Recently, Kristy and I were talking about this insane life we get to live in Mae Sot. It’s chaotic and beautiful and unpredictable and wonderful. It’s stupid hard and surrounded by the unfamiliar, and it’s also our normal.
Every day we have the opportunity to do life with incredible people on the border of Thailand and Burma. Sometimes this looks like having a casual conversation with Hser Ku Paw while we order our morning coffee. Sometimes it looks like teaching English to 150 middle school students. Sometimes it looks like youth group and Burmese church. Sometimes it looks like vulnerably telling our stories through writing or gathering our Braverly women at our house for small group. No matter what, it looks like using our gifts, talents, and passions to build God’s Kingdom while also praying desperately for the Father to grow our capacities.
This is our yes.
It’s wild to me that a year ago this month, I got on an airplane headed for Thailand for the first time. My short week in Mae Sot confirmed everything the Lord had been saying for months. This was my yes.
And a year later, I found myself sitting in a coffee shop with my dear friend in this city that now feels like home. As Kristy and I talked, we commented on how often we hear people say, “I could never do what you do!”
What they mean, of course, is that they could never move across the world. They could never change their life that much. They could never be a “missionary.” I believe that this phrase, “I could never do what you do,” could be one of the most dangerous phrases in the Church today.
This is the mindset that elevates people to a position they can only fall from, and it devalues the place and position of everyone else. This life and town and team is my yes, but it might not be yours. I’m not here because I am more courageous than the next person. I’m not here because I am a super Christian or because I love Jesus more than you do. I am here because I knew what my yes needed to be.
For years I wrestled with the Father, searching and seeking and asking Him to show me where He wanted me to go, what He wanted me to do. I knew that where I was not where He wanted me to be forever, but I didn’t know where my next step was supposed to take me. And then, ever so slowly over the course of years, He began to help me see the path ahead. He began to show me my yes.
This yes happened to lead me to Mae Sot. It happened to lead me to missions and nonprofit and ministry. It happened to lead me far away from my family and all the comforts of my world in Nappanee. This was my yes, but it might not be yours.
I am confident of this–we all have a yes that is burning in our hearts. It’s a yes we are still discovering or searching for, or maybe it’s a yes that we’ve recognized all along. I believe the Father isn’t looking for more people to sell everything they own and move to another country. He isn’t looking for more people to become what they think they are “supposed to” become. He is looking for the people who pause long enough to recognize the yes He planted in their hearts so long ago.
My yes was to Mae Sot, Thailand. Your yes could be right where you are; it could be staring you in the face. Or just maybe, your yes might lead you far away. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about saying, “Yes,” it’s that it will always lead us into deeper dependency, desperate courage, and abundant life in the Father.
But, friends, we need to stop comparing ourselves with those around us. We need to stop saying things like, “I could never do that.”
Because you could.
Because there’s nothing extraordinary about me.
I just said yes after years of searching and seeking and saying no to a lot of other things.
There is a “yes” burning in your heart that only you can say.
Be the kind of person who says, “Yes,” to the Father.