I once had the opportunity to ask well-known missionary and author Elisabeth Elliot one question: “What do I do when I have feelings for someone that won’t go away?”
“The things we love best,” she replied, “are substance for sacrifice.”
That two-minute conversation encapsulates a lesson that God has been teaching me throughout my life.
Many of you have heard me share my testimony at VOICE about how God asked me to give Him my love for volleyball, my hopes for education, my security at home in America, my feelings for someone I thought I’d marry… And now, God is asking me to give up one of my greatest passions: VOICE.
I spent the last twelve years developing VOICE into what I thought might be my life work. I made a lot of mistakes, but I got to see God do incredible things in your lives and mine. A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to take care of my sick family and get ready for this conference when God used a book I was reading to ask if I would be willing to give it up for Him.
“What?! Give up VOICE? How? Why?”
I write this with tears in my eyes. I wrestled with this decision as one can only wrestle with an idea that seems completely contrary to reality, but at the same time, it felt so familiar because I had been in this situation before. So I cried. I prayed. And I asked Him to confirm it to me through my personal devotions the next morning, and He did. In the words of a song, “Everything I once held dear, I count it all as loss…”
So what does this mean for VOICE? It means that #VOICE2016 may be our last conference. We hope you’ll pray with us that God will bring the people He wants to grow from the VOICE experience. If you have family or friends who have been thinking about attending “some day,” tell them this is the year they should go. If you’ve been wanting to come for V2, let me know.
Lastly, remember, VOICE is just a tiny chapter in God’s story of the world. We did everything we could to help you understand the Gospel and develop a personal relationship with Jesus. So now it’s your turn.
God is real. Live like it.