When I was 16 years old, I was coming out of a long season of bitterness and anger. While not a constant, visible part of my life, they were rooted deep and had, over time, built walls around my heart. On one hand, I was probably the most trusting person you would find. I wanted to believe everyone was good and liked me. On the other hand, I tiptoed around really living. I was harboring a grudge against my parents for ever moving us overseas. I just couldn’t seem to understand my place there. I can’t quite pinpoint the beginnings of God working in my heart, of bringing me out of this fortress I had built for myself, but I can remember the “I saw the light” moment of knowing God had a purpose for me.
Our family was on furlough for a year, staying in a mission home in Greenville, SC. My surroundings had changed. I was in a new place, and suddenly the newness of everything shone a bright light on where I had just left. I began to see my life in Venezuela was not just God’s plan for my family, but it was God’s plan for ME. When you are a pre-teen and a teen, it almost seems ridiculous that God would use us. Isn’t this the part of life that we’re NOT supposed to have a care in the world? My life, because of my upbringing, had also caused me to grow up a little faster than most people my age. I went to boarding school when I was 13, and this year of furlough when I was 16 is the last time period I lived with my parents for any length of time. I practically had to grow up overnight, but knowing God’s plan for me, I still felt like a baby – uncertain and confused. During this year of furlough God did two significant things in my life: 1) I began to see God how He saw me.
2) I knew He was calling me to serve Him. It was that year that I knew that God was calling me to marry a pastor, and calling me to one day be a mom. Seems normal to be called to be a mom, right? Less normal, everyday stuff to be called to be a pastor’s wife. For me, both were seeded deep down in my heart. A passion to be those things burned deep within me.
Over the course of God bringing both callings into my life, I have also never felt so “in over my head”. I feel like I’m on a constant learning curve. I don’t know if I do a great job most of the time, but I do know that the calling drives my WANT TO. I have to ask God constantly to remind me I, Amy, have a purpose. I have to be reassured that He has a plan for me. I want to find my identity, more often than not, in what others think of me. I can live in the place of assuming I know, all too often. Know what I mean? Even as the words roll off of my tongue to my children, “Don’t get caught up in what others think of you,” in the back of my mind, I care way too much. Thoughts that can drown out God’s voice, “I AM the great I AM in you and through you” pervade my mind.
Today I read these words in my quiet time, ““Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.” Isaiah 43:1,2
Don’t we need to be reminded that He has called us and we do belong…to Him? For our day to day, no greater word could fall on our hears, over and over again. Feeling less than? Not sure why God has you where He has you? May today’s whisper in your ear be, “I’ve called you by name. You’re mine.” He’s our ALWAYS AND FOREVER place to belong.