It’s spring break 2017 I’m in the crawl space of a flood-damaged home in Johnsonville, South Carolina. I’m wearing a HAZMAT suit with goggles and a respirator, the whole nine yards. I’m with a team of fellow UTK students ripping out insulation from under a home. In the moment I was asking myself what have I signed up for, and little did I know I was right where God intended for me to be. How I got there… well, I simply said yes to a friend and ultimately to the Lord.

Had you seen me months, weeks, even days before I was on this trip you would have been asking yourself why on earth is this guy on a service trip and the bigger kicker with a Christian organization?  I was asking myself that question, but thankfully I had an amazing friend who pursued me just like the lord had been and I said yes. I thought I was simply going to do some construction and sit through a few Bible studies then I’d return to Tennessee and keep living the self-serving lifestyle I had been. That simple yes ended up changing my life in ways I never could have imagined.

God met me in that crawl space covered with mud, insulation, sweat, and who knows what else. Beyond the physical he met me where I was Spiritually: broken, dirty, sick, wandering, and truly at rock bottom. The Lord used that week and a man, who ended up being the director of Knoxville Fellows, to completely shift the trajectory of my life.

One YES completely deconstructed the future I had planned. Long story short the Lord changed my life that week; spiritual chains I could physically feel the weight of were lifted.  Each night the Lord would ask me to just say yes, trust him, and put myself out there in our small group sessions. Each night I just said yes and let the Lord lead. By the end of the week I’m on the phone with this lady named Theresa Wilson pursuing becoming a Nashville Fellow, and here I am writing this.

I say all this just to prove the point that we must simply follow the Lord’s lead and be willing to just say yes. For me it led me to this program, where I am surrounded by a group of truly incredible and unique individuals. I am being pushed and challenged in so many ways, and there are times I want to stay in my comfort zone and avoid saying yes. This community pushes me, challenges my perspectives, and has helped me grow significantly just in the short amount of time we have shared together. I look back and wonder what if I had said no… Where would I be? How different would my life look? Honestly, I have no clue, but here is what I do know saying yes was the greatest thing I ever did 7 months ago.

So I will leave you with two questions.

What do you need to say yes to in your life?

And where will that Yes take you?

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