ears wide open (a repost)

Posted on November 30, 2009

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I wrote this about a year and half ago. Russ and I traveled to Lake J for the first time to help out with Youth in Missions. That week was a catalyst in our walk with Christ and our view on the world. This post is a precursor to what  I will post tomorrow – where I share what I have been up to this past month and what my next goal in pursuing my dream will be – I’m excited, and I hope you will be too. 🙂

We just left Lake J. We’re back on the road – driving through rolling hills and rain and plenty of restroom stops. I feel as though I need to make a disclaimer before I even begin to sum up my thoughts. 

It’s going to take awhile for me to process what exactly happened this past week. But know this: God moved. The sleeping giant is most certainly stirring. And while there is no possible way for me to fully explain what God is doing in my heart, in Russ’ heart, know that we will certainly try. 

It was about three and a half years ago, and I was having a hard time falling asleep in the stuffiness of my bedroom. Russ and I weren’t married yet, I was in the middle of my first teaching job, and I was restless. 

That night, as my eyes attempted to stay shut despite my mind going 90 mph, I heard a voice so clearly I couldn’t avoid it. 

I am going to use you and Russell.

My eyes opened. I shifted in my covers and waited. Did I just hear what I thought I heard?

You will be used to reach thousands. 

Right about now I started freaking out. My hands started sweating, my heart began beating faster, I glanced at the clock: 2:00 AM. Then I hear something else. 

Isaiah 55 – read it. 

I argued for about three minutes, what with the light already being out and me already being snug in my covers, but I realized fairly quickly just who I was arguing and well, that I would never win. 

I opened my Bible and started reading. This is what stuck out to me in stunning clarity:

Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God,the Holy One of Israel,for he has endowed you with splendor. (v.5)

What strikes me the most about this verse is the ending. It’s what you would call a cumulative sentence – everything is at the beginning. However, we could miss something big here. What  hit me in between the eyes is “because of the LORD your God…” 

Yeah. That little phrase packs a punch. Because of him and his work in our lives, we would accomplish these things.

Do you believe me now? I heard him say. 

I went to bed with a smiling heart and big dreams. 

But, like always, life gets in the way. He’s brought me back to that verse numerous times, and reminded me that what I think I have planned pales in comparison to his dreams for me, but I can be just as A.D.D as the best of them, and I forget these promises. Until this past week. 

It was Tuesday night, before Laren got on stage. Before Sean and the battle cry on injustice. It was just me and God. 

I have something for you. 

I closed my eyes. 

Isaiah 55

I have to admit. I wondered. It’s not like I hadn’t read it before. But I opened it anyway, Looking for what He had to tell me. And there it was. 

Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David. (v.3) 

I read it about five times, back to back, with tears in my eyes. Because you see, this was just a step in what he had for me. This was only a piece of the puzzle. But I had to listen. 

It came this morning. 

It was the last worship service before we packed up and left. I was tired. The past two nights had taken their toll on my emotions, and I was spent. But I wanted more. 

Eddie started playing “God of this City” and immediately I started weeping. For every line, there was a different scene played out in my mind.

You’re the God of this city – A child is trafficked into slavery every two minutes. Even in the United States. Especially in the United States.

You’re the Lord of this nation – Over 90% of the rebel army in n. Uganda are child soldiers

You’re the King of the people – North Korea has one of the most secretive states and leads the world in punishing those who practice the Christian faith. 

You are – But yet, God is bigger. 

And the whole time we’re singing this song, I can’t even spit a word out because I’m absolutely broken – weeping into my hands. And then, I hear it. 

Tell our story. 

I freeze. A peace comes over me. I suddenly know what God was wanting to tell me. Tell our story. 

I smile. Âbsolutely. I think – humbled and overwhelmed at His love for His children.

But that’s not all. Throughout this whole week, the one thing that has echoed repeatedly is the necessity and willingness of sacrifice. Of leaving everything. Of taking that step of faith. Of pushing back doubt and appreciating friends who will push back with you. Of having the courage to dream with God. And knowing that dreaming with God usually ends up with your life being wrecked and exciting and hard and adventurous and breathtakingly serene. 

Russ and I are still processing what God did, and what He is asking of us. I have a feeling though we are on the brink of an incredible adventure.

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