I will burn for You

“My heart is the wick, your love is the flame, and I wanna burn for your name.”

These are lyrics from a song called The Wick by a band named Housefires. Our first day of training with GEM at Professional Development Week, we were able to get into groups with our team and pray. Brett and I sat with Betty, Tito, Citlally, and Euclides. We started praying and as I prayed as well as listened to the prayers being prayed around me, I heard true hearts burning for the Lord. Their prayers turned into cries. They sat weeping, crying out for their town, Juquila. Their hearts were truly broken and burdened for this place and these people.

Brett and I left that time of prayer humbled and convicted. We wanted hearts that burned like theirs. I felt lacking and so inadequate to go and start this school. We never had met the people of Juquila and as much as we prayed for them the months prior to moving to Mexico, we didn’t have a burden and burning like the rest of our team. For them, these people are their family. Their kin. For us, they’re strangers. I didn’t think it was possible to have a longing for a people I didn’t even know.

Since this time of prayer, I’ve been pondering the reality of it all. And God has been so gracious to show me the Truth in it. Betty, Tito, Euclides and Citlally’s hearts burn for these people because their hearts burn for Jesus. And He has shared His heart with them.

And so I feel excited and hopeful. It was easy for me to feel lacking of love or burden, but God’s heart is to share His heart with us. And the truth is that a desire for His people can’t come unless we have a desire for Him. Yes, we saw a deep burden in our team, but it wasn’t just because they know these people. It’s because they know God. They know His heart.

I thought that realization was enough. But God really humbled me this past week of school and showed me so many pieces of my heart that he need to be transformed. During the week, I got home one night and painfully shared my heart with Brett. I was so embarrassed and so ashamed. I shared that I didn’t feel a burden for our school and that I felt completely distracted. Brett reminded me of truth. The truth that we are here in Juquila for Jesus. And we can’t be here for the people and the school if our heart isn’t for Jesus. As i cried to Brett that my heart wasn’t at the school, he asked me where my heart was. Conviction came quickly as I saw that my heart was so wrapped up in my selfish desires. So wrapped up in my pride. I was trying to love in my own strength and had so quickly burned out. I didn’t have room for Jesus. But man was I able to see the lies I was believing, turn away from them, and turn towards glorious Jesus. Immediately I was filled, satisfied. I remembered that He was enough and that He was giving Brett and I everything we needed to live here. And I even was able to think about our students, their families, and this place and be filled with a new love for them. Not a love that I write, but a love that is written in stone. A love that endures, is patient, is kind, doesn’t insist on its own way, Jesus’ love.

I write all this out shocked that I fell so hard so quickly, but I write this blog with an honest heart because Jesus is doing a wonderful work in me. The song I shared at the beginning continues and says, “Burn with an everlasting fire. It won’t run out, it can’t be put out. With passion in my heart and a hope running through my veins. I will burn for you. With a hope and a future before me. They’ll see me and they’ll see you. When I burn bright for you.”

What a beautiful song. I am not listening to this song anymore and comparing myself to my team but I am listening and remembering that Jesus has given me this song to sing.

-Annie Balsley, GEM Missionary

If you’d like to support Brett and Annie as they serve with GEM in Juquila to share the gospel with this unreached town, you can do so HERE. You can also contact them directly to talk further about what it means to be on their support team and find out how you can be praying for them!