I was going to start this post with “A few weeks ago, I was at this retreat…” but the more I think about it, the real story started back in December. I just got to relive it all, thanks to a video testimony I did at church. So here it is…
Almost two years ago (wow, crying as I type that), I got some advice about the whole study abroad thing. Just say yes. Say yes when your host brothers ask if you want to go swim in some hot pools (which turned out to be a water park). Say yes to a bush walk even though you have a TON of planning to do (because it will turn out to be one of your favorite memories). Say yes to eating lamb and weird, spikey, orange fish (the former was good). I said yes, and it changed everything.
My time in NZ ended, my last semester of college came and went. I graduated. I got a job. I moved to a new city where the only friends I had were through my kid sister. I got stuck. I’ve written before about how adulting is hard because, until now, school has brought you friends and experiences to build those relationships on a silver platter. Now what? The more frustrated I got, the louder those words of advice seemed to ring in my ear. Say yes.
So I did. I drove into the parking lot of the random, gym-turned-church that I’ve driven past on my way to and from work every day since September. I found a few people I knew and hunted down the Connections Director (to, you know, get connected…). I said yes to serving at a college event. I said yes to leading at youth group and going to a young adult bible study. I said yes to going to Women & Wine (even though I hate wine). Yes.
I had been so focused on “not having a community” that I had failed to see the problem. I didn’t have one because I wasn’t looking for one. Saying yes changed all of that.
A few weeks back (this is where this story was supposed to start), I went on a retreat with some of the people I’ve collected over the last few months. My sweet friend (hi, friend!) talked a few times about how the Lord has called her to lay down her yes - to take her reservations about whatever He has planned and let them go in the name of the adventure ahead. I love the picture this creates. Because sometimes our yes, our control over our life, is something we keep too close to our chest. We hold it tight so that we know what is to come, so we have a say. But to lay that down? To let all of that go? That is a sacrifice bigger than I’d ever realized, but it’s given me more than I could have dreamed.
So that’s a new mission in my life. To lay my yes before the Lord and see where He’ll lead me, because He has proven time and time again that His ways and plans are far better than my own.
As always, thank you for reading this, whoever you are.