Here is An UNSCRIPTD Journey written by Allison Temnick:
When I was asked to write a post for An Unscriptd Journey my first reaction was to laugh, because my life has certainly appeared to be unscripted at times. I am only 27 years old, but I have lived in seven states and two countries. I am currently writing from my new home in San Diego where I have lived for a year and a half. That is the longest I have live in one place for the last eight years. Here is my story.
Some time between junior high and high school, the roots of my Christian faith started to grow deeply in my life. As a result, I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona with the conviction that I would somehow spend my life helping others. I attended Baylor University, in Texas, studying Marketing and Management, certain that I would find a way to use my degree to make a positive impact for humanity. After graduation, I took as many nonprofit internships as possible. I started as a communications intern at Compassion International in Colorado Springs, Colorado, learning about child sponsorship in developing countries. Soon after, I moved to New York City where I worked for a tutoring and mentoring program, teaching Dominican immigrants and their families about the Gospel and the benefits of pursuing their education. A year later, I thought I might be interested in starting a tutoring and mentoring program of my own, so I taught English in Spain in order to learn Spanish, classroom management skills, and the intricacies of the educational field. Upon completion, I started a Master’s program in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Notre Dame, where I came across a case study on United Way. Because of what I learned, I spent the last three years working in the United Way network, first in Salt Lake City, and now in San Diego.
This journey has been an interesting one. Each new place has brought me face-to-face with a different kind of culture shock. My upper-middle class upbringing provided me with a certain level of stability throughout high school and even college. Contrarily, in New York, I found myself immersed in poverty for the first time. The program I joined intended to teach participants to serve people in poverty by experiencing their challenges, so our wages were set at the federal poverty level. When I moved to Spain, I found myself to be a minority for the first time. In addition to the language barrier, I was the only white person in my group of black and Hispanic friends. My assumptions of what is “normal” were frequently challenged. When I moved to Utah, I saw how destructive religious institutions can be. I also saw the challenges that the LGBT community faces in America (Utah has the second largest LGBT community besides San Francisco). Every time I thought I had a broader, most accepting understanding of society, that understanding was challenged by good, kind people that were completely different from me.
I think it is also important to point out that each time that I have moved, it was not out of a frivolous desire for new experiences. Instead, my life transitions have come from deep prayer and a desire to benefit the lives of others. I have consistently prayed that God would use my life to bless other people, and I believe that that is the kind of prayer that God loves to answer.
One of my favorite quotes is, “You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you’ll miss the person you are at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again.” My favorite thing about moving so much is that I have had the opportunity to reflect, consider who I am and how I act, and choose if and how I want to reinvent myself. I have had the freedom to assess my habits through the eyes of others from different cultures so that I can make more well-rounded decisions about who I want to be. Sometimes moving allows me to leave circumstantial factors like cold weather or language barriers, but other times it prompts me to leave behind deeper qualities, like negative aspects of my own character so that I can more closely resemble the person that God intends for me to be.
Despite the prevailing cultural narrative, progress is not inevitable. Each one of us must choose whether we will learn, grow, and progress through this journey we call life. We must decide how we will handle being confronted with character flaws that are revealed by close contact with others who do not share similar backgrounds. Will we cling closely to what we were told is true during childhood, or will we move closer to what God’s eternal truth reveals? I have done my best to choose the latter, and that has made all the difference.
Although my journey appears to be unorthodox, it is not unscripted. I have handed the pen to the Author of life. If you are up for an adventure, I encourage you to let Him write your life story as well. The beautiful web that He can weave out of the tangled messes we inevitably make will write a story out of your life that the world won’t be able to put down. Like any good page turner, I hope we come to the end with tears in our eyes and a sense of fulfillment knowing that all that has happened was worthwhile but somehow still the best is yet to come.
This is my UNSCRIPTD Journey,
Message from UNSCRIPTD: Alli has an awesome blog of her own so if you liked this story be sure to check out some of her other awesome articles at the following links!