We arrived at the correct location a few minutes early, and found our seats among people who were more our age. I don’t know why we do things like that, we just do. But a young girl with a delightful smile immediately greeted Melanie and me.
“Hi! I’m Katie!” she said, as she extended her hand. We introduced ourselves and felt a sense of warmth and welcoming.
The YWAM base was three years’ new in our area, and I had been anxious to visit ever since I heard of it. When there was an invitation for community night, I didn’t hesitate to reserve a spot. When Katie turned to the next newcomer, I turned to my right and introduced myself to the young girl sitting next to me.
“I’m Katie,” she said quietly.
“Oh, tell me,” I joked, “are all the YWAM girls here named Katie?” I laughed. “If they are, it will make meeting people a lot easier!”
Katie smiled humbly and said simply that there were only two. I could tell that it wasn’t a natural thing for her to begin talking to random strangers. She was quiet and shy, but very sweet. I asked where she was from and we chatted a bit about a location I was familiar with until my son came along and sat in between us. I introduced them and as they began talking, I turned my attention elsewhere. But I kept thinking about Katie.
We had wonderful praise and worship, led by Libby (who after the event immediately pegged me as my daughter’s mother). After praise time, we heard from a dynamic speaker who challenged us to be confident in our faith. It’s a good challenge, solid and foundational to the Christian faith. Quoting scripture after scripture with whimsical ease, we were freshly reminded that God’s mercy and grace makes us holy, not anything we do. It’s amazing how we always go back to the doing of our faith, while in the back of our minds we track brownie points as if we’re competing with the rest of Christianity for God’s favor. Will we ever learn?
The time ended with prayer and we filed into the main lobby for beverages and snacks. I visited for a bit with a couple of students at the DTS, and just as we were about to leave, I spotted Katie. I really wanted to say goodbye to her, so I walked across the lobby and told her it was good to meet her. I then asked how I could pray for her. She seemed surprised that anyone would even ask. She thought for a very long moment and looked up. “Please pray that I can trust God more,” she said.
Katie could have asked for a million things. As a YWAM DTSer she could have asked that God provide funding for her outreach or that He would multiply the time she needs to complete her homework. She could have stated that she wasn’t sleeping well, that she missed her family, or that she was having a personality struggle with one of her fellow roommates. And in all these possible requests she could have even said, “Pray that I trust God to …” but she didn’t. She purely and simply requested that she trust Him … more.
The drive home left me astounded. This was no small request. It’s the stuff that bears witness to a living and active spirit within this precious human soul. In his book, Trusting God, Jerry Bridges writes, “Trusting God is not a matter of my feelings, but of my will.” He later adds, “We mistakenly look for tokens of God’s love in happiness. We should instead look for them in His faithful and persistent work to conform us to Christ.” Katie was asking to be conformed to Christ. It was a bold and courageous prayer request, and one which I have no doubt our God will take delight in answering. I would like to see Katie again one day. I think she could teach me much about the humble Christian faith, girded by solid trust.
Father, I pray for Katie tonight. May you fill her with a peace which surpasses all understanding, a faith that is strong and unwavering, and trust that in all things you are in total control. May she become strong and courageous in your sight, a woman of honor, dignity and value. May the things that move you move her, and may she be intimately acquainted with your voice whether she’s on the summit or in the valley. I pray, Lord, that she can learn to trust you more. And may we all adopt this very prayer request as our own.