Into the Yes
In November, I was sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home from a speaking event when I heard a familiar sound beside me. It was the crinkle of turning Bible pages. I glanced over and saw the most adorable woman reading intently, so I couldn’t resist.
“What are you studying?” I asked. (Don’t miss her picture at the bottom. You can feel her energy and fun, so you know you would have talked to her too! )
That question opened the sweetest conversation where my new friend Anna’s story of giving unfolded. It was so moving that I wanted to share it with you here.
The reason I love it so much is that Anna gave from what was already in her hands. She heard from God, looked down at what she had, and gave generously. Think you have nothing to give? Well, listen to Anna’s story and maybe you’ll reconsider. Please welcome Anna!
My sweet friends, as I have been looking toward the Christmas season I have found myself wanting more. MORE!!!!! Let me explain.
As part of my business with a beauty, health and wellness company, we release an exclusive holiday line each year that is specifically for gifts for the holidays. People love this and wait all year for these products to come out! They are luxurious. I literally groan when I put them on because they smell and feel so good.
So! Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t get excited about the Open Houses I have lined up to release them this year. This is an opportunity for people to come, experience, have fun, and shop to their heart’s content for their friends and loved ones. Such a great time and I couldn’t for the life of me get excited about it. The dates were set, the holidays are approaching, but I couldn’t send out the invites.
Finally, after wrestling with this for weeks, I got still and asked the Lord about it. “What is this Lord?? Why can’t I get excited about this?! Why can’t I send these out these invitations? Friends, it came to me so quickly why I couldn’t get excited. It was because it didn’t matter. I laid it down and walked away, trusting His timing with my planning.
Two days later, I was in my quiet space with Him praying about other things when what I needed to do hit me. And I mean an immediate knowing. At each of my events I would provide blank Christmas cards for those who attend to write letters of love and encouragement to girls that have been rescued from sex trafficking. Additionally, anyone who wants to can purchase gifts for these girls at wholesale.
I started deeply sobbing knowing this was of the Lord. I immediately reached out to a friend who has been working with these girls and shared what God had just put on my heart. Seconds later, she texted me back–at 6 a.m. mind you–affirming this prompting as she had just stepped into conversation with a global organization who rescues these girls. My friend has been working locally and is now committed globally and I had no idea. This is the invitation of God.
Friends, I was scared. I am a little bit scared. I immediately asked 6-8 close friends to pray for me as I step into what I know is a battlefield. I have been roughed up in the battle in the past, and a piece of me fears stepping back in. But, girls, so much more than the fear of the battle is these beauties–the fight for their redemption– and the invitation of God. So much more!!!
Will I ever know them? Only God knows. What I do know is that He has given me an invitation to tangibly love His crushed vessels. His tender ones. And I have a literal balm of Gilead and a platform I can use to get it to them. We are calling this Gifts of Redemption. I say ‘we’ because it is so very we. It is the we of everyone who steps in.
Today I want to ask you, will you give when you feel pause? Even especially when we feel pause in activities that are common to us? Will you be willing with me to give this pause stillness and ask the Lord honestly and openly, “What is it Lord?” Will you lay down your plan in trust of His? And with that, can He have your Yes with whatever He tells you?
And can I just remind you that His promise to us is always life to the full?? As I wrote this He reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
This requires our agreement. This requires our yes.
I have to tell you that Gifts of Redemption has come out of nowhere for me. This has never been a heart burning passion for me. However, from the moment I said “Yes”, He has only continued to give invitation even deeper into the Yes, and I am experiencing more and more of life to the full.
This season, let us step more and more into the Yes.
Meet Anna… Wife to Ryan for 9 years, momma to two babies in heaven and two babies in my arms, the deepest of my longings is to say YES to Jesus every single day.
If you would like to be part of giving to Gifts of Redemption, please email Anna at [email protected] for all the details. She’ll even write a handwritten card to include with your gift!
Also, consider what’s in your hands. A talent? A small business? Some extra time? In some quiet–a pause– ask God how He might want you to give what you’ve already got.
Well written, Anna. Thank you so much for sharing. That’s EXACTLY how I’ve been feeling about the Christmas “traditions” for the last few years, IT DOESN’T MATTER. Not only don’t they matter, most of them are not even from God. The last few years God has been speaking to me to guide me in making new Christmas “traditions” and helping make sense of what to do about the ones that aren’t founded in Him. While the subject matter might be different, the context of listening to Him when things just don’t matter is the same. So again, thank you for sharing your heart. Love you.
Wow! This is powerful example of God’s intimate relationship with us. I am inspired to listen intently for his voice and to watch where He is at work. Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas, Laura! I’m inspired by Anna too!
Amy, these words from Anna struck me: “It was because it didn’t matter.” I have been wrestling with the why’s of Christmas…why am I not excited about buying gifts, why do I not want gifts, why am I not excited about my annual Christmas lunch with my close friends…why? Then I read the words from Anna and that is exactly it…it doesn’t matter. On the flip side of Christmas this year, I have loved loving the Christ-love. Focusing on Him, His promises, His birth of heavenly love coming down to earth. The Silent Night of salvation. With the feelings of Christ, and trying to force the worldly side of Christmas…I felt confused. Thank you Amy and Anna for clarity. I love spending time with family and loving them and giving gifts but God, this year has placed a purposeful gap to remind me gifts, parties and Hallmark Christmas movies are fine and fun but they do not matter. How can you, Michele, reach others for Me? This year I started a blog…I am an uneducated writer, haha. I went to She Speaks in July, the same week my blog launched. God has been so faithful with His words…He over flows them and pours them on my heart. The next step of faith is helping to lead our first church women’s conference Fall 2017. With all that said, and not to talk about me…because it is not me but Him…these are the things that matter. Loving, growing and faithfully seeking His “what-matters.”.
God sent the sentence to me this morning. I have never felt this way at Christmas. My joy, His joy is placed on the rugged cross: Grace-joy.
Thank you for your time. I just had to write my heart to you this morning.
Oh MICHELLE!!!!! Thank you for responding and for sharing!! He is so so so so GOOD!! I LOVE that you have been stepping into the Yes and I LOVE knowing there is a siater with me!! There are SO MANY!! AND IT IS SO EXCITING!!!! Thank you for YOUR words as they have been a gift to me this morning 🙂 Love to you, Anna 🙂
Beautiful. I’m praying for a big dose of Grace-joy for all of us. Merry Christmas to you too, Michele!