I’ve been waiting to meet you for years

Have you ever had someone you didn’t know greet you with, “I’ve been waiting to meet you for years”?  That was my experience after our presentation at First Covenant in Mason City when Brianna introduced herself to me.  She then told me this story.

While I can’t remember all of what you said back in the early 90s [at Twin Lakes Bible Camp], I guess the amazing thing is that I do have such a distinct memory of some parts!  I remember you sharing with us about your work in Congo and presenting several situations where someone would come to your door for help.  These were extreme circumstances of one type or another, perhaps a mother needing money to buy simple food for her starving baby, or an extreme medical need.  I remember listening to one example after another and feeling an angst growing within.  Even to this day I can remember the depth of the feeling, “The world should not be like this!”  You didn’t give us easy answers, but asked us what we would do.  Who would we help? What would we do?  We had a journal to use during our quiet times that week.  As we were sent out to reflect and journal and read our bible passage you gave us a few things to consider, one of them was to sit before God and ask him if he was wanting to use us in missions.  I remember finding a spot in the very green grass and writing something simple and matter of fact, like, “Yes, I think God is telling me he wants me to be a missionary”  But,… I meant it. I really felt a deep measure of conviction—now I know that feeling of the Spirit’s stirring.  I didn’t know the answers to the hard realities you had exposed us to, or who I would help, but I knew someone had to and I felt like I wanted to be that person.  I told my counselor that night as we sat on the back step of the cabin under the stars.  To her credit, despite my broken, popularity-seeking, pre-teen self, she was encouraging and told me to continue to wait on God and that if it were his will he would make it unfold.  The whole thing was almost sacred, and yet like I said, it almost felt matter of fact.  Of course, I had no idea what all it would entail!  The rest is history, I guess.  God did make it unfold, and brought me to himself and did a whole lot of healing in the process.  It took a few years, but by the time I was 16 I had come to a genuine point of surrender, met my future husband, and then pursued missions as a career.  (emphasis mine)

Thank you Lord.  Thank you for allowing me to hear this part of the rest of the story of someone who heard me speak years ago.  Thank you that Brianna and her husband Nate have been faithful to your call on their lives.  FYI in 2013 they completed a four year term in SE Asia.  They return in August 2014.

Reflecting on this, I am grateful that I was faithful to challenge the kids.  Honestly, sometime when I’m speaking to that age kids I wonder what to share and how well (or if) they are listening.  I know that I am not always consistent or faithful in challenging the listeners as I did in this instance.  This story is a reminder that people of all ages are indeed listening attentively and that God can and does use my words to speak to individual’s hearts.  It serves as a reminder to me to be faithful in giving the challenge.


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