fellow internship experience

Note: this post was written by Martie Fulk, former Charlotte Fellow class of 2014. Martie currently lives in Charlotte and works for Boosterthon Fun Run as a Program Leader. 

In the fall of 2014 I moved to Charlotte, NC to join the Charlotte Fellows program. Before that I had been living in Los Angeles and pursuing a career in sketch and improv comedy. While this may sound exciting and glamorous, I assure you it was not. The two years I spent in L.A. were extremely dark. When I finally moved away I was looking for something to fix me, to give me purpose, and to make me feel like I was a part of something really amazing. I could NEVER have predicted what the year had in store for me. 

After accepting the offer to be a Charlotte Fellow, I was excited to figure out what my internship would be. I ended up getting placed with Boosterthon Fun Run. After talking to Mark Norman, the General Manager for Boosterthon Charlotte, I knew the job would be a good fit. Boosterthon is a fitness-based fundraiser for elementary schools. We help schools raise funds for much needed improvements while also promoting fitness, leadership, and character.

Sounds fun, right? My thoughts exactly. I felt like I was made for this job—it combined all of my natural skills and gifts: high energy, public speaking, and working with kids. But I had no idea that the Lord was going to use this internship to drag out every ugly insecurity I have.

I started the internship with three other fellows: Mary Courtney, Dru, and Mark. I don’t think I would have made it through the internship without these three. Working for Booster involves extremely early mornings (we’re talking 4 a.m. early) and more energy than I ever thought possible. As a result, we were constantly exhausted, and many days we coveted a desk job.

But through this experience, the four of us drew closer. We understood what the other was going through, and we also got to laugh about quirky tendencies of our leaders or hilarious things kids would say to us. It was wonderful getting to experience this internship together (though I’m pretty sure we drove the other fellows crazy with all of our inside jokes and shenanigans).

Rewind to October of my Fellows year, only two months into the program and my internship. Sitting on the couch in my Barnabas counselor’s office, I am crying because I don’t want to stay with Boosterthon. I was broken, insecure, and just wanted to run away from it all. I have struggled with body image all of my life, and this job amplified that struggle. Working with so many incredibly fit and attractive people gave me a bit of a complex.

Also as a perfectionist, I want to be the best at what I do, and this often drives me to work harder than I should. I wanted to impress my boss so I would work extra days or take on more responsibility. I have always been a performer, and this was no different. I eventually realized that I was trying to make everyone happy which was utterly exhausting.

It was then that I realized I have an Audience of One. When I stop worrying about what other people think and focus solely on glorifying the Lord, everything else just doesn’t seem as important. This radically changed how I view my job, my friendships, and myself. I can’t be perfect—in fact, I never will be. But Jesus took care of that for me. My imperfections just make me cling tighter to the truth of the gospel.

Fast forward to April of my Fellows year: I'm sitting on that exact same couch and telling my counselor how excited I am to stay with Booster as a Program Leader next year. She reminds me about my visit that October and helps me see how much the Lord has changed my heart. Through this experience I learned that our Father is good, and he can be trusted. He will never force us into something we hate, but rather change the desires of our hearts.

I am now in my third year with Boosterthon, and I can’t imagine what my life would be without it. I have grown immensely in my faith as I have been able to pray for and love schools in a way I never thought possible. My boss, Mark Norman, has shown me how to truly care for my team both inside and outside of work. Like a family, we love and encourage each other through the good and the bad. This job has also led me to my future husband. I met Taylor at a work event last December, and we are getting married this coming May. He is kind, driven, and loves Jesus way more than he loves me.

Did Booster fix me or give me true fulfillment? No. I know now that no job, person, or situation will ever be able to fully do that--only Jesus can. I have been blessed by this job, but more than that I have been blessed by the Lord’s provision. When we focus on living before an Audience of One, we can move beyond ourselves and love others for the sake of the Kingdom.