The shadows danced on the walls of the small cave as Emma leaned against the stones, eyes closed and heart searching for answers. The group had long since left, but she had requested to remain alone, in a cave where persecuted Christians had once come to worship in secret.
It was here in this silent darkness that Emma felt she could truly hear the voice of God, and this moment, He was telling her to sing.
Emma opened her eyes slowly, feeling His presence deep within her, and wanting nothing more than to answer His call.
But as she took a breath to begin her song, she hesitated, feeling a lump in her throat that seemed like it was suffocating her; keeping her from making any sound.
When she finally emerged from the cave, she met with her Incarnate discipleship group, tears filling her eyes as she began to weep.
|Incarnate students gather in a cave where persecuted
Christians worshipped in secret during the Middle Ages.
Originally born in Zimbabwe, Emma had lived in New Zealand for the majority of her life. Now, as a 20-year-old student, she had flown halfway around the world to spend time in Italy at Incarnate 2014.
However, the past few weeks at Incarnate had not been easy. Not only was she painfully shy, but she wasn’t engaging, completing any projects, or even asking for help despite the staff’s tireless efforts.
Perhaps most concerning was Emma’s difficulty with the major project of creating artwork for a local festival. In fact, she was struggling so much that Incarnate team contemplated sending her home.
It was during one last effort by Incarnate leader, Bill Drake, that he presented Emma with a halfway finished song. Little did he know the impact that the words would have in Emma’s broken life.
Standing here in the darkness, I want to see you, I want to see you.
Standing here in the silence, I want to hear you, I want to hear you.
The lyrics resonated with Emma in a way that nothing else had seemed to. Not only did they describe her experience in the cave, but they also reflected her heart’s deepest desire to truly understand God’s purpose for her future.
As she completed the song and performed it in the studio, the team watched with complete amazement at the transformation that had taken place in Emma’s heart.
When her time at Incarnate finally drew to a close, she was reluctant to return home to New Zealand. While she is still unsure about her future, the three months spent in Italy sparked a desire to join OM Arts or be involved in music in some capacity.
As she seeks to follow God’s plan, the Incarnate team continues to pray for clarity, guidance, and the ability to process everything that she learned at Incarnate. Through the struggles, fears, and even heartache, Emma had the opportunity to experience things that she could have never imagined.
While she may not completely understand her next steps, there is no doubt that God can use her in amazing ways if she continues to trust and follow Him.
Watch the Incarnate 2014 video: Your Voice