Ah, castles. We've all dreamed of living in one, or at least visiting, after all, they do figure in a lot of fairy tales.
College student, LeAnne Hardy, felt exactly the same way. So much so, she applied to work in a castle in the Austrian Alps. It now served as a Christian youth hostel and conference centre. And she waited expectantly for her acceptance.
It came, and with heart pounding, she tore open the envelope. But it wasn't good news, as they'd already filled all positions for the summer. She tried not to show her disappointment, but what could be better than a castle in Austria? Still, she thought that even if her dream wasn't realized, maybe God had better things in mind for her. So she made plans to attend a month-long leadership camp run by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at Cedar Campus in Michigan. However, she was especially determined to avoid any romantic entanglements that would distract her from deepening her relationship with the Lord. (But as they say...famous last words!)
It happened that one evening after dinner, a group gathered around the piano and began singing songs from popular musicals, and a tall guy with curly hair caught her eye. He was turning pages and singing confidently. She loved singing and often sang lead in school musicals.Well, her friend wanted to see if she could sing as well as ever, so she thrust LeAnne to the piano. And sure enough, she joined the tall fellow in a duet...A Stranger in Paradise. (Sometimes a pushy friend is a blessing!)
Although very attracted to him, it didn't distract her from growing spiritually, as she'd listen attentively to all the visiting missionaries sharing their experiences. Also, she knew that after each session, he'd ask her opinion about it. That's when they discovered they were of the same mind with both desiring to serve the Lord on the mission field. LeAnne now admits that God knew what He was doing when she didn't get her dream job in an Austrian castle, for He really understands the desires of our hearts. Psalm 37:4,5.
Did she miss out on a wonderful adventure? Hmm, you tell me. To date, along with her husband, LeAnne has lived in six countries and four continents. She has sipped tea in Oxfordshire, eaten stewed goat (urk) at a Mozambican wedding, and slid down rocks in a Mato Grosso river! (I hope her jeans were Levis.) Her books for children and young adults come from her cross-cultural experiences, and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths. Maybe you'd like to encourage her by visiting her website at www.leannehardy.net