Jimmy McNeal


Sep 06, 2013

An Answered Prayer

Last night was a night to remember. You know sometimes how you pray for something and hope for it to happen asap, or at least within a small time frame like God's on your time table. That was me, almost 8 years ago now, I asked God for a small but huge want in my heart as a student at Texas State University. 

You see, most of you reading this read that name and think, "oh yeah, that's that party school in San Marcos, dang Jimmy, you went there"? To answer your question, "why yes, I actually am a proud Texas State Bobcat". I've been one to stand up for my school when people identify it as that "party school". But truth be told, it is what you make of it, just like any other school. And this so called "party school" is where God gave me the opportunity to boast in Him in ways I had never dreamed.

Last night I lead worship on a stage, but not just a stage to me. This was the stage where I performed as a student dozens of times singing in the choir, our vocal jazz ensemble, gospel choir, and even a few talent shows. And as I approached the mic for sound check I was reminded of the last time I sang on that particular stage. 

It was the 2007 homecoming talent show. Yup, 2007, almost 7 years ago now. American Idol was not too far behind me and I had just started singing background vocals at The Austin Stone. I had no intention of auditioning for the talent show that fall, but was humbled when asked to do a 20-25 minute set while they tallied up the votes back stage. So like any Senior, I wanted to use this opportunity to leave my mark. I remember thinking "God, let me use this platform well, use me". That night I walked on stage and sang a few love songs that I'd sang in talent shows from previous years and then I did something I never would have thought that I would do when I arrived on the campus as a transfer student. I mean, I had the floor, the mic, and the freedom to do anything I wanted with the time. So why not talk about Jesus, the one who first loved me. Why not share the gospel and end my time with worship to the one who adopted me as a son and let that be the mark that was left. I couldn't help but use the rest of my time to share how the gospel captured my heart and the love that was displayed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I spoke truth and sang songs about that truth wanting Jesus to be what people remembered about me.

I actually thought that that would be the last time I would sing on that stage. In such a beautiful way, last night proved that thought to be wrong and also brought tears to my eyes as I remembered a prayer of mine that had been prayed almost 8 years ago when I first heard about Austin Stone on campus. Simply put, "God bring this organization or something like this to Texas State and use it to change lives", was what I prayed every time that announcement was made at church. Last night he did just that. It blows my mind to think that I was praying for 10 year old kids who now roam the quad as college freshman. But one thing I do know is that God's timing is perfect and he does answer prayers.

This morning I, as a former student, am humbled that he would allow me to play a role in it. I know that there is still much more work to be done, but I wanted to take this time to rejoice in the now, and thank God for what he did last night as well as answering the prayers that have been prayed by many. God hears our prayers and answers them, sometimes much differently than we may have hoped or expected, but they always seem to be in a way much better than what we could have imagined.

Nothin' but love,



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