Over a year ago I met with a great friend of mine. She was preparing to travel to eleven countries in eleven months. She was selling bracelets to raise funds for her trip.
As cute as the neon colors of the bracelets were I knew that there was a greater purpose in me wearing this bracelet. The bracelet read, “Refuse to Remain”, a reference to the commission of Jesus to “go into all the world”. At this point in my life I was in California and I was happily settled into my daily life and routine there. But I knew in my heart there was something bigger for me to be a part of. There was something inside of me screaming to let that bigger thing out.
I have learned in my years of doing life with the Lord that we aren’t called to be only, comfortable. The history of the men and women before us that served the Lord proves to us that He doesn’t allow us to merely live comfortable. He moved Moses from the life of a prince to leading a people in the wilderness. He took David from tending to a small flock of sheep to leading a nation.
Growth stretches and hurts. This is why He says in our weakness He is made strong. He is the all-consuming fire and fire doesn’t feel pleasant at all. But the promise that He never leaves the contrite heart makes the fire worth it. I am frequently reminded of David’s cry, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” This is the cry of a heart that refuses to remain. This is a cry of someone who says, I desire to grow with you and I know you have the best for me.
When I met with my friend that day she was unaware of where I was at in “life”. But I knew change was coming and God was moving in a direction that would require growth and change from me.
That, among many others things, sparked a crazy season of change and growth for me. It wasn’t even a week after receiving this bracelet from my friend that things began to shake inside of me. I found myself stirred and unsettled where I was. I embraced the changes ahead of me with arms wide open. My heart stirred with the words “Refuse to Remain. Don’t settle for where you have been for so long. Jump into this moment knowing you will be met with the fullest life”.
And then the call came to go to Mozambique for training. That call in that moment felt sudden too many. But those many, never saw the tears and prayers I had prayed for years-Prayers full of desire to walk into what I knew I was being called to. It was sudden to many but to myself, it felt like it was a long time coming. I knew with everything in me the call to Mozambique was the beginning for all I had asked for and believed for, for so long. I was at a fork in the road. One path looked completely unknown yet so full of assurance that I knew it was God’s way and the other path looked promising by the means and ideas I was using to make a life for myself in my own control.
These moments have a funny way of causing us to move. They make us plunge forward in one direction or another. These moments demand action. They make us come out of our own comforts and drive us into uncomfortable places within ourselves. It is in this place that we must refuse to remain. We must choose growth when our humanity says, “stay put”. We must choose His road with change knowing that it will be more than we could ever imagine or think when we reach our destination. But we take comfort that on this road He doesn’t change. We are the ones that change. We change into His image.
My “refusing to remain” took me to Africa. My heart said, “yes” to the Lord and that has allowed me to be a part of things that were both joyful and heartbreaking. It has all been worth it.
Thanks to many of you, in the last 4 months of 2013 I was able to spend time over seas in Africa and Thailand. You all partnered with me in my story of saying, “yes” to the Lord. I saw many things happen and I was changed in many ways. I knew in my short time of being there that God would ask me to say, yes, once again.
It is with great honor and excitement that I am heading back to Africa in May of 2014. My “yes” is giving me the grand opportunity to be a part of the staff of the school I just attended. I, along with many others, will be leading outreaches and immersions for students. We will be working with each other to provide the students with a great experience and an open and safe place to allow the Lord to work in them and shake them up to be sent out to the nations of the earth to love people the way Jesus did. I have the opportunity to be a part of the student’s transformations. I will also be leading a team on an outreach after they graduate. I will take a team of the students to another place outside of Pemba and we will apply what was learned in training. We will serve and we will love people. My, “yes” adventure is taking me back to Africa! The moment of refusing to remain and choosing to jump “all in” is leading me forward, once again.
I would like to invite you to be a part of my “yes” once again. I am raising funds to travel to Mozambique, Africa and beyond. In the course of the next 8 months of my life I will need to purchase 6 plane tickets. The cost can vary anywhere between $1,500 – $2,000 each. My cost of living will average $400 a month. With these numbers in mind I have estimated that the total I am needing will be roughly $15,000.
These are the ways you can partner with me:
Mail- 612 Camp St. Sulphur Springs TX 75482
Deposit- You may also deposit into my BofA account. (email me for info)
If you would like to keep up with this adventure:
Facebook- Shay Arthur