A Heart's Response
There have been only a few times in my life where I have really heard God’s voice, and truly felt his calling on my life. One of them, and probably the most significant, was when I was called to Myanmar. This is a story I love sharing, because when God calls you to something, it changes something in you. You can’t ignore such a strong pursuit.
Last May, I was sitting in our young adults service listening to my pastor at the time, Rob, share a message about the invitation of the gospel. At the latter end of his message he said something powerful that was about to change my world. He said that all of us have an invitation with someone’s name on it. The invitation is to a party- a metaphor for the gospel. God has invited everyone into his kingdom, and we are to share that message with others. He said that our invitation could be addressed to someone in another country and to respond to God’s calling to go on a missions trip. I had always felt that I was called to go on a missions trip, but instead of acting on the calling, I responded in fear, which caused me to put it off. But there was something different this night. I had felt an immediate prompting on my heart that night, like that word was specifically for me. Later that night, I struck a conversation with one of the incite leaders, who happens to be involved with missions. I blurted out that I wanted to go on a mission trip, and he began to list off a few. Immediately, I chose Myanmar. I had no prior knowledge of the missions trip in Myanmar, what they did, or even where it was for that matter. All I knew, is that it felt right. He connected me with the leader of the trip, and provided me with further information regarding the upcoming trip.
There was an info night coming up in June that I accepted an invitation to. He told me to come out and see what it was all about. I was terrified. I didn’t know a single person going on the trip, not to mention I had never been on a missions trip before. I went to the info night, alone, and felt the prompting again to sign on to this trip. I was in a room full of new faces, and some familiar ones. The leader of our trip, David, began to explain what would take place in country, and what the trip was all about. We would be working with an orphanage in Myanmar, called, Love Children’s Home. We would also be praying and sharing the gospel with people on Christmas day. It all sounded incredible, until my fear began to creep in. By the end of the night, they asked us to raise our hands if we were committing to the trip. Nervously, I raised mine. I had no idea the journey I had just voluntarily embarked on. My life was about to change, and I had no idea.
I was terrified, nervous, lonely, and I felt unqualified. The only difference was, I had been undeniably called. God spoke to me the night that I sat in service. I had no idea why he chose me, or that trip, but he had and I couldn’t deny it. As much fear as I had, God’s calling was stronger, and louder. There were days I felt so unsure of the commitment I had made. There were others days I was so ecstatic for the adventures up ahead. As I began to start the process, I began to fall in love. The people, the team, the mission. It all seemed to make sense why I had been called. I was so excited when I came home to tell my parents I had officially committed to the trip. I was expecting them to react with as much excitement as I had, but I received a bit of the opposite. I know my parents may be reading this, and I just want to tell them that I know they meant well, and ultimately supported my decision to go. However, with that being said, they had many concerns. It seemed the only piece of information they could hear, was that I would be gone for Christmas. They asked if there was any other trip I could go on instead. Their ideal trip for me would be one closer to home, for a short amount of time, and definitely not one that extended through Christmas. Yet the one I had chosen, defied all of their ideals. God called me somewhere far, for 12 days, and during Christmas. It was hard when the people around me questioned my decision to go. Not only that, but I was also still dealing with fear regarding the trip. The one thing I still couldn’t question was my calling. I knew without a doubt, that God called me on this trip. Before I went, I honestly had no idea why. The process leading up to the trip was difficult. Fundraising was scary, meetings were packed with information, and my life was so busy.
Through all of my worry, fear, and insecurities, God blessed me. I was fully funded a week before we left, my parents supported my trip, and I completed all my last minute assignments to end my semester. The next day, I was about to embark on the greatest trip of my life. The joy I experienced on my trip is unexplainable. I have the fondest memories from this trip, and I am so glad I responded to the calling on my life. You can’t ignore God’s calling. There is something incredible that happens when you respond to that calling. God moves, and you are left astounded. Looking back on every memory before my trip, during, and after, I am amazed. God called me to be apart of an incredible trip, and to share the good news of the gospel with a country that desperately needed it. I was chosen, and I responded to the call. It was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. But I did experience fear, and insecurity, and I was pushed out of my comfort zone. The funny part, is that God is always calling us out of our comfort zones. The greatest, most life changing moments, don’t come from comfort, they come from responding to the calling God has placed on your life. My life was radically changed, by responding to a calling. What’s yours?