XPLOR is a Roadway

Natalie LanghamNatalie Langham

To say that XPLOR has been, and is, a crazy ride would be an understatement. To say it wasn’t divine intervention would be impossible. As I write this, I can only be AMAZED at the change that has already transpired, only over the course of a single year!

The first seed of transformation budded when I said yes to XPLOR, which seems so long ago now. The journey of 1,000 miles started with a single step; a single word. It was only a short 365 days ago that I went to bed with a future that was scattered into a million directions, uncertain. I was waiting. Waiting for school (or life) to be over with. I was waiting and trying in vain to plan for that future, searching and searching for the next possible path, if it existed.

It was only a short 365 days ago that I was in school in my spring semester, loaded with 18 hours, and seriously worried about flunking out of college if I couldn’t get all I needed in order. In addition to that, I was fighting with one of my best friends, and as a result was miserable. Yet, I was quite passively unaware of the answered prayer and the enormous change that was already taking place by then.

It’s strange, really. I don’t think that God changes; I think that life changes, drastically. All the time. And I wonder every single day of my life about destiny and chance. About fate and coincidence. I can report with an honest heart that I KNOW that God has intervened in this life, because I told God in October of 2018 that I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m tired. I’m sick. I don’t want to do this anymore. Please, change my life, or take me. That prayer was 100 percent answered, because the following week I received a text from my mom saying to come to church that particular Wednesday night; there was someone I needed to see. My curiosity piqued higher than my misery for the moment and I went. Lo and behold was Ben Bohren! This wonderful man that I would gradually come to know was speaking of an OPPURTUNITY, not an escape, not a way out, but a way IN.

XPLOR is a roadway that led me outside of the dome. Since this transition began, I have seen many, many new and glorious things! I have had the privilege to meet all sorts of amazing and interesting characters and have had the chance to get to know more through extension. I’ve seen transformation in the smiling faces of said new characters, and my job and its particular duties. There’s even transformation in everyday life! I wake up early, go to work. But here’s the fun part. I get to do something MEANINGFUL, as all of you do. I can’t thank God enough! I get the opportunity to work with adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities. I come in there every workday, and always have something new to learn from them. Every day, the people I work with teach me about loving kindness, honestly, and what it means to be human in the raw. I never come back from work without having gained something from the day-to-day experience. It is my hope that XPLOR will be a transformative year for us all, and God be with y’all.

NBA XPLOR is a 10-month service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve. Learn more and apply at nbacares.org/xplor.