“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? ”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8
Why are you going to California? Why Richmond? It’s ‘hood. Do you know what you are getting yourselves into? Do you know how expensive it is in California? But you have a baby. It’s so different from Tennessee…
These are several of the questions and comments we have received over the course of planning the move to California. Truthfully, these are also all questions and comments I presented to the Lord. But, at the beginning of my protest (which occasionally reappears), I read Isaiah 6. Changed my perspective.
Reggie first presented the opportunity to pray about going to Richmond last April. My first response was a very emphatic, verydefinite, very clear “NO!” “NO, I am not taking my son to California.” No, I am not leaving my house.” “No, I am not leaving my comforts.” “No I am not leaving my church.” “NO!” Hah!
The problem is, I had already committed a “Yes.” Two years prior, Reggie and I were sitting in Asheville, NC watching a few of their homeless population. We watched the artistic types hustle, the tourists walking around, and we dreamed. We said, “This would be a perfect place for a church plant.” Mind you, we didn’t feel called to plant, we just saw the need, fell in love with the environment, and opened our hearts. We proceeded to list people we thought would be “down” with planting in that type of environment, including the man we believed would be the pastor. Mind you, he was not a pastor…yet.
Then, we became antsy. We had talks about moving to a more eclectic neighborhood in Nashville. We told a few of our friends about our discussion, including the “future pastor”. We even told him if he ever planted a church, we could see God leading us to be a part. I remember going to a friend’s wedding in Los Angeles. Loved it, and had the nerve to send my current pastor a message on Facebook, jokingly asking him if he ever considered planting “Strong Tower Bible Church – West, as in California”. Do you see where this is going? I had already committed a “Yes”.
Back to last April.
Reggie came home one day telling me that our friend, the “future pastor” (who was eventually ordained), was led to help pastor a church-rebirth in Richmond – Living Hope Neighborhood Church. He went on to share about the church, its mission to love God and love people, how they serve the homeless community, are passionate about sharing the gospel, and how they are discipleship and community focused. Then, he reminded me about our previous conversations (our “Yes”), and encouraged me to at least pray about it. I researched a little, and decided that I had no need to pray about it. “No!”
As God would have it, a dear friend of mine previously asked me to speak at Impact’s staff women’s retreat on experiencing revival in your heart and your calling. Let’s see – an opportunity to share God’s word (which I love), with Impact women (whom I love), on the beach in Florida. Absolutely. Another “Yes.”
So, I prepared to share about Isaiah 6. I went thru how Isaiah’s revival occurred after he was “ruined” after getting a vision of God’s glory. How his being ruined led to his repentance. How his repentance led to God’s cleansing, which eventually led to God asking two simple questions “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And Isaiah replied, “Here am I. Send me.” Obedience.
There it is, plain and simple. Obedience. For a few years I had been asking God what my calling was. What He wanted me to do with my life. What I was supposed to be when I grew up. And it was really quite simple. Obey when He called. Just say, “Yes.”
In Isaiah’s account, God did not initially tell Isaiah where He would send him, what it would involve, or how it would happen. He simply asked “Whom shall I send?” And, I realized that’s how many others in the Bible received their calling. Abraham was told to just “Go.” Noah was told to “Build”. Moses was told to “Lead.” Mary was told to “Birth.” Paul was told to “Preach.” And Jesus was told to “Die.” But, many of the details came after “Yes.”
So, we said, “Yes.” We didn’t have all of the details. We still don’t. We still are not sure what our roles will be, or how things will look. We are still looking for employment, still looking for housing. All we know is God said years ago “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And we said, “Here we are. Send us.”
Daily striving to say “Yes”,
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