This is a continuation from my last post. To recap, on the very morning I was asking God to show me whether to stay in advertising or not, my advertising professor made this statement,
“…there is a student in this class who has been promoting God, and probably will continue to do so.”
(Yes, at the very end of the school year, I told my professor how God used him to lead me to join this Christian organization. He confirmed that he was in fact talking about me. But he was rather unsettled at the part of God using him…since he was an atheist. Which is also why I told him!)
God continued to lead.
My desire to tell others about God simply grew. While considering my future, I read this verse:
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake…” Phil 1:29
I told my friend, “I don’t fully understand this verse, but I think God’s about to explain it to me.”
Oddly enough, someone gave me Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, “The Cost of Discipleship” that I had already thrown in my suitcase for a trip that week. The entire book could be summed up by that verse.
More happened that I won’t take time to explain. Suffice it to say that my desire grew to somehow use media to reach as many people with the gospel as possible.
I found out that I could work at the headquarters of a Christian organization, in media.
One large hurdle: my parents. They were already pretty caustic about my becoming a Christian. This Christian organization was not a paid position. In fact, I would have to ask people to contribute to my salary in order to draw a paycheck. And I could not show up for my first day of work until enough people offered to donate on a regular monthly basis the amount I would need (set by the organization).
Well, my parents had no concept of “missionaries.” And I was sure this would be met with enormous resistance. I thought back to the verse, “granted to you…to also suffer for his sake…”
I knew that this decision could mean the loss of my relationship with my family, being totally cut off from them for the rest of my life.
It took me three days to answer God, “If God calls me to do this, am I willing to suffer the loss?”
Once I did answer yes to that, God’s direction to this organization seemed obvious. I hadn’t told my parents yet, but I did tell one friend in Ohio.
A couple of days later, I was again home in Chicago (now Christmas break). I was doing dishes at my parent’s house and talking to God (silently) discussing with him possible friends whom I could invite to move to California with me to be roommates. I went through a list in my head.
Then I thought of Christy. She had already graduated, was already working for a radio station in Iowa, and enjoying it. I hadn’t talked to her in months, but I told God that I thought she’d be perfect!
Thirty minutes later, Christy called my parents house! When I answered, she said, “I heard you are going to join the staff of Cru. Are you really?” (She knew my parents.) I said, “Yes” and wondered how she had heard.
Then she said, “Ok, I have the pots, pans, and dishes.”
I said, “What?!”
She said, “I’m going on staff at headquarters in California. Where are you going?”
I said, “Headquarters.”
She said, “Ok, great. Let’s be roommates!”
Can God be any clearer? I think God did that because of the opposition I would receive. He graciously showed me it really was his will. However, my parents did NOT cut off the relationship, though it was tense.
And God has built EveryStudent.com out of all of that. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to watch him work.
If you sense God calling you to something similar, and are willing to raise your own salary, here’s a site where you can explore options: http://cru.org.
However, let me say….I think God calls people to a wide variety of ways to serve him.
Some people feel called to their occupation where they can glorify God in it. Some feel called to make a lot of money so they can give it towards God’s kingdom, to bring people to Christ or help people in some way. Some love being able to serve people and show God’s love to others. Some are called to bring justice to the world, medicine to the sick, services that are needed.
I hope this email brings glory to God, for the way he can so clearly speak and guide! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov 3:5,6)