Next year marks 40 years since the first time my husband and I gave our first “yes” to the Lord and left the home that we loved and all our family to say yes to him. That first “yes” was a bumpy road— partly due to our youthfulness (and the crazy homesickness that I experienced) and partly due to “what was promised was not delivered.” We gave up our beautiful life in Northern California and moved 2241 miles to a place we’d never been…because we wanted our lives to matter and we wanted to follow Jesus! From the very first day we arrived, it was hard and the next two years only got harder before we left. I remember when we finally decided to go home (after the leader fell into sin), I felt so much sadness— I felt foolish— I felt like I’d somehow failed— and regrets overshadowed why we had gone in the first place. We had left everything and everyone to follow Jesus! The Lord quickly spoke to me and said, “Daughter, never regret your yes.” I understood that though I had no way of measuring the success that looked like failure to anyone looking on…the Father measured every yes given to his Son as an act of worship and there are no regrets to be carried in that offering.
Now, forty years later and thirty-one homes later…we are still giving our “yes.” We are not so naive now to think that we measure success by what man sees but rather by what God receives. Throughout all the years of saying “yes,” we have had “pinch yourself” moments that were so beyond what we could have asked or imagined and we have had moments of pain so deep that we wondered if we’d survive. But no matter if it was “awe” or if it was “weeping”…he was and is worthy of it all.
So don’t judge the pure “yes” that caused you to cross a country or an ocean or leave the ones you love. Don’t judge by the man-made measure of success and don’t judge yourself “yes” harshly— what is offered to him is eternal and the fruit of that yes will reap a bountiful harvest. If you know someone who sacrificed much to give their yes— do not judge or glory in what might look to your eyes as a failure. God sees it differently!
Please know that this word is not coming forth because of our upcoming move from the DC region back to the West Coast because we have great confidence in what God has begun in our focused time in DC and our continuing journey with what was planted…this word comes out of witnessing a lot of people give their “yes” during the past couple of years that other might view as “failure”, but know this— it is counted to them as a great reward because Jesus is smiling at their offering of praise! Their yes is still making him smile.
If you are young (or old— or in between) and your excited “yes” did not turn out how you hoped and dreamed please do not take on regret! I fully believe that the very first “yes” that my husband and I gave— which ended in what looked like an absolute failure and a waste of time and money— was a seed planted in our lives of becoming a disciple of Jesus. It was worship to him because of our hearts, not because of our accolades. Honestly, though it was painful, God used it as part of our journey and the training of our hearts.
I woke up this morning hearing in my spirit the tears of those who felt great excitement about a venture they said yes to that now has no measurable success. First, your mere “yes” was a victory from the start! Every sacrifice and offering of “leaving all to follow Christ” is a victory. Every mile, every moment, every tear, every homesick and heartsick feeling, every sleepless night…it is all counted as worship.
Don’t you remember the reaction of those who looked on as Mary poured out the expensive bottle of perfume over the feet of Jesus, along with her tears? They mocked her and said that it was a senseless waste. But over 2000 years later it is still seen as one of the greatest acts of worship. Your yes is like that alabaster jar of perfume, broken and poured out over his feet in worship. There is to be no regrets and there is surely no way to measure the worship that is poured out in these moments. These are eternally remembered!
Keep saying YES! Keep pouring out your life and do not let regret take away the offering that you gave. Don’t judge your “act of worship” and don’t listen to the mockers who look on judging the offering wrongly. He was glorified!
I hear the words, “Well done.” over many of you right now. I see Jesus crowned and exalted by the yes that you offered. I see angels being sent to water the seed that may look as if it died and yet we know that He is a God of resurrection power. I wish that I could give you my life experience of what looks like many successes and many failures…because you’d understand that it all produced endurance, character and even the brokenness released perfume that anointed his feet.
“No regrets for your yes, Beloved!”
The Lord has been glorified! You will see fruit one day if you will allow it to be perfume over his feet rather than regretting the cost that was paid. He is so ravished by you and overwhelmed by your offering. Well done!!
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Inscribe Ministries