“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
I’m excited to share with you the story of my dear friend Jynn. While I didn’t think I would be sharing this post for some time I have felt very compelled to get this one wrapped up and posted. Perhaps it is just what one of you reading this needs to hear today. I pray you will be blessed by her story.
I first met Jynn a little over 8 years ago. Without a doubt the first thing that stood out to me about Jynn was her obvious love for Jesus. Trust me, if you know her, you know what I am talking about. After only knowing Jynn a short time I made some early assumptions about her. My initial impression was that Jynn was probably raised in a Christian home with a family that would sit around on Friday nights and play Bible trivia together. I assumed that she had likely given her life to the Lord at a young age and that she had almost certainly lived a near picture perfect life. After getting to know Jynn better I found out that my assumptions were not exactly correct. Actually, I couldn’t have been farther off.
Rather than growing up in a near perfect family as I had imagined, Jynn was raised in a broken, dysfunctional home where she largely raised herself as her parents struggled with substance abuse issues among other things. Jynn explained to me by the time she was in her early teens she was living the life of someone in their twenties who was lost in sin. She was desperately seeking to find love and trying to fill a void in her heart through a series of unhealthy male and female relationships, chemical substances, and fantasies. At the age of twenty seven she had had countless failed relationships, miscarriages, an abortion, and was involved in adultery.
While life was already more than difficult for Jynn, in 2001 things came to a head. On New Year’s Day Jynn’s semblance of a life began to unravel when she got a call saying that her one true friend had had died unexpectedly. Her father was dying of cancer and passed that June; her grandmother died in July; in September 9/11 happened; and in November her husband lost his job. Dealing with so much heartache, Jynn found herself at home, sitting at her desk sobbing. She and her husband had three young children to care for; she was waiting tables at IHOP to pay the bills. It was at that moment that Jynn felt that her and her family’s situation was completely hopeless.
Not knowing what else to do, while sitting at her desk with tears streaming down her face, in an act of desperation Jynn cried out to God. She prayed and asked Jesus to come in and take over her life and guide her from that moment on. While Jynn didn’t fully understand what her decision that day would mean, it is a decision that has forever changed her and her family.
Today Jynn and her husband both love and serve the Lord. She works in a rural area as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She graduated with honors with her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Virginia. She is beyond active in her church and community leading adults and youth in their faith journeys. She has gone on numerous mission trips, most recently to Africa, where she provided people with medical care and shared the love of Jesus. Without question Jynn’s entire life these days revolves around sharing with others the love of Jesus and the hope that can only be found through Him. She is without a doubt one of the most Biblically knowledge and faith filled people that I know.
When I consider Jynn’s story and how God has changed her life, the transformation is beyond comprehension. While there are several wonderful lessons we can learn from her story (which I’m sure I will write about at a later time), today I want to focus on one aspect in particular that stands out to me. This is simply an observation that I have made that I believe is at least in some part why God has done so much in and through her.
Are you ready for it? Here it is. I believe that God has done such great things in and through Jynn at least in part because from the very first day that she put her faith in Jesus Christ, like the prophet Isaiah, she has stood ready with a Lord, “Here I am. Send me!” attitude. Whether she has felt fully prepared for what God has called her to do or not has been irrelevant for her. Regardless of the mission Jynn does not say no to God. Upon giving her life to Jesus, she immediately began pouring herself into God’s Word so that she could learn His ways and to hear His voice while at the same time she put feet to her faith.
In the same way that Isaiah’s ready heart reminds me of Jynn, when I read of the Apostle Paul’s conversion in Acts chapter 9 Jynn also comes to mind. Paul had lived his life in direct opposition to the spread of Christianity to the extent of arresting and persecuting followers of Jesus. After his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, Paul immediately began to proclaim the gospel (Acts 9:19). Like Paul, after giving her life to Jesus, this was Jynn’s attitude. She didn’t sit in a church pew, or go through countless Bible studies on her own for years on end just acquiring knowledge before being willing to share her faith with someone else. Rather, she jumped in with both feet and was willing to do whatever the Lord asked of her.
Jynn once told me that after she gave her life to Christ someone at the church that she eventually became a part of told her that the best way to learn is to teach (which I wholeheartedly agree with); so she volunteered to help teach the youth. At one point early on while teaching Jynn made reference to the book of “One John.” It was then that one of the students gently corrected her and told her that you actually call the book “First John.” While that encounter may have left some embarrassed and unwilling to keep teaching, Jynn was thankful for the correction and kept on going.
Now, let me be clear. God deserves all of the glory for the work He has done in Jynn’s life. However, let’s remember that God will never force us to complete the works that He has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10). Rather, He invites us to join Him and to be a part of the amazing work that He is already doing. Jynn’s story simply reminds us that God can do amazing things in and through us when we choose to join Him and allow Him to use us for His glory.
So, if you are a follower of Christ, do you share Jynn’s “Here I am. Send Me!” attitude? Do you trust that if God calls you to do something He will also equip you and see you through? Or do you focus on your own shortcomings, lack of knowledge or experience and opt to sit on the sidelines? Trust me, if you wait until you feel fully capable or knowledgeable enough to take on most tasks that God gives you, you will never even begin! Imagine what God might be able to do if we all were to approach our faith with Jynn’s attitude! Stop sitting on the sideline and begin to experience God’s power at work in and through you! Where might God want you to jump in today? Don’t focus on your shortcomings, rather think only about what God, in His power, can do in and through you if you also put feet to your faith. Let today be the day that you say “Here I am. Send me!”
*Jynn, I cannot thank you enough for your transparency and willingness to allow me to share your story. May the Lord continue to use you in amazing ways as you seek to live your life for His glory!