My journey to surrendering to God started last summer, when I was a leader at youth camp. One night before worship, I asked the Lord to reveal something to me, whether it be the message, or just a word that stood out. One song that we sang was “At the Cross.” The chorus says: “At the cross, at the cross, I surrender my life. I’m in awe of you.” As soon as I sang “I surrender my life,” I instantly knew that is what the Lord wanted from me. I didn’t know at the time what I would be surrendering to, but I knew I needed to give up my control.
Fast forward to October, when I was contemplating the idea of serving with Go Now Missions. For the past two years, I struggled with feeling called to go. I have been on countless mission trips, but my control was holding me back. I came up with several excuses why I shouldn’t go—money, fear of the unknown, time, not being able to work and a school internship. In my mind, I selfishly wanted the shortest trip offered, because it seemed more doable. After talking to a friend, she gave me a friendly push to “surrender” and fill out an application.
I filled out the application, still with reservations about committing. After some time, I began to feel peace about the possibility to serve this summer. By the time it came attend Discovery Weekend, I started to freak out a little bit. It was becoming too real. I really began praying to make sure this is what the Lord wanted me to do.
Peace. I felt the indescribable feeling of peace. All the concerns about Discovery Weekend diminished when I got there. When it came time to fill out placement cards, I was torn between two trips. Both had pros and cons, but selfishly I wanted the shortest trip. It would have been a good fit, but that’s not what the Lord was calling me to. I put down my “second” choice as my No. 1, knowing I was going to get it. Sure enough, that became my assignment.
Still a little unsure, I accepted the placement, knowing this had to be the lord’s call. Everything I was worried about ended up not being an issue. I was fully funded, had the best partner/ supervisor, and I even was going to get credit for my school internship. If I had decided to not surrender, if I had been disobedient to God’s call, I would have missed the opportunity of growing in my faith.
I had a problem with control, not knowing the details, and being flexible. God doesn’t take our fears and use them against us, he uses them to strengthen us if we let him. God worked in me to always trust his will and to have faith that he works out the details. If I had said no, I would have missed out on meeting and learning from some incredible people.
I loved every second of the month I spent in Tennessee. I was worried about the length of the trip, but I found myself wanting to stay longer. It was a humbling experience to serve and love on a population that is often overlooked—vulnerable women and children.
Go Now seemed so intimidating at first, but it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable experiences in my life. I never thought I could do something like Go Now. Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner!
Erin McCleer, a student at Howard Payne University, served with Go Now Missions at a shelter for women and children in Jefferson City, Tenn.