Jun 28, 2014

The bread crumb trail to life as a missionary


This is the story of how we ended up in the Dominican Republic from my perspective:


If the Lord had shown me earlier in my life that I was going to end up serving Him in a third world country, I would have RUN as fast as I could the other way.  Not because I didn't LOVE or TRUST the Lord, but because earlier in my walk with Him, I allowed my feelings and fear to rule me.  However, my ending up in the Dominican Republic is a story of God's peace that passes understanding, His leading, and ultimately His love for me. The complete unfolding of how we (my husband Jon, my children and I) came here is chronicled in my husband's telling of the story, but what I would like to share is the Lord's sweetness in how He deals with His children, specifically me in this story. But I think that there may be something in here that applies for you as well. 

In His grace, the Lord offered me baby bite size pieces of His plan for us, allowing me to chew and digest each piece, spit some out, breathe and take another bite.  Before I moved here, I would not have considered myself an adventuresome person.  In fact, those that have known me best I think would agree that I have always been "safe," (excluding hair color, style and paint colors).  But in a series of events, the Lord called me from what I deemed as safe, and told me to walk with Him in a foreign place where I did not know or speak the language, where I would arrive 7 months pregnant with baby #3 and give birth, and where I was terrified to go.  


At first, I thought I'd try my hand at being logical: 1) I was pregnant.  2) We wouldn't make enough $ to survive on.  3) We would have to raise support and we didn't know how to do that. 4) Jon had been unemployed and we had no way to make a move like this.  CLEARLY, God could NOT be calling us to do this thing which made NO SENSE!  We (meaning mostly me) tabled the possibility for a while, but the return of that sparkle in my husband's eye, which had been absent for a time of "comfortable misery" in his life, at the mere mention of the possibility caused me to begin to pray earnestly for the Lord's will to be done in our lives. 

There were other options on the table: safe, small town options within the same state. I liked those options. But earnest prayer led me to say a very scary thing, "Lord, I am not strong enough to choose what scares me.  If you want us to go to the Dominican Republic, please show me in a very clear way.  I surrender to you and will go where you want me to go."  Safe doors closed, within 48 hours of said prayer.  And a few months later, with a miraculous amount of support, prayer and financial, away we went . . . 


Here is the really cool part about the Lord's sweetness:  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows what we need.  He knows how to grow us in our faith, how to teach us to not be ruled by our emotions and the inclinations of our hearts, He knows the little seeds that He has planted in our being that we may not even be aware of.  

You see, I knew that my husband was called to the Dominican Republic.  His giftings and years of experience in residential child care would be clearly used.  His talents would be called into motion for the glory of God.  It was obvious to me that this was a move that would bless, stretch, challenge and fulfill my husband—and as his wife, that meant that I was called too.  But for what?  I know that there are some obvious answers to that question: to glorify the Lord, to support my husband, to also be stretched, challenged and fulfilled, to teach my children about following the Lord, trusting and obeying and worshipping Him with our lives.  But there's more.


Back to that little seed planted that we may be unaware of . . . before we came, we took a series of "tests" to show our strengths and weaknesses, personality traits, etc.  The person who scored those tests reported to me that my husband's score for missions was thru the roof high, but that mine was so low that normally someone with such a low missions score would not do well in a Dominican type setting. But by virtue of Jon's outstanding missions score, I would be allowed to continue on in pursuit of making the move to the D.R. 

Now I'll be the first to confess that I was not very missions-minded prior to moving here.  When we moved, I shipped Christmas trees, decorations, mattresses, picture frames, etc.  (Nobody at that time really did that!)  I was going to build a NEST, by golly.  The Lord called me and I showed up with 2,000 pounds of stuff, baggage to make me comfortable.  But the thing is, there was a hidden seed in my heart for missions that I had no idea was there.  The Lord began to water it, fertilize it, grow it—and today it is a seed that has grown into a bountiful vine and has flourished in my life.  The Lord knew it.  I didn't.  I shutter to think now: if I had run, if I had logically convinced my husband to dismiss His calling, if I had allowed my life to be ruled by fear, if I had not listened to the Lord.  I would have missed out on an incredible adventure as well as a process of having my faith increased and enriched.


If perhaps you are reading this and are yourself at a crossroads in your life, I encourage you to say an earnest prayer, to not run the other direction even if you are afraid, and to trust the Lord with those seeds, even if you don't know what they are! In His grace, He will meet you where you are and give you the strength to do that which He is calling you to do. He did that for me and I believe that He offers that to all of His children.


1 comment :

I relish your thoughts! Thanks for taking the time to comment!