Amber decided she wanted to take piano lessons about 3 or 4 years ago. I talked to a sweet lady at our church about it, Mrs. Mary Ann Janes, who just so happened to be our neighbor. She was thrilled to teach Amber, so we began making arrangements. Mrs. Mary Ann invited us to her house one Monday afternoon. She had to show us around, introduce us to her dog (she introduced her as her best friend ❤️), and then led us to the room where her piano was. She and Amber sat down on the piano stool and she began to try to teach Amber. I say try, because Amber is like her Momma, a little uncoordinated. 😂 We decided we would stop for the day, and try another day. Take it a little at a time. As we were sitting there, talking about piano lessons, we “somehow” got sidetracked to Mrs. Mary Ann’s mission trip to Africa. (Somehow later proved to be because God planned for it to happen.) She showed us pictures she took while there, told us all about the trip, and told us what led her to go. My heart was so full by the time we left, and I didn’t even know what all was about to spring from this.
We got home and Amber started telling Jared and Westin about our visit, followed by….”I want to be a missionary”. We told her that was something she needed to pray about and kind of left it at that. She was more excited about that than the actual piano lessons. I don’t remember every detail or happen stance in between, because I wasn’t prepared to be looking for signs, but now looking back, I’m in awe at how long and how many times He was working and I had no clue!
The subject was brought up SEVERAL times between then and now. I got to the point (about a year ago) where it was brought up so much that I began praying about it, too. Jared and I talked, and we both decided we needed to not only be praying for Amber, but for ourselves, too, so that we would be ready as her parents for whatever He was calling her to do. The last thing we want to do is hinder her calling out of our selfishness.
We’ve attended a few Christian concerts that have mentioned missions, Amber was gifted a book where being fearless and following your calling (no matter how scary it sounded) was the main focus, she has gone to a few youth events where the same two things were the main focus, and God prepared our pastor to preach sermons that related. About 6 months ago, Amber woke up in the middle of the night (3:20 in the morning to be exact). She said she wasn’t sure why she woke up, but as soon as she did she felt a strong urge to pray. She prayed that whatever God wanted her to do, He would reveal that to her, and she would be willing and ready. She opened her Bible, after praying, to a random page. The Bible verse she landed on was about being ready to go wherever He calls you. (I can’t remember the exact verse, but she has it wrote down.) She said after she read that, she prayed again and went back to sleep with no problem. When she was telling us about it the next morning, the excitement she had in her voice was indescribable. I knew right then, she was ready for whatever, and we better get ready, too.
Amber’s heart has been pulled to South America. She’s stayed up many nights, researching, praying, digging deep in her Bible, and taking notes. A couple of weeks before school got out in May, she brought me a notebook with a plan, backed by Bible verses and prayers. I cried like a baby. Again, I don’t know how to describe it, but I couldn’t get over the fact that our 14 year old daughter wrote all of this. Researched all of this. Spent her nights and days, consumed by this. I will go in to more details about this one day, because I know it was all God-led, but I’ll wait until the whole process is carried through. Gives me goosies!
During the same time, our church was in the process of planning a mission trip. We were going to let Amber go because it was in Nashville. That’s not too far away and not a terrible city. A couple of weeks later, the location was changed to NOLA. Jared and I both decided that we were too uncomfortable with that, so we told Amber she would have to wait until another time to go. Since neither of us were able to go, we didn’t feel safe sending her.
This past week, our youth went to Fuge camp. The theme…MISSIONS. I felt like I was praying every waking hour while they were gone. I knew He was fixing to stir her heart real good. Deep down, I had a feeling it would involve a mission trip, so I even prayed that if it was the NOLA trip that our church was going on (that we had already flat out told her no about), that we would have a change of heart. I was praying that He would stir her heart, I was praying that she would say yes to whatever He was leading her to do (I knew she would. I knew this was it.) and I was praying that Jared and I would also say yes. After all, she is His. He just loaned her to us for a while. She is hungry for God and serving Him, it’s obvious, and the world needs more of that…if we try to intercede as earthly parents, we are dishonoring her (and our) Heavenly Father. He worked huge in her life this past week!
Sunday morning at church, this same young lady who won’t participate in anything where she has to speak in front of people (she is as shy and timid as they come when it comes to that), spoke at church. In front of a full house. With a microphone. Not only that, she said she wasn’t sure where the words she spoke came from (other than God), because it wasn’t what she intended on saying. At the end of service, during the invitation, when I saw her go to the altar to pray, I bowed my head right then and prayed that whatever He was about to do in her life that He would prepare us all, and give us peace because I knew it was His will. As soon as church was over, Amber made a v-line to us. She said, “I have got to go to NOLA. Please let me go.” I automatically, with tears in my eyes and without thinking twice, said yes. Jared even said yes. (He had no clue about all the praying I had been doing, and I had no clue he’d been praying just as hard about it.) Then it hit me that the deadline had already passed. She said, “please go ask and make sure.”
So, with MUCH prayer, our “baby girl” will be going on her first mission trip next week. Without us, but I know she will be in good hands and I know God will protect them. What we struggled with before as her parents, not feeling safe enough to let her go, turned into a peace like I’ve never felt before. A peace in knowing she is going to be ok, because this is what God has planned for her, she surrendered to Him, He’s leading, and she’s following…with no hesitation.
I never thought anything could compare to the day my child/children got saved, but seeing God work in and through your child is a close second. He’s already used her to change some hearts and she hasn’t even left yet.
I wish I could share this story with Mrs. Mary Ann. She didn’t even know God was using her to use Amber. Amber never was able to take another piano lesson from Mrs. Mary Ann, but that one was enough. ❤️ He may or may not have plans for her to be a pianist, but that’s ok. His plans are greater than any we could make.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!”” Isaiah 6:8
🙏🏼 Please be praying for Amber, Harmony mission team, and NOLA next week. Also, us as parents. 🙏🏼