In the summer of 2000 I was faced with single parenting four children ages 8 months, 2, 4 and 9. I had no way to support them and did the only thing I knew to do to equip myself to become the main breadwinner. I went back to college.

It took me seven years to earn my bachelors degree. Part of that was due to transferring colleges, and part because I couldn’t always swing a full time schedule and part-time work. I finished. Along the way my husband and I worked things out, but I was determined to never face the situation again where I had no way to support myself and my children.

Marriage’s don’t always heal quickly. We spent several years in pain and continuing to hurt each other. I spent years wondering if he would come home after work. At any moment things could sour and I would be faced with single parenting again. I planned on getting a nice job upon graduation. I wanted to put my degree to use and build some stability in my life.

I did a degree audit two semesters before graduation and realized that I had to complete an internship in order to complete my degree. Things at home were stable enough that I could do that, but where? I don’t live in a metropolis, and I still had four young children to take care of. I couldn’t afford to pay a babysitter while I completed an internship somewhere for little or no money.

God had plans. He had the most amazing plans.

A friend of mine invited me to be on a board of a nonprofit. A pregnancy center. She was a close friend so I said yes. I had no clue what a pregnancy center was and no idea what a board member did, but I showed up to the meetings. Around this same time I was able to review what would be required for my upcoming internship. I emailed my professor for the next semester and asked if I could complete the internship at the pregnancy center. It seemed like a good fit. I could complete all the requirements at the center. The professor agreed.

In August I began to volunteer at the center two afternoons a week. I was there to help and complete the work for my internship. As I look back I realize that God had a plan. A plan that I could have never imagined. I was clueless to what was getting ready to happen. God had me right where He wanted me, and I had no idea of the events that would take place that would completely change my life.

I want to write a series called The Internship. It has been ten years since I completed that internship, and now I am preparing to complete another. This internship is one that will help me transition to become a government employee. The story of how I got here today is not unlike the one before. I am four weeks away from starting the next internship and wonder what God has in store. If it’s like before then I know something amazing is about to happen.

I also want to write about what happened to me through that first internship. God took a hopeless sinner and used her to help others. He took a rebel and molded her into a servant. He took my independent heart and carved it until it became enamored with touching the lives of others.

God has us right where He wants us. That place might not be anywhere we had planned to be, but make no mistake that you are where you are for a reason. I am where I am for a reason. I look forward to sharing this journey with you. I hope it helps you with yours.

Marcy Pedersen

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