By Bianca McInnes
YMO, St John’s College Woodlawn
October 25th, 2018, right in the middle of the HSC exams I walked into the school I had known and loved for 6 years, feeling overwhelmingly nervous and anxious, something I never really felt at the place that made me feel safe. On this day I was sitting my interview for the 2019 Woodlawn YMO. I remember vividly, sitting in the room anxiously waiting for them to call me in thinking to myself why am I here, I am so far out of my league.
Quick story; the reason I probably felt like this is because when I signed in, the row above mine read: ‘Ellen Hales, YMO Interview’. I thought Ellen was a pro. My mind went into a complete spiral, ‘if Ellen’s going for the job? Why would they even bother talking to me? I have absolutely no chance.’ When I walked in and realised she was sitting on the interview panel, I breathed a sigh of relief. But, the panic was still written across my face.
Looking back, I’m not really sure what called me to be a YMO, but after working at Woodlawn for a term now I can already feel myself changing and developing into the role. As if, I have been perfectly placed to fulfill the role of helping people grow and develop inside a school environment. During my senior years of high school I had grown deeper in my faith; initially at my senior retreat and then ACYF. But being a YMO had never really been something I had really considered. When people ask me now why I decided to become a YMO the answer is completely different to what I once would have said. I now know that God called me into this position to witness the way of life of a youthful faith-filled person. But last year I didn’t even know what made me send that expression of interest email, I know I was sitting in English when the expression of interest hit my inbox and within 5 minutes I had applied. I understand now that God was moving and a path had been established for me since the moment I stepped into this world.
God’s plan was always something I understood, even when I wasn’t deep in faith. Long before I could question or contemplate my decisions, God knew the path I was heading down and understood where my choices would take me. Although I still have a lot to learn, the more I explore my faith, the more certain I am I can trust God. I am sure I am exactly where God wants me.
In 2017 I decided to take a leap and attend ACYF in Sydney. At the time, I was going because all my friends were going and I thought it would be a fun final trip away before we graduate. But, now I can’t help but ponder God was taking me there for a deeper purpose. Out of the 20000 attendees, He was reached out to me. He knew that finally I was ready to experience his deeper love. It still gives me goosebumps to think that if I hadn’t of experienced Sister Hilda’s prayer night I wouldn’t have wanted to explore faith deeper and then I wouldn’t be a YMO today. God brought me into the arena that night because He knew I needed a push.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” Proverbs 3:5-6. This is my all time favourite bible quote because it always allows me to fall back on the understanding that God is my safety net. He is always aware of what’s happening and can gives me reason. Whether He lets me gain this understanding the next day, week, month, year or 10, there is always a reason and I can trust in that.
If someone had said to me at ACYF that because of this I would be YMO, I would have laughed in their face. I’m already seeing that there is a reason I am a YMO today, and I’m loving this stage of the journey! I’m excited that I get to deepen my faith while encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and grow in their relationship with God. I can’t wait to see where this year takes me and how it fits in God’s greater plan for Bianca McInnes.