Meet Ellie Hayati
School: Miami University
"I have found that true joy is saying yes when God asks, no matter how it may interrupt my own life or how uncomfortable it might make me."
After weeks of praying and searching the internet for something to do over winter term, I somehow ended up applying for a trip to a place that I had never been with people I didn't know. It all seemed so random, but it turned into a whirlwind of trusting God and learning to see Him everywhere.
I very hesitantly accepted the offer that the Lord had just dropped into my lap. My long list of excuses was no longer relevant. That first "yes" led to a million more. I suddenly became someone who not only says yes, but seeks opportunities to say yes. Yes, I'll jump off that cliff. Yes, you can cornrow my hair even though you don't look older than seven.
I have found that true joy is saying yes when God asks, no matter how it may interrupt my own life or how uncomfortable it might make me. Joy is a completely reckless abandon and a childish trust in Jesus.
No one better portrays this joy than the children themselves. The students at the school in Caraballo were indescribably spirited. I could go on and on for days with stories about how awesome the kids were. There was no feeling like them taking you by the hand and leading you to their favorite spot on the playground, jumping on your back and yelling "Caballito!" or sitting in the midst of them as they filled a room with worship songs.
In their faces, I saw Jesus. They taught me to see Him in everything. His people and His creation are a reflection of a God of unimaginable beauty and love. I find it crazy that the same God that created the universe is the God who beckons me to say "yes." It is such a big and scary thought, but I also see it as refreshing and comforting. This sense of peace is joy. The bright smiles on the faces of the niños is joy. Joy is living an interruptible life and trusting that the God of everything is ready to take you on your next adventure...as soon as you say yes.
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