Say Yes! By Makayla Maves

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“What would happen if you said yes?” I had this very thought cross my mind right before I made a decision that would completely turn my life upside down. Sitting in the front of our fifteen passenger van on our way home from a conference called Project Timothy, I heard God speak. A gentle whisper and I knew the next years of my life would be forever changed. Later that day, I called my dad and explained what I had heard. To sum it up I would be graduating a year early and attending HLI the following year, he argued a little and told me not to make rash decisions but I think God spoke to him too because he said yes. In the months to follow I began to radically see Jesus move and align things around me, making a way for now my senior year class schedule, receiving my acceptance letter for HLI, and taking me to Mae Sot Thailand exploding a deep love and call inside of me to Southeast Asia. Jesus was plowing the road in front of me. It has been amazing reflecting on the past year and being able to see how God has been preparing me to live a life of yes.

What I mean by living a life of yes, is that to live a life with Jesus at the center you have to keep saying yes to Him. He might call you into something completely out of your comfort zone or challenge you in an area that you don’t necessarily like, say yes. He might bring something up in you that feels painful and hard, maybe something you have buried so far down that it takes years of digging to get to it, say yes. He might ask you to high-five someone or pay for their coffee, say yes! The possibilities are endless really, but the reality is, God is always at work and always on mission and He wants us to be on mission with Him. Say yes, it’s worth it.

A life of living in yes isn’t easy, in fact it can be a lot harder at times. I would be lying if I said that I had this even close to figured out. I mess up, I stumble, I fall, sometimes daily or even multiple times in a day. We live in a broken world where broken people do broken things. But God uses broken people and God uses broken things. We all have cracks, some bigger than others, some deeper than others. But what happens when you say yes to Jesus is those cracks begin to be filled and the pieces begin to be put back together. He is making us new. He is relentlessly and recklessly pursuing each and every one of us daily in order to restore us to the way He intended before the brokenness.

I hadn't realized that when I said yes to graduating at 16, moving 18 hours away from my hometown, and jumping into this thing called HLI, that I really said yes to so much more than that. I said yes to not just nine months, but a lifetime of learning to live like Jesus. I didn’t know what life would be like a year later in HLI, I didn’t know why Jesus was calling me to HLI, but the one thing I did know was a life where I said yes to Him was going to be worth it.

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Now in HLI, I’ve felt the conviction of knowing it’s my choice daily to say yes to Jesus, even when that's the last thing I want to do. But in order to live the life He is calling us to, we must be willing to surrender the screaming of our flesh for the whispers of the Holy One. I can think of multiple times in HLI thus far where I was faced with the decision say yes to what Jesus was calling me into but one moment specifically comes to mind. Day one of HLI. On the shore of Lake Superior, I sat with our director and he asked me what I was most excited for and what I was most scared about for the upcoming year. My eyes slowly filled with tears as I explained my fear of being the youngest in the group and not feeling like I belong. Jackson challenged me to bring those fears into the light and let my classmates come around me. I still had a choice, I could’ve said no, but I felt that tug on my heart that Jesus wanted to begin to heal my heart. When I said yes, I got to experience Jesus’s heart for me, I saw Him begin to peel back the lies that the enemy had been telling me for so long and I began experiencing freedom. So, what would happen if you said yes?

Mary McKellick