When Following God Gets Hard

Written by a Cafe 1040 Staff

I left an empty seat this month at my dear friend's wedding. She called me over Skype at 5:30 a.m., the musical traffic of Southeast Asia already singing in the background. At that early hour, I exchanged excited words with a glowing bride a few minutes before she walked down the aisle.

Later that day, I sat across from one of the girls I mentor at a coffee shop. "I'm starting to realize I can do this. With God’s help, I can really do it! I love it here, I have the full support of my family, and I have skills that are desperately needed in the 10/40 Window."

She hesitated with a silence so full that I dared not interrupt it. "Remember when you said sometimes we're our own biggest obstacles? I'm starting to understand that. I'm starting to see how much my own plans could hinder me from what God has planned for me.”

She was unfolding, opening her heart to speak without censoring, and her risky confession tangled with the other words she'd been trying so hard not to say out loud. When walls start to crumble, it's hard to control what stands and what falls.

"I don't know how it's all supposed to work. There are holidays and weddings and birthdays I wouldn't dream of missing, but for the first time, my eyes are being opened to a Great Wedding Day where there are still empty seats, and the people here don't even know they're invited."

Not all the girls I mentor have said it as eloquently, but they've all said it one way or another. Over the past nine weeks, I've watched each of them push aside their obstacles and lean in closer to hear the noisy joy of a Wedding Day, and they are eager to hand out invitations.