Feed on

take my life, Lord

gw_ag_tanz 83

“Our significance is measured by the size of the cause that we live for and the price we are willing to pay to accomplish it.” – John York

Two years ago I felt a little nudge. Not just me, but my husband, Joel, as well. It was subtle at first – like someone tapping on my shoulder, lightly. As the tapping progressed, it became more and more challenging to ignore it. It reminded me of the countless times one of our children has tried to (not-so-discreetly) get our attention in a crowd, and the longer they have to wait, the more urgent the tapping becomes. Eventually, the light tapping on my shoulder gave way to an undeniable nudge that something, or someone, was trying to get my attention.

Joel and I began praying. Before we tried to fix the internal discomfort we were feeling, we knew we needed to take all of these emotions and questions and bring them to God. And so we did.

We prayed for a year, and then we knew. We knew God had released us from our current church. We didn’t know what that meant immediately or long term, but we knew that God was beginning to shift the direction of our future.

And so, we began to pray some more. This time for direction, clarity and wisdom.

During much of this time of prayer and seeking, there was one “knock on our door” that our hearts continued to return to: Malawi, Africa. It seemed preposterous. So completely out of the realm of reality. And yet, there it was. And there it continued to be. Five months of focussed prayer, fasting and waiting went by. And then we knew, again. God was not just releasing us from our current church, but he was getting ready to sweep us off of our feet and carry us into an entirely new season of ministry.


So many emotions surface when you realize that God’s redirection is far from anything you could have ever conceived on your own. It took me a few months to wrap my mind around this shift in paradigm. Ministry was always where my heart was, and for most of my 20’s I thought I would be a missionary, but then life happened. Our roots began to settle in Stateside ministry. Twenty more years went by. Missions was a lifetime ago. I couldn’t conceive that the call to missions was now.

Oftentimes we lift up prayers or sing beautiful songs that declare our heart’s dedication to following Jesus. We are willing to surrender all in moments of emotion or when we come to the end our ourselves. Through this journey that Joel and I have been on for almost two years, I have felt the gentle hands of God chipping away at my expectations, my plans, my agendas and my dreams. The hardcore and real surrendering has been a process. The heart dedication to following Jesus has been refining.

I have watched as opportunities and ministries that I knew I was made for pass right over me, and I have wondered out loud to God, “Why?

I have felt rejection and uninvited and cried like a teenage girl, “What are you doing, God?

And in response I have heard a faint whisper deep in my heart, “Am I enough for you?

Last spring, during a particularly painful part of this journey for me, I recalled the old hymn, Take My Life and Let It Be. The words of this song stuck in my head. And for months afterwards I could hear the melody, and I would find myself singing along.

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee

Take my moments and my days, let them flow in endless praise

Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love

Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing, always, only for my King

Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee

Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold

Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose

Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine

Take my heart it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne

Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store

Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee

- Frances Ridley Havergal -

When Joel and I obeyed the leading of God to join His work on the mission field, our hearts began to beat a little bit faster. When we had come to the consensus that obeying God, surrendering our preconceived ideas of ministry and our future to Him, suddenly the most overwhelming sense of God’s peace invaded our hearts. It truly is peace that passes understanding. There are so many parts of this call to missions that don’t add up or make sense in our very calculated and structured lives.

But God’s peace.


His assurance that he is with us reminds us that no matter how challenging the road before us, Jesus will be right there with us.

His promise to supply all of our needs keeps our heads in check when things don’t add up on paper.

His light before us, shining just bright enough for the next step ahead, keeps us dependent and builds an unshakable faith.

And so, Joel, myself, and our four children – Sydney, Brooklyn, Jackson and Jasper – are embarking on a new quest. A new chapter. A new season of life, calling, ministry. There is no turning back.

And we say, “Take our lives, Lord, and let them be…”.

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

3 Responses to “take my life, Lord”

  1. Jonette says:


  2. this so touched my heart, I tear up every time
    I think of this wonderful call that has come for
    you and Joel. In my Spirit, I felt a resounding AMEN to the news.
    With you in continued prayer.

  3. Judy Hayburn says:

    Amy, that was so beautifully written and very powerful. God has truly done a marvelous thing in yours and Joel’s lives. I am excited for what God has planned for you and the kids. What a gift you will be to the church in Malawi.

Leave a Reply