I lifted the heavy gold prism necklace from the corners of the mirror I kept it looped over, held it against me, and grinned at the luxurious way it made me look. I didn't put it on, though. Any other day I probably would've set it aside simply because a style-conscious twenty-year-old woman like me didn't normally wear that type of jewelry.
But I had a different reason for not wearing it today. I had purposely dressed down—faded tee shirt, holey jeans that weren't in good enough shape to describe as "distressed," and equally threadbare sneakers. My only jewelry was the cheapy watch I'd once bought at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport after losing my good watch on a flight from Atlanta. I normally relied on my cell phone for the time, but my wrist felt naked without something on it.
After a day or two of working with migrant kids at my church's House of Bread ministry several years earlier, I found I could relate to them better if I didn't look more affluent than they did; that meant not looking affluent at all. Volunteering at the House of Bread for the second summer not only made me think I was performing an important ministry, it also gave me eight hours a day to practice the Spanish I'd been working so hard to learn in college.
I sighed before hanging the necklace on the mirror again. Memories of my mission trip to Mexico two summers earlier chased thoughts of the migrant kids far out of my head for a few precious moments. No wonder. That trip had been the turning point of my life.
Almost overnight I'd changed from a spoiled, thoughtless, and immature teen to, well, a less spoiled, less thoughtless, and at least slightly more mature woman. After leaving a loving mother at home and a dad I couldn't understand, I returned home to a mother who'd died coming to the airport to pick me up—and a dad who was far more wonderful than I'd ever suspected.
Circumstances like those can change anyone—anyone who's willing to let God work on the rough edges, that is. But He had to get my attention first. Had that ever been painful.
I'd also quit floundering over what to do with my life.
My desire to evangelize the villagers of Santa María without any translators had frustrated me no end. But God set me to work reading aloud from a Spanish Bible without knowing what I was reading or how to pronounce the words—until the villagers taught me. The dream of Heaven I had on the bus returning to San Diego turned me into a Spanish major, one I knew God wanted to use in missions.
I looked at the prism necklace again. It had played a more important role in the events of that summer than I'd realized at the time.
Doggone it, Lord! I want to go back to Santa María. I want to see my new 'big sister' Rosa and her precious daughter, Anjelita. Rosa permitted Anjelita to give me this necklace to symbolize the fact they considered me part of their family, and that's why I keep it in front of my eyes daily, even though I rarely wear it.
I need to see them again, Heavenly Father. Not just to catch up on what's happened during the past twenty-four months, but to learn how Rosa has grown in her faith...and whether other villagers have become Believers. Now that You've helped me become this fluent in Spanish, I won't just be able to talk with Rosa and Anjelita for the first time, I'll also be able to witness to the other villagers.
Okay, Lord. I get it. Not my will, but Yours. I need to accept the fact that You know what's best for me and for the villagers of Santa María. But if You change Your mind, just let me know. I'm ready to go. Not just ready. Raring to go...