Last week I did something that made me uncomfortable.
I said yes.
It was to an email from a blog reader who also supports Mercy House telling me about a friend who was very sick. A mother diagnosed with a very serious illness who would be separated from her five beautiful children for weeks, seeking complicated medical intervention in my city, where she and her husband didn’t know a soul. Another mother who had spent her life saying yes to God, loving others.
Would I reach out to her? Would I go and pray for her?
My first thought was to respond that the hospital was 45 minutes away, that I am really an introvert and terrible in these situations, that I am overwhelmed with my yes to Mercy House and yes to helping refugees and yes to the epic laundry pile. I wanted to excuse myself because I didn’t know when I’d find the time and really, I haven’t stepped foot into a hospital since watching my sister-in-law pass away last year. My first reaction was to come up with all the reasons I couldn’t possibly say yes.
Which is generally a clear indication that I should.
I understand we can’t say yes to everything and everyone. And while I’m careful to guard my time, I really believe there are some questions we don’t have to pray about. There are some situations that grip your heart and you know God is speaking.
And this was one for me.
When I read the email to my husband and kids, they didn’t think twice about going. And I had to be honest with myself.
Because here’s the deal: If my To Do List isn’t governed by love, than I need to lay it down. If I’m too busy to love another person, then I’m too busy.
Because all the doing can make a person sick and leave no time for getting well.
Saying yes and obeying God is uncomfortable. It’s awkward. It requires self-denial. It requires action.
It’s easy to have faith at home that God will heal a sick mom I’ve never met, but it’s a different story when I’m standing next to her hospital bed with my family with a bag of books and goodies asking Him to do so.
Because, yes, I’m sure it encouraged my new friend, but even more, it encouraged me. We must understand that obedience isn’t just for the person receiving. It’s even more for the person doing.
The uncomfortable truth of doing what God tells us is this: It’s going to cost something-pride, time, money, bravery. But the reward of stepping into the unknown far outreaches and outlasts the price you have to pay.
A typical week at my house is anything but typical.
There’s always someone dropping off donations on the front porch, packing orders in the Mercy House building in our backyard, homeschool groups serving, mothers organizing in the garage, random people ringing the doorbell to see if I need help.
If you would have described this life scenario to me a few years ago, I would have laughed. And then hid.
I used to be a private person. I rarely had friends over and I was uncomfortable with people I didn’t know. I was safe in my controlled little world where I didn’t have to push my introverted self out of my comfort zone.
But I wouldn’t trade this real life today for anything in the world. Because my yes depends on a lot of others to say yes with me.
And I’ve been changed in the process.
As we drove home from the hospital, Terrell and I marveled at how much we had in common with our new friends from Missouri and we thanked God for introducing us to this beautiful, brave family.
My kids are already asking when we can go again.
The truth is we needed that visit as much as they did.
Stepping out in obedience makes us feel better because To Do lists can make a soul sick and it’s in the loving others we get well.
Do what God tells you to do. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Especially then.
You won’t regret it.
P.S. Please pray for my friend Heather.