home to Mississippi for a few weeks before moving to Virginia for two months, then off to S. Asia for two years! I'll save that story for another post.

Some basics facts about me:
Name: Allison
Family: Parents (Lane & Judy), and two younger sisters (Lindsey & Taylor)
Education: SBTS working on my M.Div.; Mississippi College, B.S. Graphic Design
Location: Currently in Louisville, KY but from Ridgeland, MS and soon to be in S. Asia

Color: Teal/Turquoise
Book: Harry Potter Series...I love fiction in general. I'm trying to make myself reread the classics I had to read in high school now that I'll enjoy them more. Rereading Pride & Prejudice now.
TV: Bones (I'm a sucker for Crime Dramas...weird?), New Girl (Should I admit to liking it as much as I do?), Gilmore Girls (Miss it!)
Music: Sojourn (my church has seriously good music), NEEDTOBREATHE, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, Dave Barnes, Matt Wertz, Ben Rector, Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, etc.
Food: I'll try just about anything once. I'm not picky. I grew up eating good Cajun, so that's definitely a favorite.

Other miscellaneous facts: My church is wonderful. If you live in Louisville, you should check out Sojourn. I'm at the East campus. Joining a community group is a great way to get to know some people and form great friendships, see:

Also, I love photography. Check out my work on Flickr and on my FB page!

Anyway, that's a little about me...hope you enjoy the blog! I look forward to getting back into blogging.  Feel free to subscribe to keep up with my posts. :)
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