My journey to “yes” … and “yes” again

It was a drizzly afternoon in mid-August and one of those days where things simply weren’t going as planned. I was conflicted about what I would do if I were invited to Connect Week for AIM. I wanted to go wherever God led me, but I also knew it would be devastating to my family.

“Father, lead me to a place where I am in full obedience to you.”

I went on a run in the drizzle, and no one was out considering the light rain. I was listening to a playlist I created that I use to remind myself of God’s love for me, and I started bawling. I was able to find a place to sit, and it was in that solitude where I broke and cried out to God. I repented of the part of me that struggles to serve Him, begging Him to make my heart to fully desire to follow Him wherever He leads me. Also during that prayer, I told Him that if He opens the door to go to Africa with AIM, then that is where I will go, no matter the sacrifice.

That was my “yes.” That was my full commitment to serving God with all of me.

There was freedom in reaching a point of being willing to sacrifice all, but I was still struggling. Would I even get invited to Connect Week? If I was invited, would I be able to actually carry through with saying, “yes?” What about this other potential Africa opportunity my friend had brought to my attention?

As you know, I was invited to Connect Week, and I said, “Yes,” to going.

But wait. What about this other opportunity I couldn’t shake out of my mind?

I continued pursuing preparing for Connect Week though books I was reading, booking my flights, and communicating with people on staff, but I was struggling. Why wasn’t I motivated to start fundraising? My heart wasn’t at peace with my decision, which was new.

“God, isn’t this where you are leading me? Why am I not motivated to keep pursuing AIM? Father, if this isn’t where you are leading me, please make another opportunity known to me, and let me know that I am supposed to pursue that instead of AIM, if that is Your desire.”

I watched a video from the organization my friend connected me with called Under the Same Tree. I broke down crying because the video was exactly my heart.

“Father, is this it? Is this where you are leading me?”

I met with the director of the organization and fell even more in love. Her organization seemed like my heart on a silver platter. It was exactly what I envisioned when working in Africa was first laid on my heart back in December. This was it. My heart was at peace.

“Thank you, Father, for fully knowing my heart. Thank you for revealing my sinful heart and leading me to repentance. Thank you for your grace and hearing the desires of my heart, as a Father would hear of his daughter.”

It was honestly kind of scary with carrying through to say “no” to AIM. I loved the people I had been communicating with and felt like I was letting them down, but I also knew without a doubt that God was leading me to Under the Same Tree (UTST). In it, though, I learned of the freedom of choice. God presented me with a choice of AIM or UTST, and for that I am thankful.

“Father, thank you for leading me through the journey of saying ‘yes’ to you, a journey that brought me to a place where I was willing to sacrifice all. Thank you for the freedom you brought in allowing me to say ‘no’ to AIM, and once again say ‘yes’ to following you towards UTST. Thank you for being a God who hears the cries of my heart and loves me enough to provide me with an opportunity that makes my heart sing.

“Thank you for being a God who sees me, a God who knows me, a God who hears me, a God who speaks to me, and a God who loves me.”

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