Well, it’s that time of year again. The semi-annual writing of the blog post.
I’m finding that following Jesus will take you on a very interesting journey. Dark and winding valleys of sorrow, mountains of bliss, seas of loneliness, waterfalls of joy. You name it, he’ll take you there. It is a journey that is full of agony and wonder. And no matter how ugly it gets (or how ugly I get), he always stays with me. The mystery of all mysteries, it seems.
Exactly one year ago today, I was kneeling on an altar at a church conference in Austin, TX. Heidi Baker had invited anyone who felt called to follow Jesus to the nations of the earth to come up so she could pray for them. Honestly, I wasn’t exactly sure what to do. I loved the nations. I had once wanted go to the bush of Africa, the jungles of Papua New Guinea, the mountains of Central Asia, to see people of every language and culture fall in love with Jesus. It used to burn in my heart. But honestly, it took the back burner when I fell in love with Baton Rouge. God completely changed my life in the six years that I’ve lived in this city and I wanted to stay here. To go up to the altar, I would feel like a fake.
But the still, small, sweet voice of the Holy Spirit reminded me that He was the one who gave me that passion so many years ago, and it certainly wasn’t on His back burner. He gently told me that my dreams for my life with Him had gotten too small and that I needed dream bigger.
Don’t get me wrong, Baton Rouge is THE best city in the cataloged universe. Hands down. And to follow Jesus is absolutely the greatest honor and adventure of your life, no matter where he takes you. But I had dreamed of people all over the world falling in love with Jesus, and somehow I became scared to believe that God would actually use me in that. Next thing I knew, I was up on the altar with the rest of the crazies, wondering what God on earth might do with my little life.
Sometimes it feels like God takes a lifetime to move. This was not the case. I don’t know what on earth she prayed, but three days later I was driving home with Cameroon on my mind. The story of how Cameroon entered the picture is for another time. But over the following weeks, God flooded my life with Scriptures, conversations, events, dreams, all pointing to Cameroon. Before I knew it, I was saying yes to spending the next who-knows-how-many-years of my life with Jesus (and an incredible, passionate, wholehearted, wacky team of people that includes my best friend) in Cameroon.
I don’t feel very brave. Most days I feel crazy. And most days I wonder how on earth this is my life. And some days I’m pretty sure I’m making an enormous mistake. But I’m starting to figure out that when Jesus invites you to go somewhere, you really don’t want to say no. Here’s hoping it really will be worth it.
I’m intending to chronicle this adventure here. I’m also discovering that any story about Jesus is a story worth telling. Even if no one reads all the way to the end. If you did, mad props to you.