Leave It All: The Journal of a Maybe Missionary (buy it here!) is a book I spent three years writing. It’s about adventure, God, growing up, and wild border crossings. It’s written for people who have itchy feet, searching hearts, and strong stomachs.
I wrote Leave It All by distilling the diaries, correspondences, and blogs I wrote in 2014 when I was 23 and serving on the World Race, an 11-month, 11-country mission trip. Thousands of young adults have embarked on the World Race since its inception nearly fifteen years ago, and some have written books about their experiences. Many of those books tell of miraculous healings, powerful prayer, and deepened faith in Jesus.
Leave It All, however, takes a raw, questioning look at the wild world of short term missions. This diary speaks in a funny, adventurous, and unflinchingly candid voice about my choice to be a missionary–a choice which, I quickly saw, turned my world upside down and my brain inside out.
This book, my journal, is full of contradictions. It’s about my lifelong commitment to God… and my doubt in God’s existence. It’s about my urge to be an intrepid traveler… and the ensuing awkwardness of being an outsider everywhere. It’s about living in close community… and the profound inconvenience of, well, other people. It’s about my love of hard work… and my love of personal comfort. It’s about serving people as a missionary all over the world, bringing the light of the Gospel and the truth of Jesus’s love… and the problematic nature of such presumptions. It’s about how I spent a year as a missionary… maybe.
“…Greenwood shows us the riches in the spirit that a difficult itinerary can unlock.”Seth Barnes, Founder of Adventures in Missions
What the back cover says:
“11 countries. 11 months. A radical choice. A gutsy move. A decision that changed her life forever.
“Shortly after graduating from college, young, witty, and vibrant Chelsea Greenwood made the decision to embark on the World Race, an opportunity to visit 11 countries in 11 months as an evangelizing Christian missionary. The problem was… she wasn’t even confident about what she believed, much less her ability to convince someone else of it.
“How could she share her shaky faith with others as “the Truth”? How could she be a missionary to the world, when her own internal world was full of turmoil and doubt? Could she pray on behalf of other people to a God she was not even quite sure exists?
“Leave It All is Chelsea’s story, told in her own words with lighthearted candor, poignant anecdotes, and hard-hitting transparency. Her honest, sometimes raw first-person account of her travels with leave you laughing, crying, and wanting to question life’s deepest meaning for yourself.”