farewell ohio, hello new season.

My time in Ohio has come to a close. No more Monday night small group or Wednesday night dance class. No more popping over at my sister’s place on Sunday morning for breakfast and The New York Times. No more walking down High Street with my dad as we pick a place to eat lunch. No more seeing movies by myself at the dollar theater (…no more covering the seats with trash bags because of the bed bug epidemic that is taking over central Ohio.) No more signature salads from Cosí. No more big, shiny Target three minutes away.

It’s bittersweet, I guess. More sweet than bitter. I love Ohio, the people there and the memories it holds. But it’s not the place for me. I know I was supposed to be there for the last six months, but during that time I was also haunted by a looming sense that I don’t belong there.

My last few days were spent doing all those things you do before leaving town. Returning books to the library, trips to the bank and post office, finally washing all my World Race gear that I used for a year and am now using again, buying contact solution and Shampoo&Conditioner (combined in one bottle – missionary style), dates with friends, packing up my room, going away party…

And now I’m in Georgia. My Real Life leader training begins on Thursday, the students arrive on Saturday and the following Wednesday we leave for Nicaragua. It’s kind of surreal that it’s all finally happening.

A few months ago I spent my days kneeling on the floor in my bedroom, listening to the song “You’ll Come” by Hillsong and confessing all my confusion to God. I had applied to jobs and been rejected from jobs. I had been invited to a final interview with Teach for America and was waiting months to find out about acceptance. I wondered if I should apply to lead a Real Life trip and when I did I waited for weeks with no response. What was God doing in my life!?? Everything was so uncertain.

Patience and trust. That’s what God was teaching me. And now I know what’s going on and I get to live it out – at least the next step.

To be honest, I feel more sure about this than I have felt about anything else in life. Leading this trip to Nicaragua feels so right. Now I understand why I was rejected from all those jobs. I was supposed to do something else.

A Real Life trip typically consists of a male and female leader with coed students. But I had a desire for something different, so I began praying for an all girl’s team. In the beginning of November I was told that a guy was accepted to the trip but had not yet committed. I prayed fervently that God would call him to something else. Well, God heard and considered my prayer because I am leading an all girl’s team.

Recently God reminded me of something he spoke to me last June: “You are still single because your influence is more powerful that way – especially among up and coming females.”

It seems fitting, really, leading an all girl’s team out of the country when I’m fasting from boys. This time last year I was heartbroken over a boy – this time this year boys aren’t even on my mind. Jesus is my boyfriendddd.

I believe these four months we are in Nicaragua will be a sacred time. I’m determined to push myself and these girls to the limit…and then some. Because when we cross over our limits we experience the fresh grace of God.

I expect to have lots of stories about God’s amazing power and love to share over the next few months. Internet access will be scarce so I won’t be posting on this blog as much – though I’ve made it my goal to update twice a week.

I’m excited. I’m done with the past and ready to embrace the future. For so long God has said to me, “wait, wait, wait” and now he is finally saying, “okay, go.”

Okay, I’m going.


About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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5 Responses to farewell ohio, hello new season.


    all girls.
    God is so good.

    love ya hopie. super excited for ya too!

  2. shanaynegans says:

    Recently God reminded me of something he spoke to me last June: ”You are still single because your influence is more powerful that way – especially among up and coming females.”

    I love this because a lot of girls that are single in their early-mid 20’s are confused why they are single and are out on the hunt for a husband. I think it’s awesome that God has shown you the power of being single and the influence and encouragement that brings to other women. You have encouraged me!!!

  3. It’s neat to see how God has made your path so clear — even just by pure elimination of other options :-). It sounds like He has good stuff in store for you

  4. lauren says:

    hi. i love you. i miss you already. i’m so excited to see how God uses you over the next four months.

    and friday night was great.

    the end.

  5. Rothman says:


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