There was a theme of “pressing” during my Amani week. I was pressing wrinkles out of clothes and probably pressing Christen’s buttons as I displayed my lack of skill in the retail clothing area. But more than that I was pressing into God, listening for His direction in my heart of what I should be doing.
I’d been pressing into His heart for peace in the days leading up to their visit, too. Call me crazy but it didn’t dawn on me until about the week before they came that I was going to have two complete strangers sleeping in a room upstairs near my children’s bedrooms. Our master bedroom is on the main floor and tucked back in a corner so that we cannot hear a thing. I didn’t know anything about these women except that they came from very traumatic backgrounds and lived in war-torn areas. I didn’t even know who was staying with us until they arrived.
One night I got so concerned that I almost gave up my spot to be a hostess because I knew there was a waiting list of families who wanted my guests. As I lay in bed praying, I traced my decisions back to the day I sensed God calling us to invite them into our home. I then made a promise that I would not walk in fear but faith. I can see now that those whispers of fear were the enemy trying to talk me out of blessings God wanted to lavish on us.
It wasn’t just them staying with us that made me nervous, it was this overwhelming sense of being totally out of place and completely inadequate. I don’t like to feel like I don’t t know what to do. I like having at least a little bit of competence but it would not be so. You see, I’m not naturally gifted at reaching out to people of other cultures. I don’t know why. I tend to fumble on my words, get concerned I’ll say the wrong thing, ask the wrong question and offend someone. I am also terribly geographically challenged and tend to embarrass myself.
Inviting women from a country I know very little about who speak a language I have never even heard and eat food I don’t know how to cook made me feel like I could fail very easily. But you know what – it was the best weakness I could have had because it left me completely dependent on God every minute they were here.
For the first time in a long time, I could hear God’s voice whisper so clearly and consistently in my heart for almost a whole week. I guess that is what happens with daily dependence. I would ask, “Lord, tell me what to say.” And He would. I would ask, “Lord, what should I do in this situation, should I go sit there or over there? Should I try to fit in or stay back and just observe them together.” Even when I felt a little odd in the crowd, I’d tell Him “I feel kinda lonely now, help me feel Your presence or teach me something through this uncomfortable emotion I have.”
I’m so thankful I did not listen to my fears and miss the sweet, sweet opportunity to see the and hear the heart of God – in them and in me. It was the most wonderful time of abiding in Him that I’ve had in quite a while. I don’t want it to end now that they are gone. I don’t want to go back to knowing my way around and turning to Him for help only when I can’t figure out what to do in life’s challenges. I want to talk to Him about everything now – I mean EVERY THING! But it’s so easy to forget.