I found out after the YWAM staff meeting yesterday that the reason I was asked to speak at the last minute was because the scheduled speaker had to cancel at the last minute. As I said, this was good news for me. Not only because I want to speak as many times as possible since that's why the Lord brought me here, but also because I didn't want my only interaction to be bringing a word or rebuke or warning. You know. Walk in, slap 'em, wipe your hands together and never be seen or heard from again. Part of it probably stems from the "people pleaser" in me. I didn't want anyone to be mad at me!
I must say, the feedback has been unbelievable. Sam, especially, has heard good reports and others came up to me yesterday and said how much they needed to hear that word for various particular reasons.
It's good of the Lord to allow me to see some of the fruit of my obedience. We don't always have that luxury, do we? It seems as though He has been extra present and gracious to me this whole trip. I never feel like I am adequately expressing my gratitude. My feeble efforts seem to fall far short of all that wells up within my heart. I am a woman of words, so when the words don't come easily or express my sentiments adequately, I feel like I'm failing somehow! I got the feeling the Lord was slightly amused because He reminded me as I was reading, "Practicing His Presence" that He knows my heart and the deep groanings of my spirit. Articulating those things, or trying to, only makes me feel better! And it's true. It does. Because I want to be sure to offer gratitude on the same scale as the blessings.
Anyway....it's a fairly short and easy walk from P & S's house to the base. Walk up the street, turn left, walk a few blocks, turn left again. Walk straight to the big orange building with the web address in giant letters across the front. As I walked I was lost in thought going over what I was going to say and then lost in prayer as I asked the Lord to speak through me and then...just... lost. I don't know how I did it! I retraced my steps to try and find my bearings but nothing looked familiar. But did I panic? NO!
I saw two motorcycle cops standing on the side of the road and dum-da-dum! I whipped out the handy-dandy business card Sam had given me earlier with directions to the base written in Thai. They read it, talked things over a minute, flagged down a passing motorcycle taxi, gave him the card, motioned for me to jump on the back (yikes!) and off we went. We turned around in the middle of the street, pressing between the cars and trucks, turned a couple of times and voila! He dropped me off at the front door ten minutes before the meeting started! The cost? 10 baht, or about 30 cents. That's what I mean. It's been like that the whole time.
Sam asked me to give roughly the same talk I gave at the Women's Day Celebration, which was Jordan's story, which becomes my story, which becomes God's story. Jordan's suffering, my suffering, but ultimately, God's suffering when Christ was separated from the Father through death creating a cataclysmic event within the eternal Godhead.
I think it loses some of its momentum when it has to be told sentence by translated sentence, but I just kept reminding myself it's not the person or the delivery that empowers things. It's the dunamus power of the Spirit of the Living God, and therefore, the results are up to Him. I love being off the hook!
I want to tell you a secret. Except that once I post it on this blog it won't be a secret anymore. It's a bit of a problem, but I feel compelled to share it despite the fact that it was for me. There have been about a dozen or so times in my life when the Lord spoke to me so clearly it may as well have been audible. Last night was one of those times. I was laying in bed trying to express my gratitude like I just explined to you and the Lord practically interrupted me and said, "This is just the beginning!"
This wasn't a new thought. My Wednesday night prayer group has been telling me that for months. The pastors and elders in our church confirmed it prophetically when they prayed for me the Sunday before I left. The teaching director at the Bible study I attend sensed it when we had lunch together a few weeks ago and I was telling her about this trip.
So I've had a real sense of excitement and expectation. But when the LORD spoke it to me so clearly last night I got scared! Really scared. Terrified.
I was suddenly feeling a lot less judgmental toward Moses whining about stuttering and trying to disqualify himself from the call of God on his life. I'm not a stutterer, which was what fueled Moses' sense of inadequacy, but I have other, more potent things fueling my own.
I was overwhelmed with a feeling of utter desperation. I feel completely and totally unable to do whatever it is He is leading me into. Which, I know, is exactly how I'm supposed to feel! But at the moment, that little bit of insight wasn't much comfort!
It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks to the contrary, I am intimately acquainted with the deep, dark recesses of my heart; my fears; my deep insecurities; the selfish ambitions I am trying to lay at the foot of the cross and the bankrupt, unfinished work of that cross in my life and heart.
But I don't want to be like Moses who argued with God to the point of really irritating Him by focusing on himself instead of the power of God, which was really the issue anyway. I want to be like Mary who, when she heard she was specially chosen to bear the Son of God said, "Behold the bond servant of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word."
I don't know who all is reading this, but the reason I am giving you a private glimpse into the privat places of my heart and all God is doing is to let you know He wants to do the same in you. Whatever your "This is just the beginning" is, God longs to fulfill His call in you life. He is no respecter of persons, remember? Maybe your call is more "behind the scenes" like intercession or hospitality or giving. Mybe you are supposed to support someone else, run your church VBS program, host a Bible study or fellowship group. It doesn't matter. Let's do it scared together! Let's abandon ourselves to the marvelous, extravagant, exciting, scary call of God on our lives! Then one day we can gather in heaven and compare notes to the eternal glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
As my time here is winding down I find myself anxious for home and the comfort of all your familiar faces. Jay says the flights look pretty bad (remember, I am flying stand-by) so please pray for God's continued favor in bringing me home safely, with ordered steps and in business class!