I have been mulling over this story for a few days…letting it settle and resting in the goodness of who Jesus is, even in the everyday parts of our lives. I wasn’t sure I wanted to share the story, actually. I sort of wanted to keep it in my heart for me to enjoy. Then, this morning, I was reminded, none of this wild adventure is my story, or our story…it’s His story…so here I am, telling you another of His beautiful stories.
On Saturday, we had some ministry work to do in Farmington. We had a yard sale that morning and then loaded everyone up and drove the three hours to town. We ran multiple errands and I went into Wal-Mart to have my eyebrows waxed. Ha. (I have to do it when I can, y’all.) I waited a lot longer than usual, like thirty minutes. Usually, I’m in and out in about fifteen. Eventually, they called me back and a beautiful Navajo woman was going to take care of me.
Side note: I feel like I call the Navajo beautiful all the time…it’s true though, y’all. I wish everyone of y’all could meet them face to face and see their beautiful brown skin and eyes, that you could see their jet black hair and the way it blows in the wind. I wish you could hear them speak in a language I’m convinced is straight from heaven. I wish you all could hold the hand of one of their children and listen to them tell a story about Jesus. My heart can’t hold how much I love these people.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand…
As soon as I opened my mouth and spoke, she, like most people here, asked where I was from because “clearly you aren’t from here”. I responded and she just giggled. She continued to giggle throughout our conversation and kept asking me to repeat certain things because she couldn’t understand some of the words…not because she doesn’t speak English well but because Southern English is VERY different from the Wild West. Ha.
She eventually asked how long we’d been out here and how we got here. I answered and told her about BHP and what our work here looks like…I explained that we are here to help Navajo reach Navajo. I explained that we aren’t here to tell Navajo how to run their churches but to support them, help them develop a plan for reaching their goals and helping them dream BIG dreams, all while loving them, well.
Y’all, my sweet new friend began crying. I wasn’t sure where our conversation was going at that point, so I just let her cry. Its not my place to stop emotion in other people. She took some deep breaths and then explained that she had recently (in the past two years) converted to Christianity. She was struggling with wanting to lean into and trust Jesus and still honor her Navajo traditions and culture. We talked about how Jesus is FREE, his gift of eternal life doesn’t cost her anything. I reminded her that the One who created her, holds her close and knows her struggles. She talked with me about how hard she prayed for her family who did not believe, YET.
Yet. See that word. That’s hope, y’all. She didn’t say, I pray for my family and their unbelief. She said, “I pray so hard for my family members who do not believe, YET.” She has something that a lot of us Anglos don’t. She has hope and assurance that He will do what He said He would do…even in her struggle, in her discouragement, she still knows He will do it.
Back to the story-we talked about some of the other struggles she faces as a Navajo woman who is a believer in Christ…then, I asked her if I could pray with her, for her and over her. “Yes, I would appreciate that so much.” So, I did.
I can’t tell you exactly what I said, I just know the whole salon got quiet. I know that I asked that our Father would show himself to her so clearly there would be no way to argue that it was anyone other than Him. I know that I asked for protection and abundant grace and mercy as she navigates through the muddy waters of tradition and honor and that He would raise her up to walk in a clean, renewing, life giving river of life. I know that when I finished praying, there was silence, there were heads still bowed in prayer and then a beautiful chorus of amen’s.
I know when I finished praying over my new friend, C-the Holy Spirit was in that salon. He met us there, y’all.
See, that’s the beauty of this life. Its the awesomeness of walking in His way. He gives you a fierce boldness…when you see others who are daily laying down their lives, their families-all for the sake of Jesus, you step into a very different mindset. You’re boldness comes from a viewpoint of what if I’m the only one who ever speaks life into this person.
Can I tell you what I find myself asking? Why haven’t I always lived, walked out my faith in such a way? Why haven’t I always been so bold? The answer-fear. I was afraid of what others would think if I was so bold. I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone.
Jesus though, He doesn’t give up. He doesn’t let us walk through life luke warm does He? He has used my Navajo family and friends to teach me so much. He’s used them to remind me that prayer and our relationship with our Father, is sometimes all we have.
Each time I meet with one of these precious people, I am reminded that there is revival coming…there is a beautiful harvest in the making and I’m so glad that I, we, my family, have a front row seat to watch it happen.