The more real the possibility of going overseas becomes, the more that I think about what that's really going to mean. There's the obvious concerns in the area of chores: Will I have to pluck a chicken in order to make Sunday lunch? Will we have dirt floors (granted, we kind of have those now)? If we live in a hut, will I have to put it back together every afternoon after DeLaynie tears it down?
Then come the more serious questions dealing with the girls. I think about the possibilities of kidnapping and persecution. I wonder what it will take to keep my precious babies safe in a place that I don't know. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I have concerns.
Then peace comes, a reminder that they aren't mine. Since my name is Hannah, I've taken a special interest in the Biblical Hannah. I've read her story more times than I can count. The Bible says that God actually closed her womb, and then He opened it when she became willing to give her child to God's service. God didn't allow her to become a mother until she made the commitment to place her precious baby in God's hands. I can't imagine what it was like to sit there, nursing a child that you know you're about to take to the temple... and leave, forever. You may see him once a year, but he doesn't belong to you. He belongs to God.
In the next chapter, Hannah has a praise song for God. The theme is that it's God's choice to give, and it's God's choice to take. That was after she took Samuel to live with Eli in the temple. She ended up having five other children, but that doesn't change the sacrifice of giving her son to God. By this action of faithfulness, God blessed all of Israel.
What does that mean for my little ones? They are under my care, and I will take protect them as best I can. They will get medical care when they need it. They will eat until they're full, as much as it's in my control. We won't let any random person babysit. But when I know that God wants something from us, like service overseas, I'm going to have to trust. The best thing that I can instill in our girls is that the will of God is the safest place to be. If they live in Kentucky, or Alabama, or New York, and always have what they need and want, and never have fear for their safety or comfort, but they aren't afraid of life outside of God's will, then they are not safe at all. Danger, real danger, looms when we live apart from God.
Most of us say that our first priority is Christ, but, for me, this is where the rubber meets the road. If that's true, then I have to be willing to lay them on the altar, right next to me. That doesn't mean that I'm going to be stupid when it comes to their care and safety. It just means that when I'm positive that God wants something from us, then I'll have to be willing to take risks and leave the provision to the Provider. I'm still nervous about some aspects of their protection. I don't think that God has to keep them safe in order to be a good God. They may suffer from this decision, but my job is to keep them in the shelter of God's will. If that's in a hut with a dirt floor with a chicken pin outside, then that's where we'll be. Though I am hoping for a slightly different situation.