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Making the Decision to Say “YES!”

Katy Steele, 23

On a fall morning, the sun shone in through stained-glass windows and everyone’s head was bowed in prayer. I was sitting still in a church pew; but inside, my heart was pounding.

“Are you sure, God?” I asked over and over again. I heard no answer. Then unexpectedly, a still small voice fell gently over me. “Do you trust me?” the voice asked.

What Next?

During my senior year of college, everyone wanted to know what I was doing after graduation. Frankly, I didn’t know the answer. Until now, every phase of my life had a step to climb: after elementary school came middle school, after middle school came high school, after high school came college. What came after college?

Many people tried to make a decision for me. Some of my friends were studying for graduate school; others were filling out stacks of job applications. I felt pressure to do what everyone expected, to make my professors proud, to be successful. But I knew that God had planted a different seed in my heart, and slowly it was taking root.

Asking the Right Questions

As I sat in church that morning, everyone was deep in prayer. But all of a sudden, I opened my eyes and looked up. At that moment, Pastor Mark began praying aloud. His eyes were closed, but he extended his hand in my direction; and speaking softly, he began to pray: “Jesus is asking, ‘Will you follow me?’” His outstretched hand hung in the air like a question mark. “Will you follow me?”

Katy says YES to WRI had known for a long time that Jesus was asking me to leave home for a year to be a missionary. I felt led to a program called the World Race, a journey to eleven countries in eleven months to share the love of Christ and to grow in relationship with God. I had been praying about it for almost two years, but secretly I had hoped that God wouldn’t ask me to actually do it. I waited for the desire to go away, but it grew stronger. I knew in my heart what God was asking me to do; so finally, I stopped asking God questions and started answering the questions God was asking me. Did I trust the Lord with all my heart? Would I follow Jesus wherever he asked me to go?

Leaving home for a year sounded crazy. It seemed dangerous. But I could see Jesus, patiently holding out his hand to me; and I knew that if Jesus was reaching out for me, reaching back for him was the only response. I told God, “Yes. I trust you.” I told Jesus, “Yes. I will follow you.” I said yes to the World Race.

Are you paying attention to the questions God is asking you? If prayer is a conversation with God, shouldn’t both participants in the conversation get a chance to speak? Try practicing a listening prayer. Ask the Lord to speak to you; then sit in silence to see what God might say. Jot down any questions you think God is asking you, and pray for God’s help as you search for the answers.

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DIG DEEPER

God guides our lives, calling us to walk in God’s paths. If doubt or fear is keeping you from saying yes, find courage in these verses:

Katy Steele, 23 , left for the World Race after graduating from Elon University. Learn more about her journey around the world at www.katysteele.theworldrace.org.

—from devozine (September/October 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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