Before I went to the Journey to the Heart in Illinois this past March, I had to watch the Basic Seminar as a prerequisite. Along with this I had complete access to their Embassy Institute which is filled with hundreds of great preaching and speaking on almost any topic imaginable. In February I watched a video by Christiana Reed Moss on "6 Ways to Say I Love You to Jesus", not realizing what it was exactly about. In the video she shared how she had committed four years to the Lord for what has become known as "single service". The purpose of these single service years is to be able to serve God single-heartedly without the distraction of wondering when you will meet your soul mate or wondering if that guy across the room a potential partner. Many say that there is a freedom that comes with sacrificing your single years to serve God alone because you love Him and desire to give Him your best. As Christiana talked about how great these years were, so much that she dedicated an additional 2 years, her face just glowed as she talked about her love for the Lord. She had a confidence and genuine sincere love for her God that I didn't have . . . and I wanted it!
For a few weeks I prayed about it, and then made my commitment. Directly after making this decision I felt like it was the worse thing I could have ever done (which is usually how I feel when I make any big decision) so I didn't think about it much anymore and I didn't tell anyone.
A few weeks later my sisters and I went to Journey to the Heart. Before heading to the Northwoods for our week with the Lord, I had a chance to talk to Mr. Gothard about my vow to serve God single-heartedly and how I felt afterwards and he assured me that it was the devil making me doubt because God would be pleased with such a vow. He also told me I should talk to my parents about it, which I was later eager to do because I wanted to give my all to God and serving Him alone did not seem like a scary thing anymore. During that week I had such a desire to serve God that I didn't want to hold back because I was afraid. I was willing to fail trying instead of not trying at all. I couldn't wait to get started with the Lord's work!
Three weeks later I found myself stressed and so overwhelmed with the busyness of work and life in general. My relationship with the Lord was better than before Journey, but I was just as stressed as before and ready for another break to get away and seek God. But I kept going, thinking I needed to learn more about time management.
God gave me such a break when my family and I drove two hours to spend the weekend with our family and go to a church nearby that we loved. While we were at church the pastor asked me if I would come to their camp (as we did last year) and play the piano for them. I responded that I couldn't because I had to work. Seeing from his expression that the answer I gave was not good enough, I continued to explain how I took off 8 whole days to go to Journey to the Heart . . . but he interrupted and said, "I don't want to hear any excuses! What's it going to take for you to come to camp?" I wanted to go but I didn't know what to say. After the service as we walked out the door he asked me again, "So what's it going to take for you to come to camp?" Not knowing what else to say, I responded, "I'll pray about it," to which he jokingly told my brother that there were some things you didn't have to pray about. As I walked out the door I thought to myself, "Lord, I don't know how you're going to make this happen." At that moment I had the faith of a mustard seed.