Close to fifteen years ago I said to the Lord, "here am I, send me" . Proclaiming to Him that Isaiah 6:8 was apart of my heart beat . At the time , my biggest fear was that He would take me up on my word and send me to some remote tribe that didn't speak my language . Turns out it was a fear with a little back bone to it . One year later the Lord sent me to Kenya, Africa for close to two weeks with about 30 or so other college students . There we ministered to people through school programs , bible camps , and just by being around and loving on them . I remember sitting in a school convocation with the smallest little Kenyan child on my lap . I don't know that I'll ever forget their desire to simply be touched and loved . To be in a moment of calm and peace . I hope that feeling of holding him never leaves my heart .
Several years after that the Lord would send me to El Salvador through my work . I was apart of a university mission based office that helped plan and execute missions trips for college students . In El Salvador I was more certain that I've ever been that I just might die . Several days into the trip I got a parasite through some unwashed veggies . The night I got the parasite I had given my testimony just after dinner . I had shared with a group of women that I wasn't too sure about what the Lord had for me in life (some things never change huh ?), but that for all I knew my entire life's purpose was that very moment . That moment of sharing with them what the Lord had done for me up until that point and that I was sure He'd remain faithful to me beyond that point . I shared with them that if all of my life had been for that one moment of letting them know that He loved them and had plans for them , then my life was complete . Several hours later I would wake up sicker than I had ever been . Close to twelve hours beyond that I would be taken to a hospital were I would have seizures, issues receiving IV fluids, and be medicated for the almost the remainder of my time in that country . Several days into my hospitalization I began to feel some what better . I was able to sit up and look out the door towards the beautiful landscape that surrounded the hospital . I battled with bitterness, defeat , and utter confusion. Why would He send me to a country to proclaim His name and then allow me to spend the majority of the visit ill, medicated and confined to a hospital room ?! In the silence of that moment I felt the Lord calming my heart and letting me know I would be a "send-er" not a "go-er" when it came to the mission field . He spoke so very clearly that I was to be in prayer for my team and the people they where ministering too . That I had been given the distinct privilege of time , peace and quiet . While my team had a very hectic schedule to keep with all of the different schools, Church's, and malls they had been invited to, I had hours upon hours of quiet. Peaceful time to sit in prayer for them . I knew the specific needs of the team because I had been training with them for months prior to our trip as well as spent several days on the field with them . I knew several of the team members for years through my work . He had called me there to minister alright , it was just to a different group of people than I had originally imagined . I was able to leave the hospital a day prior to our leaving El Salvador . I went back to our team and while singing praises to our God and hearing stories about their time in El Salvador I had the honor of seeing the immediate fruit of my time in prayer . He really did want for me to spend my time in that country in continual prayer . Believe me, when you feel as ill as I did all you can do is cry out to God .
Since Kenya and El Salvador my heart has longed to be apart of the group of people who get to "go", but I've also found a peace in being someone who "sends" . I say "send" in a way that means provide financial support , prayers, supplies, or encouragement . Ever since my time on "the field" I've continued to pray that prayer in Isaiah 6:8, ".....her am I Lord, send me" . Tonight I sat in the lunch room of my business at the furthermost table in the furthermost corner of the room . I had sat down in the empty room thinking I would get some much needed quiet from the busy day and a moment to my self . Not five minutes into my lunch one of the college girls I work with came in and sat down with me . Not long after her another joined us and then two of the college guys . While I sat there I heard them say to me out of no where , "We like being around you . You get us . " and "You don't make me feel dumb. You let me know you make mistakes and are learning all this too, with us " . I found such a overwhelming feeling of thankfulness that the Lord would allow me this encouragement . My new job is so demanding it sometimes feels impossible for one person. The encouragement and kind words where just what I needed after such a chaotic day and the energy boost I needed to get through the chaotic night .
As I drove home tonight I lingered on some of the things I'd been told at lunch . It was random, unsolicited, and so thought provoking . All this time I've been praying , "Lord, here am I. Send me. " , "Lord, my greatest desire is to be in Your will", and " Father, please, I beg of You. SPEAK!!" . I've considered Him silent for so long now . This is one of several encounters with my young co-workers that the Lord has used to speak to me . I'm unsure it really sunk in until tonight though . Had it been up to me alone I would've quit this job several weeks ago . On the nights when I had a good ol' ugly girl cry on my hour drive home because I was so beat up, worn, defeated and sore that I thought for sure there was NO WAY this was God's plan for me . Here I sit after months of prayer , tears and contemplation about what the Lord has for me , where He wants me to go, what He wants me to do
for His glory and He has FINALLY answered me . He gave me an answer I already had close to fifteen years ago . I said to Him, "here am I Lord, send me". I told Him with my entire heart beat my greatest desire in life is to please Him and serve Him in ANY way He see fit . I begged from Him direction and to hear His voice in a undeniable way . And for the last several weeks He has been trying to SPEAK as I requested . He has been trying to use me in His service in the way He sees fit and He has been "sending" me a hour north every day to His people . I realized tonight that I very well may come in contact with more lost people in my new position in "the world" than I ever did on "the field" . I still believe I am a "send-er" . I still long to some day spend more time some where on this globe loving His people with his love . But for now, I am sent not so far . To love on people who are just as desperate for Him as any .
My greatest prayer at this very moment is that I would be a light that draws people in, not to myself, but to Him . They may at the moment think they are drawn to me because of my humor, understanding, patience, or willingness to admit a mistake . I however know it is my love for Him and the glorious things He continues to do in my life that truly draws them in because with out Him I am nothing . I am definitely not humorous, understanding or patient without Him . No way . No how .
So, dear readers and friends as you read this I ask for your prayers . I want to be a light in a dark world , (John 12:46) . As I recall my words to the women that night in El Salvador they may ring truer now than they have since then . My life's purpose may be for this very moment . To share with these co-workers and guests the Love that I have been given and get to give because of His grace . This may not be where I would've chosen to go if I'd been given a map and a wish, but it is surely where I am meant to be for the moment . I'm unsure how long this moment will last so I've gotta do my best to make it count for Him .
Dear Lord -
Let me fall into the shadows and You take the spot light . I pray with the deepest part of me that You would be able to speak through me to the people I come in contact with every day . Use my humor , my patience , my willingness to admit a fault as something that would direct them back to You . I pray that if given the opportunity to give the reason for the hope that is with in me (1 Peter 3:15) that I would be able to do it with love , respect and words that they might understand . Thank You Father for loving me through the rough times, forgiving me in the dark times and being my reason for hope . Thank You for finding me worthy after all this time and all my sins . I love You with every heart beat I have . To You be ALL the glory !!
~ In Your Love & Service - Stacie