It’s crazy how quickly time can seem to pass by. I have had so many plans of sitting down and writing about this or that… I ought to have said if the Lord wills it; an evident theme in my life right now. Had you asked me eighteen months ago what plans I had for the future… I could not have imagined where God has us today…
For those of you that knew the dynamic charge ahead newborn whose life was radically changed at twenty four… you know that I was determined to “do something big”. I would have adopted every orphan and oh what I would have done to fly across the ocean to where His name has not been heard. Stephen remembers well his young wife who cried at every orphan video and took up every cause she caught sight of in full throttle. I was an advocate for many organizations. All good stuff… but it wasn’t all for me. I remember trying to set up an awareness meeting for an organization. I had twenty something packets, the DVD presentation, grand plans… and zero rsvp’s. Every chance I got I brought up the idea of going overseas, but my plans were halted by a husband who knew that we were not ready. I was made new… but not perfect. And my response was often ugly. I resented Stephen for a time. I can remember one day when the wickedness of my flesh told that poor man that he was holding me back. For a couple of years we went around and around with the conversation. All the while, there was so very much healing and renewing to be done in my life… Radically changed often comes with reams of baggage. As the Lord began to peel away at the layers, and teach me who I really am, I finally reached a place where I could hear him say not now, and I let go of my big plans.
I so want to write about the night that I knew this move was the beginning of something amazing. The way it all came about, the community God has surrounded us with, the ways He has shown His provision and protection… The work He has done and is doing in our hearts.
A few months ago a ministry was presented to us and it seemed to be something that I could really jump into. We went together to the orientation and to the training. I expected to be all aboard, but as we sought His will, we decided together that God did not have this for us. That probably seems trivial… but did I mention that my default is full speed ahead/act now/think later.
While that ministry was not for us… God was stirring our hearts for something else. Around the same time we found ourselves in a class… In part because a gal I really admired (and who is now one of my fondest companions) asked us to come. In part because some of our friends back in Iowa introduced us to the topic and we thought it would be neat to learn more. But mostly, because God is sovereign and there began the path we are on today…
Today we have a family from Etheopia living with us. A few weeks ago we visited a Mosque. Last weekend I went to a conference, and then met a woman whose husband owns a restaurant, who was fasting an extra six days after Ramadan, and who I will go back to visit very soon. When we decided to homeschool a wise and amazing woman and friend came to my house and handed me a curriculum… year five… which is all about going. Today we are reading through a book about a family who went. A couple of months ago we hosted folks from an organization in our living room. Today, we are willing to stay… but preparing to go.
Without my asking or prompting, or even my knowing, Stephen began to research the thought of overseas. This coincided with our church introducing the idea of a church based team and today we await an upcoming strategy retreat in which… if the Lord wills… we might become official goers.
We will never be fully ready or completely prepared, but this place that the Lord has brought us to, out of our disgusting mess, is something beautiful. Not because of anything we have done, but because He has loved us. Because He is good. Because despite my sin, He has chosen to redeem. And so, we prepare not with plans of doing something big… but prayers of living under grace, of sharing the fruition that He brings and the love He freely gives. We prepare not in haste to accomplish good works… but in response to the great commission that He has opened our eyes to clearly see. We prepare not out of duty, but desire. Desire to follow, to see, to hear, to love, to obey, to love.