Monday, April 6, 2015

Following Your Dreams // Saying Yes to Opportunity

Sometimes I still can't believe how lucky I am, getting to wake up every day in this gorgeous country on the beautiful continent of Africa. For me it is truly a dream come true and if I'm being completely honest, it's a dream I never knew I had. 

I've found over the years that when God is interested in me participating in something, along comes what I've started to label as a "gentle nudge" that points me in the direction He has planned for me. And then it becomes my responsibility to simply say "yes!" to whatever the nudge happens to be. 

It was like that for me with Africa. About six years ago, one of my dearest friends looked at me during a dance class and asked, "Hey, do you want to move to Africa with me this summer?" And without any question or hesitation I simply said "Yes!" 

I can't really explain why or how any of it happened, I just felt a little nudge from God and decided to act upon it. At the time I would hardly say that I was living my life for Jesus. I attended church occasionally but it wasn't the center of my life. He wasn't the center of my life. 

But sometimes I find that to be the most amazing thing about God, you don't have to make Him the center of your life for Him to make you the center of His. 

In those days, where we were barely acquaintances, He chased after me with a fervent love that I can only hope to reciprocate in even the slightest bit every day for the rest of my life. He led me before I even gave Him permission to lead, and for the first time in my life I felt His direction and I said YES.

This one little action, that one little word, changed the course and direction of my whole life. It's showed me what living a life of purpose is all about. It's taught me that His dreams are so much bigger than my own. It's helped me to recognize that I am so much more in love with His dreams than my own. 

When I was a child I always dreamed about being a ballerina or (get ready for this one) an astronaut when I grew up (honestly because I really did want to float around in space). Missionary to Africa was never once on the list of possible career options. It wasn't even on the childhood bucket list of places I wanted to visit.

Yet here I sit many years later, on my fifth African adventure, completely loving life and thanking God that He knows me better than I even know myself. And why wouldn't He? His word says:

"O Lord, You have examined my heart
and know everything about me...
You know what I'm going to say
even before I say it, Lord"

One of my favorite worship songs that emphasizes this point is by Bethel "You Know Me"

A throwback from my very first YES!
Do you want to accomplish that dream that God has woven into the depths of your heart? What is stopping you? Just say "YES!" We often never accomplish our dreams because the fear we have of saying yes to the opportunity. Say Yes to that journey, say Yes to a new job offer, say Yes to that new relationship, say Yes to moving somewhere unexpected, just say Yes. Get out a pen and paper right now and write down that dream that God is calling you into at this very moment. And then at the bottom write the word YES. 

Tape it on your mirror to remind yourself every day what you are saying yes to. And then, this is the most important part...go and do it. Don't sit on it for the next ten years. If God is nudging you to go now, then He has made a way for you to do it now.

Start your planning, organizing, or researching today. Do one small thing that will lead you toward that goal. Once I said Yes to Africa, I was on a plane literally four months later. No hesitation, just action. What can you say Yes to today, that could potentially change the course of your life??
Say YES!

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