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Saturday, June 17, 2017

I said Yes! (Part 1)

I said Yes.

I'm not going to get into the history of it all.
How when I was a little girl I had a heart for the nations and knew that I would be a missionary one day.
Or how I grieved and struggled with bitterness toward God because He didn't bring me overseas in my early 20s like I thought He would.
Like I thought He would.
Because I am so crazy passionate about people who don't look like me and weren't born in the same country as me. Who speak English not-so-well or with a deliciously thick accent.
Those who have radically different lives, from the way they dress to the foods they eat.
For many years, I'd say that my heart was African. But my stomach is Nepali, Indian, Thai.... you get the point.

But I said I wasn't going to get into the history of it all. Because to write the history of my heart for the nations is to write the story of my heart. And it isn't so beautiful, flowing with curry and turmeric. It isn't bedazzled with henna and bright paints. It is broken, ashen and covered in sack-cloth.

This part of the story isn't about the past, it's about the future. And how He turns beauty from ashes. He demands me to rend my heart and not my garment. (Which might sound SO weird to you. But to this Jewish loving history geek, this is PROFOUND in my own heart of repentance)

So here is the story-
In Luke 5, Jesus is calling the first disciples. You can read that on your own, but what stood out to me, as I have said YES, is in verse 5 when Jesus asked these guys (fishermen) who are done laboring and have caught nothing, to throw out their nets. These guys are done. They worked hard and have nothing to show for it, they are tired, cleaning up and ready to go home. But Jesus...

Simon wants to point this out to Jesus, not because Jesus is a fool, but I think the writer of this had me in mind. I think the Great Author of this Book was quite intentional in every word, every story.

"Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!
But at your word, I will let down the nets."

Oh God, I have worked so hard. I have done what was good, what was right, what was needed. I have nothing left. I can't do this anymore. I have nothing to sustain me. And yet, you ask something of me that I have tried before and failed. Not for any other reason, or desperation, or pleading on my end, but YOU ask so that YOU might be glorified. I wouldn't otherwise do this, but because you asked. I will. I'm weak and vulnerable. You see it and want to make me whole. Wholly yours. Holy.

"But at your word, I will..."

It took months, multiple people confirming, curious timing, sleepless nights and walking in faith. I said yes before I knew what I was responding to. I said yes, desperate for the longing to settle into peace. I didn't quite know why this stirring started, or when it began. But it was a solid 5 months of this wrestling to understand, make sense, to see.

And in the "end" of it all, I shake my head and laugh. Because it was so obvious. I laugh, with tears streaming down my face, but He is so good. Yet, I struggle with amnesia. I forget so quickly.

All of this goes against my preconceived ideas, my ignorance and my inexperience. But these fears are real because we have support raised and we haven't stopped raising funds to do more. And we have barely made it. I can't express the hurt behind all of that. The mix of gratitute for those who see the need, the vision and give with a happy heart. The pain of rejection and struggling to make ends meet.

Like Simon, this is my answer "Lord, what you ask is big, too big. I know you are good, and my ideas of how it will turn out just need to be turned over to you. I'm choosing to trust you. So I say yes. I'll go. I'm scared and struggling with doubt. Forgive me for my unbelief. I believe that you will make a way. I'm choosing to say YES. To have hope and walk in faith."