HE Speaks: Annie's story

So happy to share another sweet heart today...

Annie is so awesome and I loved reading her heart about how God has spoken, and how she has listened and responded....so encouraging!!
And i love her heart to spread the love of Jesus.
Thanks for sharing girl!!

hello, racing towards joy friends! i'm annie and i'm super excited to be guest posting for sarah today! you can usually find me writing over here and tweeting like a banshee over here.
(ps. i'm not really sure how banshees tweet, but my roommate from college and i used that to emphasize the speed or frequency with which something is being done. in this case, tweeting.)

now one of the things about which i am deeply passionate is missions. i particularly love international missions. i have been on five mission trips, four of which have taken place outside the country.

two years ago, i wanted to go on a trip to hungary but after a metaphorical stabbing in the eye i realized it just wasn't going to happen. i was getting The Itch, though. you know, The Itch to travel. i would have gone just about anywhere and done just about anything.

so i was sitting in church on february 15, 2012, when i saw a small announcement in the church bulletin for a meeting about a trip to honduras.

and i burst into tears.

a few things you should know about me:
1. i don't just cry.
2. i'm from honduras and we thought our last trip there would be the one we took
in the summer of 2010.
3. i don't just cry.

so i'm sitting in church basically trying to contain the ugly cry so i don't disturb anyone (i call this the Ugly Contain), and praying, "God, You wouldn't put this in front of me to take it away, would you?"

well, i missed the meeting. there was no contact information in the bulletin. by the time i figured out who would be a good person to contact, apparently i could not summon the energy it took to write a short email asking for information.

i was home a few weekends later and saw the missions brochure for my home church. there were two trips to india, a trip to uganda, a trip to spain, and a trip to paris. i asked my mom if i could go on one as a joke.

i think she got that it was 75% a joke because she answered with these grand plans of the family doing it together, and i knew there was no way that was going to happen. & really all i was trying to do was gauge her reaction to a trip to honduras anyway.

but i still didn't know if the Spirit was leading me to this. i knew so far, based on the message i'd heard at church on february 15, that if i were to take a trip, it would need to match my spiritual gifts, which are teaching and discernment.

the trip to spain? teaching ESL.

but i still wanted some deeper confirmation. i wanted to KNOW.

enter march 25, 2012.

our pastor spoke on walking spiritually. i can't remember where he went with that.

i do remember, though, how God went with it.

all i could think about was spain and honduras, honduras and spain, the entire time, knowing that spain seemed more likely for a variety of reasons, like matching my gifts and safety. (honduras has the dubious distinction of being the murder capital of the world this year. americans are particularly at risk, even if they are half-honduran like me.)

while my tiny, fearful heart was beating missions, missions, missions, our pastor was speaking on listening to the Spirit. and the one thing i heard distinctly was this: that listening occurs when we speak to each other with "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" and submit to each other "out of reverence for Christ." by doing this, we build community; by building community, we invite the Spirit; when we invite the Spirit, He speaks.

& let me tell you something, friends: HE. SPOKE.

on march 25, 2012, the Spirit gave me 150% certainty that i was going to spain that summer.
and on july 6, 2012, i boarded a plane for madrid to teach english as a second language,
with an emphasis on relationship-building and pre-evangelism.

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I love that you answered God's voice in your life.
And that you were patient for His timing.
That's such a blessing for others to hear, that might be waiting for the "Go".
My prayer is that you would continue to use those gifts He had put in you, and follow WHEREVER He leads you, no matter the cost.  He's so good!

go make a new friend!
Annie blogs here and tweets here

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I have so enjoyed doing this series on hearing God's voice.
I have been blessed and encouraged myself, and hope you have been too.
I think it's always great to hear about other people's stories.
If you'd like to share your story about how you hear from the Lord,
email me! I'd love to share your heart here. :)