When I tell people I am about to move to the other side of the world, I  almost always met with big eyes and a “Wow, that’s crazy!”

I know, I know. I totally get it. To some, it may sound whimsical and adventurous, to others it may sound irresponsible and naive. While I know that it sounds crazy to pick up and move my life to a new country and new culture, for me it seems like the natural next step in the course of my life.

To get here, it took both God transforming my heart and me saying ‘yes’ to a lot of little things along the way – so that when He opened up the opportunity to go overseas it seemed like a natural (not easy, but natural) ‘yes!’ One of those major milestones  was when God asked me to move to the big city right after college.

It has been almost two years since this Midwestern girl packed up her bags and moved to the Big Apple. I had known for a couple months that I would be moving to New York City to love and serve immigrants and international students in my area – and was so excited about it. I remember sitting in the plane, waiting for take off, when all of a sudden the move became so real to me – there was no going back. I was immediately hit with this heavy mix of both fear and excitement of the unknown and, out of faith, I tearfully said, “Okay God, this is for you.”

I knew that once that flight took off my life would never be the same. And I was right. My time in the city brought moments to rejoice in, to be challenged by, to thank God for, and at times to cry out to God both for circumstances in my life and in those around me. I have come out of that season more focused on understanding than assuming, more trusting in God and His character, and more confident in the woman that He has created me to be.

I’ve been thinking about that plane ride a lot lately, as God has opened up this opportunity for me to pack up my bags and move again – this time to another continent. I’ve been thinking about what this next plane ride will be like (and hope that the person sitting next to me brings extra tissues!).

I know that I will be changed by this experience and there’s something both terrifying and exciting about that. The truth of the matter is that the closer I draw to God, the more He invites me into a bigger plan and purpose than I could come up with on my
own. He is a big-picture God, who also cares about the tiniest details, and He longs for people from all across the world to know Him (Revelation 7:9-10). He cares for my heart, for your heart, and the hearts of people throughout the nations! So while I face
fears of change and unknown, I can step out in faith knowing that He is with me (Psalm 139:18) and that He is asking me to be a part of something bigger than myself- to make His name known where it is not (Romans 10:13-14).

We can count on transformation and change when we step out in faith and say “yes” to the opportunities God puts in front of us. These changes don’t have to be as tangible as moving to a new place. It could mean addressing that thing in your heart that you’ve been avoiding – allowing God to heal, transform, and speak truth into it. It could be saying “yes” and telling that coworker or that family member about Jesus and the way He has moved in your life. It could mean laying aside a job opportunity so that you are freed up to say “yes” to the one God is leading you to. These are a few other examples of “yes’s” that the Lord had placed in front of me along the way:

Will you serve the least of these?

(Matthew 25:35-40) This question at the time felt like a big leap, because it caused me to face some of the fears and prejudices that I had in my heart. God asked me to give up a couple hours every other weekend to volunteer and help meet the needs of some of the homeless community in my city. While I was the one serving, I am pretty confident that the people that I met there impacted my life far more than I ever did theirs.

Will you be bold to talk about Me to those I put in your life?

This one was the most terrifying – to share the Gospel with my friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else God surrounded me with. These are the people that I love most, that I so badly want to know of God’s love, and that I care most about what they think of me. There I said it. This was a “yes” that felt like a high risk, but has also reaped some of the sweetest and greatest reward – to get to welcome some of those I care deeply about into God’s family!

Will you be bold to talk about Me to those I put in your life?

I’m still living in this one. While it has taken necessary time and preparation for me to move overseas, it started with talking about God with people from different parts of the world that came to study or live in my very own community here in the States. In saying “yes” to those daily and weekly opportunities God provided, He has continued to open doors that lead me abroad.

Often times, saying “yes” to God means that we must lay aside our own pride and comfortably and trust that His plan is greater. He is worthy of these sacrifices and He is glorified when we step out in faith, despite the fears we may have.

So how can we become faithful people whose hearts are bent towards following God, no matter the cost, in our day-to-day life? I can tell you what some very impactful women in my life have told me – just go back to the last thing God asked you to do, and do that thing. Start there, ask for His grace to do so, commit to saying “yes” to God, and you never know where He may take you!

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