I saw my dad today, and I was telling him what a blessing it is that he is retired from American Airlines, so that we can fly standby and make trips quite like the one I’m on right now to Tulsa; otherwise, we’d simply not be able to afford to come to the States or to have visitors from home either. Then I happened to ask him when he started working for American. My mom was barely pregnant with me, and it was February 28th, 1977.
Immediately, my heart jumped. I know that date! You see, 20 years later, on February 28th, 1997, God would speak clearly, CLEARLY to my heart while I was sitting on my dorm room floor at Oklahoma Baptist University, reading Isaiah 49. He spoke so clearly to me that day, that I would someday be a missionary to the nations. I remember the tears, the joy, the confusion, having so many questions (like, “ME?? Are you sure? When? Where? How???”). And the relief and exhilaration of surrender.
That date, February 28th, 1997 is written in red ink as a life-marker in my favorite Bible. Right below it is October 20, 1997, the day I met my husband. As my dad continued to talk of his first days at American Airlines this morning, my Heavenly Father whispered to me:
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.