Hi there! My name is Julia Tucker and I serve as the elementary intern at the downtown congregation.
Growing up, my family went to church sporadically. We did some of the “Christian” things you do, like celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc; but, I personally had no idea what it meant to follow Jesus or what the reality of Jesus was for me. Things changed in 2013 while I was in college. The reality of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection had a whole new meaning for me. Jesus had called me out of darkness and into the light of a relationship with him. As a brand new follower of Jesus, I was extremely excited, but I had no idea what craziness the next five years of my life would hold.
Two months after deciding to follow Jesus, my mom was diagnosed with stage four, triple negative breast cancer. This type of cancer is extremely aggressive and hard to treat. We also learned she had the BRCA 1 gene which basically makes your chances of getting cancer really high. Over the next year and a half, the cancer rapidly spread. Thankfully my love and trust in Jesus was rapidly growing too. I had no idea what was going to happen with my mom, or my life, but I continued to believe that Jesus was better than what was going on. My mom passed away in May 2015 and things only got harder. For the next two years, I felt like I could not catch a break in life and there were many times I doubted the goodness of God. I think of 2017 as being my Ecclesiastes year. I searched high and low for anything (except Jesus) to satisfy me and the void I felt, but nothing worked. I always ended up tired of trying and emptier than I was before I began. Things changed in 2018, by the grace of God, and I stopped trying. 2018 is the year I began my internship with Frontline Church.
Before the internship, I was teaching first grade at a school in Edmond, OK. I absolutely LOVED teaching and planned to continue teaching the next year. During the last two weeks of school, I randomly thought of the internship at my church and applied for it, even though I had no idea what it entailed. I found out a few days later that doing the internship would mean I would have to quit my job as a teacher for the next year and raise support for living expenses. When I found that out, I said, “absolutely not.” I had zero intentions on leaving behind what was comfortable: my friends, consistency in the work day, predictable income. Clearly, my plan was not God’s plan. Quickly I was shown that if I chose to stay teaching, I was choosing being comfortable over following what Jesus had in store for me. I decided I just couldn’t do that. The day we cleaned out our classrooms, after school had ended for summer break, I resigned from my job and made my decision official. This decision was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Over the next two months, I had multiple dreams of making the wrong choice and spent many days crying and questioning myself. BUT, every time this happened, I could feel the overwhelming comfort and love of God telling me it was the best decision I could have made.
The internship is officially halfway over. During the first semester, we spent a ton of time learning about ourselves (the good, the bad, and the straight UGLY) and about God’s pursuing love for us. If I had to name the most profound thing I learned in the first semester, it would be how loved I am. I discovered that my inability to be vulnerable and share myself with others stemmed from my fear of being abandoned, being left, and just not being good enough. Since this discovery, I have been able to learn more about myself, share myself with others in a deeper way than ever before, and I have begun to experience God in a whole new way.
The ability to experience His grace has abounded in my life. Things that I have known in my head for years are beginning to move into my heart, where I can truly believe them. The reality of Romans 8:38-39 means so much to me now. “ For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Nothing I do or do not do changes my status with God. He chose me before the world began to be His daughter and because of this, He will never know me apart from being exactly that.