I reread my previous blog posts from 2015/16 and I am in awe of how The Penny Story has grown over the past three years, and in awe of how I have not blogged ANY of this growth. That is not okay! I wish I had shared this journey all along the way but there’s no need in dwelling on that. 

On September 14, 2015, I posted a blog and the first thing I said was, “My name is Kendall and I have no idea what I am doing.” It is now March 2017 and I still have no idea what I am doing. Actually - I have no idea what I am doing more so now than ever before!

Here is what I do know: the Lord loves that penny more than I am capable of loving it and he wants to see human trafficking abolished more than I do. For these two reasons, The Penny Story has thrived over the past three years. 

I currently work full time at Southeastern University (SEU), which is the absolute best place to spend 4 years of your life trying to figure out who you are, otherwise known as college. This university changed my world! If you could cut me open and look at the DNA of my heart and soul, you’d see influencers from SEU all over it. I am who I am because of SEU. The same is true for The Penny Story… the penny is endearingly loved at SEU and it has experienced much growth because of SEU’s support. 

I have been part of the SEU family since August 2009 and part of the First Year Experience (FYE) Team at SEU since February 2010. I wanted to be on the FYE Team so that I could help freshmen transition well into the SEU family, like the FYE Team did for me my freshman year. FYE was integral in my undergraduate time at SEU and I told God that if he gave me the opportunity to give back what I was given, I’d do it in a heartbeat. That opportunity presented itself when I began SEU’s Master of Professional Counseling program and was offered the position of Graduate Assistant for FYE. I was honored and did not hesitate to accept.  I finished graduate school and my Graduate Assistant position transitioned into working full time for the department of FYE. I was overwhelmed with joy to take this job! To be the person overseeing the department and shaping the culture of the first year experience for hundreds upon hundreds of students was, and is, an honor. I truly love my job. There is not a day I wake up and dread going into work. I look at my calendar for the day and most days I think, “I get paid to do this?” 

I have been part of the SEU and FYE family for eight years. Eight life-defining years. Eight years that brought me to a place of wholehearted surrender to Jesus. Eight years that taught me how to seek God, not make plans. Eight years that taught me how to be a hard worker and value people and relationships more than tasks. Eight years that have given me a lifelong vision to change the world of human trafficking and bring every person I come into contact with to desire Jesus more than anything, I mean anything, else. 

I could never see myself leaving SEU. How could I? I could spend the rest of my life invested at SEU, pouring my energy and time into mentoring college-aged students, seeing them change the world in the way God designed them to. Heck, I even share an office with my best friend (whom I also happen to live with. Watch my Instagram stories if you need some random entertainment). It’s like I get to have a slumber party every night and then go into the office and work hard only to go home and have another slumber party. 

I get to work at SEU, give back what I was given, live and work with one of my very best friends, and do The Penny Story. I really don’t think there could be anything better. 

But, right when we get comfortable, God starts to unsettle us in some area. And I have met the epitome of comfort. My day to day life at SEU and in Lakeland is effortless. The life I have created here is fun, full, and simple. I love all three of those things. So does God, but what God does is constantly push us to new challenges… He rarely lets us just be content in comfort. We were created to grow - so when comfort settles in in all areas of your life, be prepared for God to take you to new spaces and places. When we are unsettled, he is positioning us to transition us. 

Now, let me tell you what this means for me…