There are two things in life I have wanted for as long as I can remember. 1. To marry my soulmate and best friend and 2. To move Down Under and serve as a missionary using the arts to serve others and God.
In February or March of 2010 I was reading the Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days workbook by Kay Arthur. I’m not all that into such books, but somewhere along the line, the book wound up in my hands and I thought I’d give it a try. Couldn’t hurt, I assumed. I mean, it’s prayer.
I took each challenge seriously as I completed the book. I prayed through the Lord’s prayer as directed and personalized each line, each passage, each moment of the ‘study’ as I made my way through the workbook.
One evening, readers were challenged to sit back, shut up, and listen as prayer. We were challenged to ask the Lord to speak clearly and listen to Him and trust that what He spoke would encourage and uplift us.
As most of us know, keeping back a flood of thoughts in a quiet room can be rather challenging at times. But I somehow managed to still myself, still my own thoughts, and found myself resting in the space quietly.
By this time, I was in my late twenties and still single. I’d never even gone on a date or held hands with a guy I liked. This was after having attended “Moody Bridal College” as Moody Bible Institute jokingly is known and having spent my entire life in churches and serving in various ministries including summer camps and youth groups.
I’d also been working on fundraising to move Down Under as a missionary for three-plus years at this point. I’d been there once and toured the major cities, taking surveys and learning what I could of the culture. I’d spent most of my time in the suburbs of Sydney working with a church where several attractive single guys had become a regular part of my social circle.
Even two years later, I spoke to some of them fairly often. But there were no romantic sparks on either side and, as far as I could tell, no hope in sight of ever meeting anyone who wanted to move Down Under with me and serve in the arts as a missionary.
There was little movement forward in my fundraising efforts either. I’d raise a fair percentage of funds, then lose it. Raise more, then lose it. Looking back, I see certain reasons as to why this happened – I was fundraising traditionally and my giftings and personality call for something entirely different! – but that wasn’t so obvious then.
As I sat in prayer that night, I was probably more discouraged than I had ever been before in my life. I felt hopeless and uncared for. I felt as though God was toying with me – calling me to service, yet denying me the opportunity to give Him my all.
As I quieted my soul, I heard four words whispered into the darkness. “I will answer yes.”
Is that you, God? Are you speaking to me?
The same audible voice repeated, “I will answer yes.”
One or two more times as I sat in the depth of that spiritual darkness – feeling lost, abandoned, unwanted – God’s voice audibly spoke again. The same words each time, “I will answer yes.”
Not yes. Not when. But that He would someday answer “yes” to the deepest desires of my heart – a soulmate who shared my vision for the arts and Australia and New Zealand and the fulfillment of that mission I’ve had within me since before I could remember.
That was February 2010.
On January 14, 2017, the first of these was fulfilled. And though I’m not there yet, I was just accepted to seminary for my Master’s degree in Christian Ministry in August 2021, with a wonderful scholarship honoring my high GPA in undergrad and my service in Christian missions in the past.
It’s still not fully a “yes” but an “I will answer yes.” And in all those years, those long eleven years thus far, I still hear those words repeat in confidence through my soul. God isn’t done with me. He hasn’t abandoned me. He hasn’t forgotten His promises. He will answer “yes.”