Learning To Say Yes

Throughout these past few weeks in Guatemala, I have been searching for a “central theme” regarding what God is trying to teach me during my time here. And I think I found it.

Two weeks before I left the U.S., I read a book called Kisses From Katie, and not only is it an incredible book, but it’s also the sort of book that really sticks with you. Going into training camp, I still had Katie’s words on my mind and there was one quote in particular I couldn’t shake: “I don’t always know where this life is going. I can’t see the end of the road, but here’s the great part: Courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step. It is about Peter getting out of the boat, stepping out onto the water with complete faith that Jesus will not let him drown.”

I was intrigued with Katie’s determination to say yes to every single crazy thing that God asked of her and trust that He would carry her through. I saw this radical idea of being completely and wholly committed to following Christ and saying yes to him, and I knew that it was what I wanted for my life and my relationship with God.

And this month, God is teaching me to say yes.

On our second night at training camp, I was antsy and more than ready to hit the ground running in Guatemala. I was impatient, and at training camp that night I sat as we practiced listening prayer and I said, “Alright God, You know I’m ready to leave, and I’d really like to just get to Guatemala, but if there’s something You have to say to me, I’m listening.” I sat for a minute in silence with my eyes closed, and I became increasingly impatient, so I decided to grab my Bible and open it to a random page, because why not, right? I hoped God was going to call me to something extraordinary that night, I hoped He was going to tell me I should take my leader up on a volunteer opportunity in Cambodia next summer, and I really hoped He was going to confirm that I should skip college next fall and go into full time missions. So yes, I went into listening prayer half-heartedly and with little patience, but I also went in with high expectations.

When I opened my Bible, I didn’t hear any of those things from God. Instead, I opened my Bible to Isaiah 12. “Okay God,” I said. “These verses are not about going out into the world, they’re not about missions or following Jesus. Theses verses are about praising You. What do you want me to get from that?” And immediately, in the clearest way I’ve ever heard God speak, He said, “Just be here with Me.”

This was the first time I had ever really heard God speak to me, and I should have been elated, but instead, I let fear get to me. I responded to God, “You know that I’m terrified that you’ll ask me to stay home. God, I want you to call me out into the world, and You know I’m scared to death of staying where I am.” God answered: “You’re not home. You leave for Guatemala in two days. For right now, just be here with Me.”

And I said yes.

We are called to follow Jesus—all of us—but we aren’t called to follow on our own terms. I was making my own terms for following Christ, and even if my intentions were good, God is going to call me on His terms and with His timing. For someone like me who is passionate about travel and missions and is dying to make these two things their entire life, hearing that maybe God isn’t calling me to that (at least not yet) is hard. It’s REALLY hard. But the great thing is, God loves me so much that He is clearly and audibly asking me to just be here with Him. God WANTS to spend time with us, He WANTS to know us, and He WANTS to use us, and if I love God as much as I say I do, then how can I say no? How can I say that I only want to spend time in the presence of God if God is hanging out with me in Cambodia or India or even Guatemala? God just wants me to be with Him everywhere I am, even if that’s at home.

And I’m learning how to say yes.

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