To the 7-year old Sarah who declared to the Lord, “I’ll be anything you want me to be but PLEASE don’t make me be a cross-cultural worker”,
Oh, girl, just you wait. You know how your number one fear was living without toilet paper? Guess what?! That actually happens. You know how you worried about necessities like running water? Well, that goes too.
I know you can’t even fathom this since bugs kind of creep you out right now, but you will actually eat crickets. Yep, you will try them on multiple occasions, mostly because you care about your new friends and don’t want to miss out on the adventures.
Probably now at 7 you would never believe that God would send you to a place where your full-time job is to talk, all the time, every day. You can still hear all the voices that tell you how shy you are, how quiet you are. But there’s more to your story.
God’s grace is so big, and His power is overflowing and you will get to personally experience this up close. By leaning on His Holy Spirit you will march right up to people, sit on their plastic chair or their wooden platform or their front stoop and tell them about a God who gives hope and peace in the midst of the hard things. You’ll pray in a language you are still learning, you’ll have just barely scratched the surface of what it means to intercede for a people, a nation.
You will walk down dusty roads and your heart will explode with longing to see lives changed by the gospel. Your own strength will run out, over and over again, and you will cry more than you ever thought possible. Like seriously, buckets of tears.
You know how you get frustrated with math problems you don’t want to do and siblings that annoy you? Take those frustrations times one hundred as you deal with closed doors and nosy neighbors and loneliness and the suspicions your foreignness will raise.
But get this, you also have no idea how amazing it will be to see hungry hearts receive Living Water. Or the excitement of fellow workers as you learn about ways to make disciples even more effectively.
Kiddo, you are going to get to see God’s glory displayed, His power at work in a way you can’t even fathom.
But you have to say yes.
I know, I can already hear the excuses, the “but what about…”, and the worries.
Your stipulations will move on from toilet paper and running water to, “No tonal languages, please. I’m not sure I can handle this culture or that. How about a place that doesn’t have tsunamis?”
The arguments will change to, “Father, I can’t do this anymore. Please send me home.”
Let go of all the strings you are attaching. Let go of the questions and doubts and fears.
You will have to reach this point over and over, this willingness to just say, “Here I am, Lord”. Here I am, to do what feels impossible, to stay when you just want to leave, to leave when you are actually ready to stay.
“Here I am, Lord” will not be a once-and-done call, but a daily surrender to love right where you are.
And when you do that, little 7-year old Sarah? Oh the riches that are waiting for you.
What would you tell your 7-year old self about calling and obedience? What has your journey to say “here I am” been like?