Life Chronicles

Not to Be Silent – When God Calls You to Go

And so it’s come full-circle … my first whole year of real university, of pursuing my dreams, and experiencing college life like never before. How perfect that David and I got to ride the bus together this morning, just like we did on the first day of school this year – he teaching naïve little me the ways of commuting out to Eastern, and introducing me to that strange new world of university life. And now, after a full year of it, it’s become old hat … and I fall into the familiar routine of slide my card, take my seat on the sideways-facing platform seats, and pull out my homework to study. Even when we got to Eastern this morning for our last finals, it was just like old times at the beginning of the year – going into the pub, then taking the old traditional route to the theater building – cutting across a lawn that’s no longer brown or frozen and climbing up all those flights of stairs to theatrical classrooms.

So much can happen in a year. You just never know where you’ll be at the end of a school year, compared to where you began. Who knew that I’d quit my office job halfway through the year, not enter the teaching program till the spring, fall in love with theater all over again (okay, well I expected that to happen a little bit!), make dear friends close to my heart, and be given a radical revelation from God that He wants me to live on campus next year? I might think I have my life figured out, but then God comes along, smiles, and rearranges the lines in new and beautiful ways. I love it when His plans turn out so much better than my own.

Crazy the way God’s voice starts out in a still, small whisper, then moves to a repeated gong that I can’t ignore, and then finally culminates in the loudest crashes of thunder as I dance in the pouring rain, giddy and ecstatic about where He’s placed me in life. What confirmation comes from every direction when I say yes to Him …

It began with the promptings of the Holy Spirit one quiet morning as I sat having my quiet time in the library overlooking the campus and the busy people going to and fro. As I watched them, I began to realize just how brief my time in college actually is. What unique opportunities I have now that I will never have again. Will I take hold of those opportunities and use them to the greatest extent possible or will I continue to hang onto the fringes, only doing what’s required of me and fulfilling my academic obligations?

The next thing I know, our speaker at Cru on Wednesday night was talking about divine appointments – when you’re paying enough attention to yourself and to other people that you can share the Gospel with them. He asked us, “Do you live as though evangelism is for the professionals? Most of us live on this earth building our own kingdoms …” Ashamedly, I have to admit that, yes – this is often how I do live my life – in a “Holy Huddle” – a comfortable swarm of other Christians, convincing myself that I’m doing just fine. The call is becoming clear – and irrevocable – in my life.

Then the blessing of money comes in for next year … at lunch on Memorial Day, I tell my Mama how I feel a restlessness for next year, and how something needs to change. And she’s the one who says it – “Why don’t you live on campus next year?” Something I’ve always wanted to do, but never quite considered an actual possibility – she suggests it, and a world of opportunities is opened in my mind. The next few days are filled with prayer, anxious heart-searching, and a consideration of all the small details and technicalities. But I hear the urgency from my Savior even more – a voice I can’t ignore – in hundreds of ways confirming that yes, this is where He wants me to go next year.

I pray in earnest before my time with Jesus that He would speak – and then I open my Bible to read these words from Haggai – “ ‘Is it time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house [the temple of God] remains a ruin?’” And I feel that tug on my heart – is it time for me to continue living in the comfort and security of this home while lives on campus are in ruin and need to hear of a Savior? I talk of being bold and following Christ when He calls you to go, all the while thinking it will be later in my life, somewhere far away – failing to realize that my mission field is right in front of me – this place He’s put me called college, which is exactly where He wants me to minister. Why have my eyes been so blind before? And though my heart might tremble at the thought, He assures me with chapter 2, verse 5 – “And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.” If He’s called me to do it for Him, then He will give me the courage to see it through.

The final words of confirmation and conviction come from Jerod in Sunday morning college group – “What the human heart prizes the most is what it most passionately proclaims. Does your salvation mean everything to you? If so, you won’t be able to keep silent about it.

“You have been saved – not to be silent – but to proclaim the excellencies of Him who saved you.”

And I know that He’s called me to say yes to Him – live a life of joyful evangelism – and join the ranks of those living on campus. It will mean sacrifice, yes. It will mean creative pinching of pennies like never before. It will mean more responsibility and homesickness and loneliness and sometimes panicked feelings of uncertainty. In fact, right now, it feels exactly like the moment right before you jump off a cliff. Frightening. But this time, I don’t have to fear the rocks at the bottom … because God will help me soar higher than I ever thought possible – and it will be worth it. Every second of it.

Even when I went to pay my deposit, I took a deep breath before plunging in, wanting to know for sure that this was the right thing to do. As I did so, the song playing on Pandora caught my attention, and I clicked over to see what it was … and wouldn’t you know? It was called “The Welcome Song.” God wants me there. So I will say yes, and with joy and excitement, anticipate my new home in Cheney for the 2012-2013 school year.

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