When I was in college, my life was greatly impacted by the experiences I had to go and serve in missions around the world. In the same way that I felt an urgency to share the message of Christ with others – which led me to serve in missions, I felt an urgency to share the impact that those experiences had on my life- and that led me to mobilize my friends. That was just the beginning. I was a mobilizer from the time my feet hit my home turf until I was sent out again and with each time, I was linking arms with more students and dragging them (sometimes literally) along with me. Mobilizing others has been a part of my story for as long as missions has been a part of my story – and that is because of others who mobilized me, to which I’m eternally grateful.
My husband and I purchased some cheap flights to Denver to celebrate our anniversary. We’ve always wanted to spend more time out west and it just so happens that a friend from college lives in Denver where she and her husband serve on a church plant team. This friend isn’t just any friend but one whom we have both loved dearly and have always encouraged to use her gifts in ministry. To our surprise, it just happened to work out that the dates we had planned for our trip would allow us to attend the launch for their church plant.
I wasn’t prepared.
I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I would be filling a seat in the first service of their church plant. I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I would be seeing my dear friend’s sweet smile greet me at the door of the elementary school where their church is meeting. I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I would be looking over my shoulder and catching a glimpse of her husband sitting next to someone whom we had been praying would attend the service that morning. I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I would be seeing our friends hugging the necks of people in their community who showed up for their first service.
I wasn’t prepared and yet I was at the same time because it was God who had been preparing and molding us for this day since before we even met. It was God who ordained for me to meet this friend in January of 2009. It was God who, in his mercy, had always weaved our friendship back together through the ups and downs of life. It was God who allowed me to encourage her to serve in missions when we were in college and it was God who showed her the gifts that he had given her to be a part of his Kingdom work. It was God who knew the name of her husband even before I was praying that He would provide her with a partner who would push her forward and walk beside her in the ministry he was preparing or her. It was God. And we felt him that day in a new and exciting and overwhelming way that day.
We came to Denver to celebrate how God had moved in our lives these first four years of marriage but he gifted us with an overwhelming joy that had filled our hearts as we celebrated the birth of a new church alongside our friends – and that was more than we could have ever asked or imagined. As we left their apartment that Sunday evening, I finally allowed myself to release the emotions that had been building inside of me all day and it was in that moment sitting behind the wheel of our parked rental car that I released the grandest emotion of them all through an outpouring of tears and choppy words – gratitude. I am so grateful that God has allowed me the opportunity to mobilize others over the years. It’s my job to mobilize students to take the gospel to the unreached around the world but beyond that, the task that the Lord has given me is to mobilize anyone and everyone in my path to know their gifts, to grow in Christ’s likeness and to go use those gifts where they are needed most.
I recently heard a quote from someone and I have tucked it away in my heart as a reminder in my own journey of walking in obedience to God’s call on my life – “God has already called us to go so that shouldn’t be our question. Instead we should ask him where we should stop.” As we flew back home, of course I carried home a great appreciation for the beauty of colorful Colorado and a sense of gratitude for our time away but more than anything, we both came away with an even greater sense of gratitude for the task that the Lord has set before us – to equip, encourage, and yes, mobilize others to go until God tells us to stop.