February 8, 2014

Isaiah 6 - Here I Am, Lord

Looks a little bit like Oklahoma, doesn't it? 


"Here I am Lord, send me."

"Wait."

I have prayed that prayer many times in my life, but there are two specific moments when my world quieted and I felt the clear, quiet, voice of God overcome any of my thoughts and leave words within my head as an answer to my cry.

This prayer has not been said lightly. I have pleaded with God, begging Him to "send me". I have listened to my missionary family and longed for the call to enter into the mission field. I have reasoned with God, telling him the many reasons why I am so willing to go.

And He has told me to wait.

The first time that I remember praying that prayer was in high school. I remember being very surprised and surprisingly frustrated to hear "wait" as a response...because it seemed to me that a willing and ready body would be in high demand.

In that period of waiting, I didn't just sit around. I did things. Big things. Challenging things. Life altering things. If I had to wait, I was going to wait while being productive. I chose International Business as a major because I decided that if being a "missions major" was not the direction I should take, I would choose the one other major that focused on a global perspective, if only from a different sort of starting point. And that's where I've spent my time over the last 2.5 years...skipping between the Business building and the Poli-Sci department...learning cultures, history, languages, and applying business to the world.

A few months ago, I found myself praying that familiar prayer again. "Here am I Lord, send me." And surprisingly, another answer appeared. "I know."

I have wanted a giant voice to come from the sky and tell me "GO" and I have never had that giant voice come. Yet the still and calm reminder that God has heard my prayers and He knows my heart has filled my soul with peace.

In hindsight, my path over the past few years has God's fingerprints all over it. My passions have been molded into something more beautiful and my desires to serve God have been magnified by my experiences in ways that I could never have imagined. He has taken me places that I would have never gone on my own so that I can serve Him in ways that I would have never imagined if left to my own devices. Yesterday, as I talked to a local pastor, he found out that I come from a family of "designated missionaries" (I say missionary in the formal sense, because I am a firm believer that we are all missionaries, even if our "occupation" says differently.) He asked how many generations of missionaries are in my family...and I counted backwards...my great great grandparents, my great grandparents, my grandparents, and my uncle & aunt are now in the mission field. So he turned to me and said, "So you're a 5th generation missionary!"

His words took me by surprise, because that is not how I have classified myself here in Belize. Yet, as I looked around at what we're doing, I understood the comparison. My name tag might not officially say "missionary" here...but God is sure using us and changing us and revealing Himself through our experiences in Belize. I would have never imagined Belize to be an answer to my prayer, "Here I am Lord, send me." Yet, as I sit here with a vibrant sunset off to my right and my handsome husband sitting on my left...I am finding my "mission field" to be here. I don't know where our futures will lead us, but I am fully expecting the hand of God to lead and guide us into deeper waters. If you had told me just two and half years ago that I would be sitting here with a boy named Blake, serving God through business training centers and by establishing relationships with the local Mayans, I might have laughed out loud. Thank goodness that I don't know what comes next.

The prayer will always remain the same. "Here I am Lord, send me." To Belize, to Africa, to Orlando...wherever I can serve, that's where I want to be. Right now, I am finding so much purpose in this little corner of the world. God knows and he has heard my heart, and quietly, gently, he has led me here.