last week i had 24 of the most exciting hours in my time following Jesus. on this side of it i see such richness. in 24 hours my walk with Jesus changed. at the start – one degree of glory. at the end – another.
on monday i got accepted to the summer fellowship of my dreams. i got accepted and i was so excited. and i can still so vividly see the slow motion version of my friend rounding the corner at school and running down the hallway to hug me. she got accepted too.
the feeling still hadn’t set in when i got a phone call. i didn’t know that phone call would change my life. looking back now, however, the change is undeniable. i got a phone call that told me i had two options for my internship placement as part of this fellowship. did i want to be considered to work for my dream nonprofit (it was the kind of of nonprofit that i wouldn’t even apply to because i would never think i’d get accepted) in india, a country potentially on my top 10 list of places i would never want to visit? or did i want to work for a lesser nonprofit, doing similar work, in my dream city, working directly under a really incredible woman?
you have 24 hours to decide.
it seems silly now all the turmoil i felt about it. it seems silly now, but the turmoil was real. tumultuous. a whirlwind kind of feeling.
you see, the week before i stood in the shower and prayed. i prayed that God would give me a win because i needed one. i prayed that win would show up in the form of me getting accepted to this fellowship. and when monday rolled around i got to experience God do what He so often does – give me more than i could ever ask for or imagine. He gave me two wins, and i just had to pick which one i wanted.
so i got off the phone. the clock started ticking down. 23 hours 59 minutes. 23 hours 58 minutes. 23 hours 57 minutes. i texted my roommate and told her i needed her. she assured me she would be home as soon as she could. then i sent out some text messages to my people requesting prayer. i was pacing around the living room. at some point i started crying due to the overwhelm. then were two phone calls. one with my friend who worked for that dream nonprofit that was one of my options. she urged me to go for the adventure. then with another friend of mine who is my go to for wisdom. she left me with this verse:
“teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
i clung tightly to those words in that verse. because the other words, all the other words i would get from my friends, would be opinions. i needed truth. i needed the Word. i needed to hear God speak. i needed that to be what guided my choice.
my roommate came home. i was on the phone when she came in so she waited. and we talked while she made dinner. and then she pulled up a chair across from me at the counter. it’s what she calls our favorite thinking place. we talked. and we were quiet. and she told me what she would do. and when the conversation was over, she stayed. she didn’t get up and go to her room. she brought her work out to the kitchen. and she stayed. i guess she knew i needed her presence as much as i needed her thoughts.
at one point i was too exhausted to go on. so i hopped in the shower. i wanted God to meet me there in the quiet and the rush of the water. and this is what i felt He was telling me there:
“megan, if you want to go to india, go. I have opened the door for you, walk through it. but, if you don’t, that’s okay too. because I know you will love spending your summer in DC.”
it’s crazy really that God loves me so very much. there wasn’t a wrong decision here. it was really just one of those love God and do what you want moments. the problem was, i didn’t know what i wanted.
the evening came to a close, and the morning came quickly. i felt so very much. every time i would commit to one of the options in my mind i would immediately want the other. i wasn’t sure how i would ever pick. 10 hours 39 minutes. 10 hours 38 minutes. 10 hours 37 minutes.
after a phone call with someone who went to india the year before i felt the urge for adventure. i felt the urge to go to a place i never would have imagined i would ever go. i felt that kind of thing could only come from God. but there was one thing keeping me from resting in that decision.
her name is marie. she’s mentored me for almost four years now. and during those four years she has walked with me through every decision i’ve had to make. she’s met me in each with comfort and love and wisdom. and with each she has trusted God with me and whatever was on the other side of the choice. she knows me better than anyone, and as a result, i trust her most when it comes to things like this.
we had ten minutes between a meeting and our next classes. and in those ten minutes i got to experience in a very real way the love that Jesus has for His disciples. she talked gracefully through my weaknesses and why that gives her hesitation in telling me to go to india. and she talked beautifully of the way God can be trusted anyway. she talked about how God’s strength is made perfect in weakness, and maybe in light of that this whole india thing could be a good thing after all. if nothing else, i would grow. and well, marie and i are big fans of growing.
it didn’t really hit me in those 10 minutes the significance of that conversation. but the thing is i have been studying the book of john this year. and recently i was reading about how troubled Jesus was before His crucifixion. i can’t help but think part of that was because He knew what His death would do to His disciples. they would be crushed. they would doubt. they would grieve in ways they had never experienced. it would be a dark few days until Jesus walked back out of that tomb. and well, Jesus just loved them so very, very much.
i felt something like that in those minutes spent with marie. like she was troubled for what india could mean for me. for the ways i could feel really lonely in a place where i would know no one. for the ways experiencing the culture and the reality of the third world could overwhelm my heart that God has so crafted to feel more than the average person. for the ways that i’d be over there and marie wouldn’t be able to walk with me through it the way that she has walked with me through the past four years.
and then she looked at me and told me to go to india.
in a way she said something like i trust God with you.
it’s a special thing to be loved by her like that. and it’s a special thing to be loved by God like that. honestly, it’s overwhelming.
4 hours and 13 minutes. 4 hour and 12 minutes. 4 hours and 11 minutes. and the decision was made. india. when the lady called back i’d tell her that i wanted to be considered for the india internship. it was a freeing feeling. it was an adventuresome feeling. it was a feeling like i had arrived at a place i never knew i could get to…
i would follow God anywhere.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…
the funny thing is that she never called. 3 minutes. 2 minutes. 1 minute. the phone never rang. and in light of that i knew those 24 hours were something God planned just for me. those 24 hours weren’t for anyone else. they weren’t about some deadline that had to be met. they were special just for me. we eventually talked on the phone the next day. she told me the next step was to interview with the nonprofit, my dream nonprofit. and i don’t even know if i will even go to india.
but i’m different now because of all of that. i’m better now. my trust is more sturdy now. my faith is bigger now because of that. and i just want to live all my days like that. at the cost of pacing and tears and long, hard conversations. i want to live all my days relying on God. and i want to live all my days willing to follow Jesus wherever He may call me.
today’s margin note: when you sing the words “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders” mean it. and when God gives you the chance to follow Him like that, do it. you will be better because of it.