Becoming Available

My husband said I should go. I resisted. Ignoring the nagging in my heart, I called a friend about our homeschool co-op. Her husband, the youth pastor, interrupted with a question,

Does Renae need a ticket?

I said I’d call back.

Trying to stall, I opened the internet and stumbled across an article written by a young lady who spilled her heart in Africa.

Rainstorm Approaching Huts and Rice Paddies, Batad, Ifugao,   Philippines

My selfishness swelled and burst as tears spilled out of my eyes reading of her sacrifice, of her love. This single, young girl adopted 14 children. She had counted the cost and decided it was worth it.

As a young person, I told God I would go anywhere. I planned to finish Bible college then move another country.

He sent me here.

I never would have chosen this desert, but there is no doubt in my mind that I am here for such a time as this. This is my mission field. And the mission is not about the place. It is about the people.

So why was I shirking this opportunity to serve the youth in my church?


It was an inconvenience. My plans included relaxing on the weekend. Besides, Acquire the Fire is LOUD. I’ve cranked up the sound on Michael Buble’, but that just screams old.


I’d gotten really used to hanging out with elementary school kids. Don’t you have to be cool to relate to teens? Surely, someone else was more qualified, more ready, more able.


My heart was already so full. I didn’t want to open it up any more.

I was willing to give everything decades ago. Why not for this? Was it because it didn’t look like my youthful ideal of living in a jungle?

Wooden barn and silo, Lewiston, Idaho

There was no excuse for the lies holding me back.

Yes, I’m coming.

So I drove my van full of kids to a conference. It wasn’t much of a sacrifice. I slept on a cushioned bench and stopped for coffee on the way to the auditorium.

It wasn’t even really all that loud. I enjoyed the concerts and the teachings inspired. My insecurities sloughed off as I realized anew how simple it is to love. My heart stretched. My prayers for this generation renewed their blaze.

More faces filled my widening view of what if means to minister here.

Was that the purpose all along?

Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4:35)

13 Responses to Becoming Available

  1. Beautifully written my friend! When we step out in faith Gid meets us there and gives us mire than we ever thought possible.

    • Summer,
      I actually thought of you when I wrote this post. I know your heart’s passion for missions matches mine. Continue being faithful, my friend.

      • Renae,
        You are such a beautiful person with a beautiful heart and you share it so openly and invite others to read and take part of it, of you. Thank you for thinking of me! Here are we, “cyber only” friends and you thought of me.

        (I can’t believe my type-o’s in my original comment, oh my! Guess that’s what I get for not proofreading. :o)

  2. Great post! My husband and I work with our church’s middle school youth group and even though most people wonder why in the world we choose to do it, we have found that God has blessed us over and over in our ministry to the point that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.

    • Beth,
      Yeah! As my son approaches middle school, I’m remembering all over again what a crazy time that is. Thank you for being faithful! May you walk in wisdom and grace as you love those kids.

  3. I remember thinking that and now I have worked with the teens for 6 years and had whole groups move on even had one return from missions in Brazil, sometimes we do missions but it is in the training of the young ones that go “Out into the world.” God Bless whatever God has for you.

  4. This is beautiful. And I think I’m just beginning to make the connection that this is you. :) I’ve always been curious about getting to know you. I think I even went to your wedding, if I’m remembering correctly. But I was a kid, and you seemed very *old*. :) Now, here you are, reaching out, and here I am, muddling through homeschooling. All this to say… I’m very much enjoying becoming familiar with your online presence. Blessings on you!
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..Girls on the Run =-.

    • Becky,
      Your comment made me laugh. I was *19* when I got married! But yes, you were so young. I’m sure I did seem old.

      And truth be told, I’m still muddling through homeschooling, too. It’s just nice to know I’m not alone. ;)

  5. I am struggling right now with where the Lord wants us to serve next school year. I, like you, have not worked with kids older than 12, my oldest’s age. Like you, I am coming up with excuses. I want to camp in September. I don’t want to find a substitute! I want to play. Isn’t it enough that I’ve served in children’s department every year since before I even had kids? That’s the loudest voice right now. Last Sunday, we were set free from our 6th grade class. I missed them. I missed the other workers! I am very conflicted, as you can see. I need to hear from Him. Thanks for this post. Well done, good and faithful servant!

    • Jenn4Him,
      Dylan and I actually served as youth pastors for a couple of years, but it was years ago. I got so used to working with my own kids, I sort of forgot how accepting youth can be.

      In Texas, I served in the nursery, but now that my kids are getting older, I have more opportunities.

      I look forward to hearing how the Lord leads you as you are faithful to listen.

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