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Making my path straight

How God led me to serve Him at OneWay

Claire Nyberg is a year-long communications resident with OneWay. Claire reflects on her call to missions.


I couldn’t believe that I had just sent that email. My heart sank as I leaned back in my rickety dorm room chair. Ten years of dreaming and praying and hoping for a career in missions, all gone with the click of the “send” button on my laptop.

But it wasn’t I who made that decision — God did.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to be a missionary. When I was a kid, I asked to go on my first mission trip as a Christmas present, and from then on I was convinced that I had found my calling. As I got older, I discovered that God had also given me a love for stories. When I was a teenager, my love for reading grew into a passion for writing and editing the silly stories that my sister and I wrote together.

By the time I entered college, my two passions grew into a dream to help missionaries write and share their stories with the world.

Fast-forward to my senior year of college. In October, I reached out to a missions organization that I had interned with a couple of years prior. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about the idea, but it was the only professional connection I had. Plus, I loved the work that I did for this organization before, so surely it would be a good fit … right?

A month later, in November, the organization offered me a position where I would write and share stories about missions using social media. Eager to have the security of a job, I accepted the position in January. Over the next two months, I signed the offer letter and started looking for post-college housing. I made plans to start support-raising, and I found a couple of part-time jobs to work until I was fully funded. I excitedly told everyone I knew that I would be working in my dream job right after graduation and that I was so thankful that God had provided this opportunity for me.

And then one day in March, God told me to walk away from that job. With no explanation or plan for what came next.

To be completely honest, I was relieved.

I had been working so hard to find new housing, but every single opportunity closed before I could make an offer. On top of that, neither of the part-time jobs I had lined up paid me enough to live very well. Leaving that organization felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. But at the same time, I felt like a failure. I knew that God was calling me into missions, so why would he tell me to walk away from it?

After I turned down that position, I went back to applying for every job I could within my field. Secular, missions, nonprofit, it didn’t matter to me; I just wanted a job. But every job I applied for rejected me. I couldn’t find any housing near my college, and I didn’t want to move into my family’s small apartment. I spent many nights on the phone, crying with my mom and wondering what I was going to do after college.

And then on March 30, two people who didn’t know each other texted me a photo of OneWay’s Young Adults program with the message, “This would be a great fit for you.” Weird.

As I looked at the brochure, I realized that my professor had told me that a missions organization called OneWay Ministries was going to visit our class sometime in March and that I should look into them for a potential career. Weird!

And then I realized that, months ago, I had messaged the OneWay Young Adults Coordinator over Instagram to ask her about a residency position. Okay, that’s really weird!

And then the same woman who messaged me over Instagram, Kate Kavanaugh, visited my class that afternoon, recognized me, and encouraged me to apply for the residency. Okay, God, I see what you’re doing!

I applied to work with OneWay as a communications resident, and I was accepted 10 days later. When I moved to Chicago in May, I was welcomed into a kind and caring community that loves media and missions. They helped me find housing and covered my basic expenses until I could start support-raising.

During the last two months, I’ve written and shared stories that inspire people to pray for missions and encourage young people to follow their calling into missions. And I’ve loved every minute of it.

In Proverbs 3:5–6, the poet says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

This verse has meant a lot to me in the past year. When I sent that email to the other organization in March, I didn’t know what God was calling me to do. All I could do was trust that He would make my path straight — not easy, not short, not comfortable, but straight. Who knew that one decision would make my calling into missions more beautiful and wonderful than I could ever imagine?

God did. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

Claire and other young adults at OneWay are working to raise the funds for their salary, covering rent, food and other living expenses. Would you prayerfully consider joining Claire's support team?


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