It's a slow process, taking a few years.
First, He introduces her to books that annoy her, books that suggest she should be concerned about the world, not just her little part of it. He unsettles her with the idea that one person can have a global impact. She is not happy about it, but decides her heart could use some work, so she starts to pray for God to help her care.
Then He uses Facebook of all things, to bring back two women from her past, people she hasn't spoken to in years, who she never knew to be Christians. He unites them with the common thread of His Spirit and their communication is easy. They both read her blog and use it in different ways. One woman, Kelly, uses it as a basis for an impromptu speech half way around the world in Uganda. The other, Angie, asks to use it as an appeal for funding for her orphanage in Uganda.
It seems odd, this coincidence. Two women who don't know each other, both connecting on Facebook with her at the same time, both working in the same remote region, both reading her blog and taking the time to write. She tries not to think about it too much, but the coincidences don't go away.
Nearly every time she hears from one, she gets a note from the other within a week. Their correspondence hints at the same thing. When she tells Angie she's living her worst nightmare, being sent to Africa for Jesus, Angie says:
I know that someday you are going to come visit me, because voicing your worst fears the way you have, God has a knack of making us face those fears! LOL! But that's okay, I will take you on a safari, and a coffee safari, and show you the source of the Nile. There is something almost spiritual that happens when you see the Nile for the first time and think of its history!
Then her dear friend gives her a book about a young woman serving God in Uganda. Her Bible study co-leader has a daughter who takes a mission trip there. She can't get away from it. Uganda is everywhere! Kelly tells her this:
I have this feeling that God wants us to team up somehow. I feel there is something BIG that could come from that. So much of your daily writing resonates with me and I save many of them because they help me with my call in Uganda and in writing talks.
And if that isn't enough, Kelly sends her this note from her prayer partner, a woman she's never met:
I have goosebumps--again. I was going to call you today because several times yesterday while I was in prayer and again this morning, I got the same message . . . One of your key prayers of needing someone to join you is going to be answered . . . someone is being called to join you. Now of course, I don't know if it is Tami, but Tami will know.
He takes all these signs to get it in her head that some day she'll be going to Uganda. She can handle some day. It's there, but not too threatening, something you can plan for, like saying some day you'll need to replace the furnace or paint the house. Some day gives her time to adjust to the idea.
And God lets her simmer for a while. Kelly emails here and there. The communication is still open. She reads about Angie's orphanage and just waits in her content some day.
For almost a year.
A year of doing what's before her, satisfied in the work He's given, keeping the some day in the back of her head, but not rushing it, waiting very patiently, secretly hoping it's a long way off.
And then, out of no where, God moves. It starts as an email from Angie, thanking her for a little money she'd sent. The next day she writes a blog post titled, Playing it Safe, where she talks about how God doesn't let His people play it safe. She herself writes:
I have to ask myself some tough questions. Do I want to experience more of God if it means leaving my comfort zone? Am I willing to do hard to know Him better and grow in faith? If I play it safe, will I miss being part of God's work? Will I miss knowing Him in a deeper, more meaningful way? Do I want to risk that for personal safety?
My fearful human self whispers, "I want You, God," but my pulse quickens. What if it hurts? What will He require of me? I can't know and I suppose that is the gift we give Him--trust without knowing. So I pray, "Yes, Lord, whatever You want," but ask for His mercy to come alongside. I breathe deeply and hang on.
Is God leading you out of your comfort zone to draw you closer to Him, to show You more of His love? Do you think Christians can play it safe?
Kelly responds boldly:
Good blog! Serving as a missionary is certainly uncomfortable, but now I crave the discomfort because I get to see God show up in such BIG ways! It's one of the reasons I struggle when I have to come back to my comfortable life . . . I love reading your blog every day and I would love, love, love for you to go with me for two weeks to Uganda next late May/early June!
Some day has been given a specific time frame.
Some day has come.
The middle-aged woman panics, yet she knows. Her husband, her friends, even her children agree.
God wants her to go to Uganda.
How can she say no?
How can I say no?
Related post: He's Sending Me WHERE?!