I haven’t always said “yes.” In fact, most of what I have said “yes” to has been accompanied by questions and concerns. “What will this require?” “Am I qualified to do this?” “God, are you sure that I’m the girl you want?” However, I have found great strength in saying “yes.” It is in those “yes” moments that I see God move beyond what I imagined I could accomplish, and for that, I am saying “yes” to trying. I often share with people that I am not certain what the address is, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am on the right road.
In September 2019, I attended a discernment retreat held in Houston, Texas and co-hosted by Baptist Women in Ministry and Texas Baptist Women in Ministry. The retreat helped me to realize that road is filled with several paths that all serve God’s Kingdom and even if I take a detour on what I perceive to be the wrong path, it’ll still be the right path.
Prior to arriving at the retreat, I was hoping to get all of the answers and hopefully leave with an address that pointed to my calling. However, I left with confidence that God would continually guide me as I seek to serve faithfully wherever I was. I also left with more confidence to try. Seeing so many women with many different stories serve in ministry was beyond inspiring. It also helped me to realize that I have a story as well and the only way to continue the story is to keep saying “yes” to God’s call. I often thought that I’d only have to say “yes” once, but I have learned that this call is not that has a one-time response, rather it is an invitation to say “yes” every time God invites me to participate in what God is doing in the world around me.
While on the retreat, I had time to reflect on how far I’ve come. I thought about how faithful God has been thus far. I had moments of experiencing butterflies as I imagined the possibilities of where saying “yes” would take me. During our time of personal reflection, I was able to tap into why I said “yes” to following God’s voice so many years ago and in that I began to get excited about what God has done and is doing in my life.
Since the retreat, I have said “yes” to trying new areas of ministry. I have preached sermons, I have continued my love of writing and singing, and I have committed to an internship this coming summer that will be completely out of my comfort zone. Saying “yes” has given me an image of God lighting the path as I go. I trust that God is always faithful to give me piece by piece along the way. For all that I have experienced, I am truly grateful and for all that is waiting on the road ahead, I say “yes” even if I don’t have a precise address.
Tori Lawson is a student at McAfee School of Theology, Atlanta, Georgia.