by Stephanie Dyck | Contributing Writer
As Power to Change celebrates its 50th anniversary, there are a multitude of stories to share. God’s faithfulness can be seen through each of these accounts. Below is one such example from Stephanie Dyck, an International Representative of the Christian Embassy.
It made no sense to me. It seemed like everything I read in Scripture pointed to a major change in my life, but I resisted. I reasoned every excuse I could imagine to stay where I was, but I was still conflicted. I wanted to listen to God and be obedient, so I prayed to Him, “Are You asking me to do this?”
What I heard back in my spirit surprised me: “You’re asking the wrong question. Whatever I ask of you, would you say yes?”
“Whatever I ask of you, would you say yes?”
The words hit me like a ton of bricks. Jesus invited me to say yes to Him before I even knew what He was asking. I asked myself, “Do I really know Jesus? Do I truly believe that His leadership is perfect?”
I was working with Athletes in Action (AIA), a ministry of Power to Change that focuses on proclaiming the gospel through sport. It was satisfying work as it fused both my passion for Christ and the acumen He gave me in basketball; I mentored and challenged other athletes to base their identity in Jesus while excelling in sport. Even though I was based in Montréal, my work through AIA allowed me the pleasure of touring distant parts of the globe. My love for other people and cultures grew during this exciting time of life.
However, in 2013, several key events happened, one after another, that made me reconsider my path at AIA. The first instance occurred during a prayer meeting. A stranger came up to me and said he had a word from God for me. The message was, “You can’t stay where you are. You must go higher.” Neither of us completely understood, but I started praying about what the message meant.
That same week, while walking to an AIA meeting near Parliament in Ottawa, I crossed paths with my friend Darlene McLean of the Christian Embassy. We stopped and exchanged pleasantries. She said, “If ever the Christian Embassy interests you, let me know.” Although it was another ministry within the Power to Change family, I had no interest in politics and loved serving with AIA. I thought the comment was a bit unusual, so I put it aside and we warmly parted ways.
A few days later, I was having coffee with my mentor when he asked what I was doing with the heart God gave me for the nations. That topic led to a discussion about my calling. He finally said, “You would be a good staff member for the Christian Embassy.”
I almost spewed my coffee. “I don’t like suits and I don’t like politics,” I responded, and I continued to list other reasons why he was wrong. He was kind, as usual, and took it in stride.
Later that evening, I met with a friend and told her about my conversation with my mentor. She said it was clear to her that God was speaking to me and that I had to say yes to what He asked.
I was horrified. I saw how the message of change kept popping up in my life, but I still didn’t want to go. The whole situation was overwhelming to me, so I decided to set aside some extra time to focus on God’s will and what He wanted me to do.
Reading my Bible, I was particularly struck by God’s challenge to the nation of Israel in Exodus 16:28 and Deuteronomy 31:27. In essence He was saying, “How long will you refuse to listen and continue to be a rebellious and stiff-necked people?”
I felt the Spirit stop me right there as I saw myself mirrored in these Scriptures. I knew I didn’t want to be rebellious. I wanted to have a tender heart and be responsive to whatever God asked of me.
So I prayed.
When I asked God what He wanted me to do, He showed me that it was really about trust; I had to put my trust in Him, and say yes even before I knew where He was leading me.
I wrestled with that decision, but I finally surrendered and answered yes. I faced the reality in front of me after multiple signs and convictions, and decided to leave AIA to join the Christian Embassy.
Many people, including myself, were surprised as they knew how much I enjoyed serving at AIA. But it was the right decision. For me to be an obedient child of God, I knew He wanted me to trust Him with all of my life, including where I served and how I would surrender to Him daily.
For the past four years, God has softened my heart for leaders through my work at the Christian Embassy. I’ve grown to deeply respect many of our parliamentarians as I’ve observed firsthand the countless hours they work and how they sacrifice to be in Ottawa and serve faithfully.
They take their responsibilities seriously, weighed by the reality that the constituents—those who have put them into office—expect their members of Parliament to represent their beliefs and values well in our nation’s capital.
Of course, not all government officials share the same beliefs and work ethic, but most have inspired me with their courage and tenacity. I especially appreciate leaders I’ve met who stand up for biblical values when no one else does. That’s been powerful for me to see firsthand.
“While it didn’t make much sense to me at first, agreeing to what God had for me was the best decision I could make.”
While it didn’t make much sense to me at first, agreeing to what God had for me was the best decision I could make. My life in vocational ministry today is an expression of my faith and my obedience in Christ. After each decision, He led me to places I never imagined I would go, and I’ve been so blessed because of it. I’m so excited and thankful to see how His plans will continue to unfold in the future!