I’ve always believed that God has a sense of humor. My life is proof of it. I mean, He decided to throw this girl that never even grew up camping into the middle of the jungle, right? But it seems like He always wants to surprise me.
Years ago, I served as a youth leader in my home church. I remember telling God, “I’m definitely not called to work with youth. Why’d you ask me to do this again?” If I’m honest, I mainly helped because I was asked to and I knew God wanted me to serve there, but I didn’t have a desire to work with youth long term.
This is where things get funny.
In October, I started working with the youth at the local church because help was needed and I had worked with youth in the past. I didn’t expect to fall in love with it the way I have. It’s my favorite service of the week. It’s so funny to me how sometimes, God takes the things we don’t really like doing and asks us to do it. But over time… you begin to love it. Then you wonder, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”
After a few weeks, I remembered a message my pastor gave a while back on this verse:
“Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
He talked about how God not only gives us what we desire but that when we let Him completely into our lives, He gives us new desires. Oh, He gave me a new desire alright. Over the first few weeks, I was indifferent. I liked going, but I didn’t love it. Then one night my heart changed. All of a sudden I fell in love with those kids. And the thing is, that would have never happened if I hadn’t obeyed.
Why do we act surprised when God asks us to do uncomfortable things? It’s almost like we sometimes expect Him to keep us on a cloud for our entire lives, far away from anything that may make us feel awkward or out of our element. The reality is, that’s the last place He wants us. He wants us to grow and growing is uncomfortable.
I’m constantly reminded that He knows my heart way better than I do. He knows what my heart will be; not just what it is now or has been before. If anyone should choose my desires, it should be Him. Honestly, if I had followed my own heart I’d probably still be a portrait photographer in the States. And as much as I loved doing that, I’m glad that I’m living here in Ecuador as a missionary instead of doing portrait photography because that’s not what I was made for.
I’m thankful for a God that knows me better than I know myself. I can trust Him, even if He asks me to do something crazy. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Our incredible youth leadership team.