Four years ago today I was in the middle of my first short-term mission trip. And what I learned in and around that trip, changed my life.
You see, I'd always had a heart to serve, a heart to travel, and a heart for people. And whenever a missions opportunity would come up, my spirit would stir and I would talk and I would dream. But I would never do.
Until four years ago. Until the day I sat with my Bible and my journal. Just me and God and my list of hopes and desires, questions and fears.
And one by one, God ever-so-gently answered every one of my questions. Addressed every one of my fears. Until all that was left was this plea:
But, God, I'm still afraid. And so I need You to tell me what to do. Yes or no? Go or stay? Tell me what to do.
And God's answer? It blew me away.
In fact, I was so surprised that I wasn't sure I wanted to accept it at first.
What did He say? He said:
I love you either way. You decide.
What? That was an answer I simply was not prepared for!
So, I asked again:
But, God, I need You to tell me what to do!
And His answer stayed the same:
I love you. And I will love you either way. If you decide to go, go and enjoy! Embrace it. Be excited and go. Be all in. And if you decide to stay, stay and enjoy! Embrace it. Be all in here. You decide. I love either way.
Well, I did end up going. And my life was changed. But it wasn't just the trip itself, although I received an amazing amount of revelation and freedom from going on that trip.
The life-changing revelation began before the trip. When I sat with God. Bringing all my fears, all my questions, all my stuff. Until we got to the very bottom. The very core: I had virtually no idea what it meant to be a friend of God. Oh, I knew what it looked like to be a servant. And I had good idea of what it looked like to be a slave. But a friend? A child? That I had almost no clue about.
And so I want to encourage you, if you are at all like me. This journey that you're on. This relationship that you're in. It is so much less about rules and tasks and being told what to do, and so much more about love and friendship and partnership.
So go ahead. Dream. Ask. Go. And do.
Tell Papa God what's in your heart. Tell Him what you long for and tell Him what you're afraid of. Yes, He already knows, but He so longs to hear it from you!
And those amazing desires you have to love, serve and change the world? He put them there! So run with them! He's right there, cheering you on!
I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn't confide in his slaves. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father told Me. You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. This is My command: Love each other. John 15:15-17 NLT
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord's favor has come. Isaiah 61:1-2