Jessica's 18 Inch Journey

In the spring of 2018, I remember Jesus speaking to me a simple but life-altering phrase: “Surrender to me a season.” I had just spent the last four years of my life laboring with the Lord at ECU, earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts, where Jesus had provided me with a full ride scholarship to be able to pursue the dream he had planted in my heart. I am confident of the calling he has placed on my life, and I know he sent me there to prepare me for all that’s ahead. But during the fall of my Senior year, I started to feel a shift and a question from the Lord- "If you weren’t doing theatre for a while, would you be okay?" And I began this adventure with Jesus of submitting to his good plan, surrendering my need to understand, and yielding to his leading.

I graduated on a Friday, celebrating God’s faithfulness and his provision of this debt-free diploma I now held in my hands. On the following Monday I packed everything I owned from my 22 years of life into my 20-year-old car and drove to New Bern, where I placed that degree under my desk and started a journey of working in full time ministry. I’ve been working in a different expression of my calling than I ever expected, laboring with Lord in a church setting, being blessed by new relationships, and learning new skills I know I’ll take with me for the rest of my life.

This season has been full of tears and joy, of wrestle and breakthrough, and most of the moments cannot be fit neatly into boxes. I have encountered Jesus here in a deep and profound way, and have learned what it is that truly, he and I are one. This has been a divinely preparational season.

Earlier this spring, I felt the Father inviting me to a new phase of the adventure, encouraging me to apply for the 18 Inch Journey, a two month school for the heart that is located in Sophia, North Carolina. The school is fairly competitive to get into, and I was honored to be accepted into the 2020 class. The Journey starts on September 3rd and goes until November 7th. Johnathan David and Melissa Helser (you may recognize them as the writers of No Longer Slaves and Raise a Hallelujah), who run the school, are passionately committed to equipping sons and daughters of God to walk confidently in their identities, fueled and empowered by the Holy Spirit to sustainably walk with Jesus in their callings. After much prayer, I've confirmed my acceptance to this year's class, and I am so expectant for how Jesus is going to meet me and radically shape me during this time.

As I take this step into all that's next, I would so appreciate your prayers. I know that this school is going to be massively equipping for me as a daughter of the Lord and I believe there are going to be foundations built in this time that I will stand on for the rest of my life. I would love prayers for my heart to be absolutely open and surrendered, and for my hands to be empty to receive every good gift that I believe God wants to pour out during this time. 

As I prayed about how the Lord wanted to provide for this school, I felt him encouraging me to reach out to my community and provide an opportunity to sow into all that he is doing. The total cost of tuition for this school is $4,500, which will include all classes, teachings, supplies, lodging, and food. I am confident that the seeds planted in this season will bear lasting fruit that will impact lives far beyond mine. I’m so overwhelmed by what a beautiful gift it is to sow into Kingdom work, and so I wanted to provide you with this opportunity however you feel led.  

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I cannot wait to return and share all of the ways God has proven himself faithful.
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