A month ago I took off to Alaska. It was my first time to actually have my feet on the Last Frontier but it has been on my bucket list since I realized how much I dislike heat.
But that is not why I went.
There are a lot of reasons to go to Alaska. Cruises in that area are suppose to be AMAZING!! The wildlife and whales are a great tourist draw as well. Adventure and dog sled races! The raw open expanses of land with minimal tracks of mankind are everywhere… rising and stretching untamed under an azure sky. I could go on and on… But none of those reasons are why I went. I went because I was compelled by the Spirit.
Do you know what that means?
It doesn’t mean because it fit my schedule, was comfortable, was on the bucket list, sounded like fun. It means in the stillness God spoke to my heart and said, ‘Go.’
To be quite hones it didn’t fit my schedule. I actually had been having some new issues with a brain trauma injury from 2009 which had me in the hospital for 2 nights only days before we were to take off. The issues had settled down but were still prevalent and unpredictable… but I went anyway.
It didn’t have the pampered appearance of being a comfortable trip. Lots of plane transfers on some very tiny planes, less than pristine hotels, undetermined housing situations… but I went anyway.
While it was on my bucket list it was suppose to be a cruise with my husband OR us there with our kids so we could get our family thimble for another state-shared adventure. Lenny is in heaven. The grandkiddos are in school… but I went anyway.
As far as having fun… I find that fun has little to do with WHERE I am as much as the attitude I bring wherever I am at. So regardless of the activities or lack thereof… I went anyway because I was compelled.
I was compelled by The Holy Spirit to go and seek and share my faith from Arkansas to Scammon Bay, Alaska. God didn’t ask me to check my calendar OR even if I WANTED to go. He simply said, “This is yours to do. Go.’
So I signed up. Paid my monies. Attended meetings with 7 other women who were headed the same way. Prepped. Packed and went.
Along the way I met people in flight and in the airports and even a stewardess (Hello Sam) who God graced me to cross paths with on the journey. THEN when I got to Scammon Bay I met beautiful people in a small community off the shores of the Bering Sea. While there we worshipped, taught and shared our stories, our faith and the gospel with some incredible folks I hope to meet and serve again.
So in hindsight I went because? To be honest… I still don’t know.
There wasn’t one moment or person that stood out and tah-dah I KNEW this was why I was here. Occasionally you may feel it, but more often than not we don’t. There is no way this mind of mine could comprehend the mind or thoughts of the sovereign, Omniscient God.
That being said I am content with not knowing because I understand my ‘understanding’ of an event’s significance is not important to the mission – my obedience is.
So when the Spirit of the Lord compels me, when I am earnestly or urgently asked to yield myself, my time, my plans… then moving in obedience to Him is the answer I gave as I signed up for Alaska and pray I will always give.
Now following the Lord doesn’t always make me look wise nor is it always understood by others. For instance, I put off telling my family I was still going on this mission trip until I was already packed and prepping to leave.
Following the Lord is also not easy. It can be dangerous. But the compelling burns like a fire in the heart of the faithful and demands that we carry and loose it, and ourselves, as He has directed.
“… His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, AND I COULD NOT.” Jeremiah 20:9 (emphasis mine)
The thing about being compelled by the Lord is that it is a burden, something that you just can’t outrun until it is accomplished because IT is a part of something bigger than you or I can grasp. The compelling is of kingdom importance and only God knows its relevance to what is and what will be.
So to every heart I met and served with or was served by on this last journey… know that every time I picture you:
- you and your husband’s tanned faces engaging with us as we made our way into Seattle from Dallas – I pray for you and the kids you teach and your family and for all your future cruises to Texas with that man who holds your heart.
- the man I spoke with in enroute to and in Seattle, that lives in Anchorage and Florida – I thank you for stirring my heart in the Word and am praying that on your journey faith would be your consuming source of life – more so than golf LOL.
- Sam, I am praying for you and your upcoming marriage and the journey ahead and your family and ALL your brothers
- AND to the community of Scammon Bay, and our Texas co-pilot, you are in my thoughts and prayers. An extension of my family and the kingdom God is building.
God didn’t send me out to kill time and have an adventure – He sent and sends us out with the greatest of intention and purposes.
I don’t have to understand Him or the mission or even what compelled means but I am beyond grateful that I allow myself to be available and usable.
He is soooo good.
And I thank Him for constantly reminding me that life is an incredible journey!