You’ll hear talk of the ranch from me. I can’t escape it. That’s how it is with things indelible. They become a part of you and never leave you. Rancho el Camino is like that.
The ranch was a God-calling. One of those rare moments when you know He is speaking directly to you and there is no going back or to the side. Only forward. Into something entirely unknown. Radical. Without borders. You move forward because in your heart you know that, with Him, you are in the best place you can be.
Without Him. Who wants to be there?
That’s how it started. Before it was a calling. Just He and I in a cement dorm.
We had been on a short-term trip to Mexico. Peter, myself, and a team of youth group kids from NJ. It was July. And it was hot. I mean really hot. Tip the scales hot with 100 percent humidity. I was seven months pregnant with my youngest and blessed to wear those medical stockings that take hours to get into on a dry day. I was an emotional basket case even before the fever hit.
Our team got ready for the morning—a day of evangelism in a mountain village. When the man in charge heard me tell Peter I couldn’t go, he said, “Buck up. Get out there. No one stays behind.” I cried on my husband’s shoulder until I got to stay behind.
There I sat. Alone. Tired. Hot. In a cement dorm room with bugs as big as my fists. Feeling quite the pitiful sight. Telling God how wrong He was to bring me here. How I wasn’t a missionary. How I wasn’t an evangelist. How I didn’t like being in foreign countries. How I was sick and pregnant, and couldn’t He see how miserable I was?
In that room I wrestled with my failures and my inadequacies. As a wife, and mother, and even deeper, as a believer. I grumbled and thought, how will I ever be used by God? When everyone else is excited about missions and I don’t even want to be here. How can I even call myself a Christian when I feel so spiritually weak? When I’d rather hide. When I’d rather be alone.
It was in that dorm, in that moment, He gave me the scripture that He would use to call us to full-time missions in Mexico. But He gave me something else that day. Something that transcends where I am or what I am doing.
He said, “Child, I did not make you to be someone you are not. I did not make a mistake when I knit you together. You may never be an evangelist or a missionary ;)" (Hah, Ten years, baby ;) - watch out for that one!) He said, "You are uniquely you. Not to be altered or changed by what others think you should be. By your own estimation and judgement. Only to grow closer to Me. To know who you are and who I made you to be. To be transformed by ME.”
I learned in that place, that if I am available to Him, He will use my passions and gifts... those things already a part of who I am and who He made me to be. For me it was my love for horses. My love for art. And now, my love for writing. Who would have guessed that I could be just me and still be used by God!
Remember, you are exactly who you are supposed to be. No mistakes. You are NOT who your neighbor is, or your friend, or your husband or wife. NOT the one who looks like they have it all together (which they don’t) or the one who seems to juggle everything with perfection (which they can’t). You are you… fearfully and wonderfully made… child of the King.
Be okay with YOU today. With the beautiful way He has made you uniquely you. Bring Him your gifts, your talents, and your passions, and watch Him do the miraculous!