I was driving through town the other day, and I suddenly felt encouraged to pray, to thank God for the crazy provision over the last three and a half years since joining YWAM. At times, I’ve been afraid or worried about a circumstance or need in my life, and I cannot remember a time where God didn’t come through. I cannot remember a time where he didn’t give me the grace to choose faith, even if it only came eventually, he persists.
About four years ago, I had finished university and was working full-time there. I was restless, frustrated, discontent. There were realities in the depths of my heart over my call that I was unwilling to accept at the time because of one thing: FEAR. So I sat there. Restless. Frustrated. Discontent. Longing for a fulfilled life in the will and call of God that was exciting and adventurous, that would challenge me and shape me. But instead, I sat. God doesn’t give up on us. He doesn’t let up, and he continues to pursue us. Our “no’s” are never too big for him.
After sitting in this frustrated, unmoving state for several months, my heart was slowly but surely being stirred. This “YWAM thing” had been in the back of my mind for six years, six years I hadn’t answered the call because of fear. One morning, though, my co-worker and friend who knew my discontentedness came into work, and she asked me this simple yet freeing question – “Ashley, if you could do anything in the world right now, what would you do?” As quickly as she asked the question, the answer came from my mouth almost surprising me. “I would go overseas and do missions.”
Did I just say that?
It was true, and even though my mind was trapped in fear, my heart, my spirit, knew the voice and call of God, and it was rising up. It was ready to trump fear. It was ready to take a step of faith.
Sometimes faith seems like this big, daunting thing. We put these qualifications on faith, even if we don’t realize it. We say faith has to be HUGE. Faith has to be committing your life to missions today before you’ve even stepped foot in another country. Faith has to be giving up every comfort you’ve ever known. Yes, sometimes God does ask us to take these bold steps, but God, in his nature, is a gentleman, too. He knows what we are ready for, and often, he is only asking us to take one step. One little step.
What is that one step for you today?
For me, it was taking a step, a response to how I answered my co-workers question. If that’s really what I would do, what was my first step? She said it after I answered. She said, “Well you better start looking.” I looked, I applied, I came and did DTS, and now three and a half years later, I am here – a missionary, always meant to be a missionary but finally living the reality placed so deep in my heart years ago.