16 years ago I thought I gave up a dream. I longed to become a successful writer and get my feet wet in the world of journalism. After graduating from college I wanted to move to New York City and land an entry-level writing job at Essence Magazine, my favorite magazine on the planet.

But I didn’t move to New York and I didn’t get a job at Essence, or any magazine for that matter. New York City would have eaten me alive people! I wasn’t ready for the Big Apple. I was barely ready for Hotlanta, my hometown and Georgia’s capital city. God knew that. He knew a whole lot more than I did at age 21.

Instead of jumping into a writing fairy tale, my career took an unexpected turn towards college ministry. My senior year at UGA, I intersected with a faith-based ministry called The Impact Movement. I applied for an internship, was accepted, and moved to Raleigh-Durham, NC in August 2001 to minister at North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The summer of 2002 I traveled internationally to Cape Town, South Africa to serve with Impact on a mission trip. I sensed the Lord leading me to continue beyond my internship with Impact and in 2003 I became a full-time staff member with the ministry.

Over the next 12 years, God used my journalism background and heart to expose more college students and people of African descent to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I directed communication and marketing projects, served as a conference planner for several national and regional events, coached and developed college students through campus ministry and summer mission trips and created Bible study resources to help others grow in their Christian faith.

In 2015, God called me back to the world of journalistic writing for His glory and presented me with a new assignment. I accepted a full-time writing position as a missionary journalist with the Writers Team of Cru, an international non-profit in Orlando, FL. I joined this team as a trailblazer, becoming the first African-Writing Writer Journalist JournalismAmerican and African-American woman to serve as a staff writer in this department.

As a missionary, I develop a team of ministry partners who pray for me and invest financially in my mission work. Before I stepped into this new role, I needed to take some time to strengthen my partnership team and funding.

December 3, 2016 – one year and nearly four months later – God had my team in place and provided full funding for my ministry. Those 16 months brought me closer to the Lord, deepened my faith, and brought new people into my life who encourage me. As the new year rolls out, I’m excited to enter my second month in this new role. God chose to give me 15 years of development in a different field that laid a foundation for the calling I’m living out now. He didn’t take away my dream of being a successful writer. He had in mind the best time for that dream to become my reality.

Melody Copenny

About Melody Copenny

Melody Copenny is a poet, writer, author and storyteller living a gospel-centered life. A native of Atlanta, GA, she’s called Orlando, FL home since 2005 and been a member of the Discovery Church family for 12 years. Presently she serves as editor in chief for the Discovery Women's Ministry blog, Cherished. She's passionate about the intersection of creativity, words, theology and popular culture and writes to be real, relevant and reveal. A healthy foodie who enjoys cooking well, classic soul and R&B and serving a women’s group at Discovery, she blogs regularly on themes about grieving, mourning, living and loving at www.findingmelodie.com. You can connect to Mel on Twitter & Instagram @findingmelodie.

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