We walked silently across the green bridge in Wrocław. To speak would mean our dreams we held onto in that moment would not come true. At least, that’s what our tour guide, Marta, told us. A clever superstition for parents to have a few moments of silence from rambunctious children? Perhaps. But I’m a sucker for dreaming bridges and wishing stars, so I gave it a shot.
That day in 2006, I dreamed, I wished, and I prayed that I would return to Poland.
The summer of 2007, I found myself walking across that green bridge once again. One year older and one year bolder, I dreamed, wished, and prayed that I would serve God overseas, especially in Poland. I also dreamed that I would get married.
As I walked across the bridge thinking about both of these desires, I thought that I was asking God to create a rock that He couldn’t move. Impossible. I’d eventually have to choose. But I dreamed both dreams anyway, hoping that God would be up for the challenge.
I bought an amber ring in the market that summer, with the hopes of wearing it every day to remember God’s faithfulness and my dreams for what was to come.
The year is now 2012 and I am in Europe with no plans of setting foot in Poland. This isn’t for lack of trying, but my summer plans had worked out so that I was to visit other countries instead. I surrender my plans to God, trusting that He knows best, and travel with two coworkers between six countries for three weeks.
During our stay in Kosovo, we stay with a friend from SEND. As my friend and I catch up over coffee at a local café, we talk about the frustrations and joys of being a part of a mission teams. While we talk, I look down at my hand and notice that the amber stone from my ring is missing.
“It’s on the mat in the bathroom.”
I’ve heard this voice before. That’s the Spirit’s whisper again. But why here? Why now? Why so specific?
“I want to get your attention.”
The burning bush is interrupting my afternoon coffee. The moment is a blur; I’m listening to my friend and the Spirit of God at the same time. I stare at my finger and the empty hole where the amber oval once sat. My heart is at peace because I’ve been told where it must be.
“I’m listening,” I reply in my heart.
“I don’t have for you to be in Poland.”
I’m taken aback, though it doesn’t show on my face. I didn’t see that coming. I look back at my finger once more and feel the heaviness of what has just been spoken. I look back toward my friend and we continue our conversation. I know I’ll have my confirmation once I return to her apartment.
An hour later I step forward into the bathroom, my eyes fixed on the bathmat. I glimpse a color that doesn’t match the mat – amber. I drop to my knees to pick up the stone, and to surrender myself once more. The door to Poland hasn’t only shut for this summer, but for my future as well.
Read on, oh reader! Part Four: Thin Silence