Friday, February 20, 2009

Have You Asked?

Why is it that we all assume that we aren't meant to do missions (or other paid ministry, for that matter)? We expect God to come down on a glowing cloud and announce, in a loud, clear voice, "You need to go to the southeast coast of Belize and teach small children about Me using music and funny voices." It doesn't take much faith to obey that. I was looking for a similar experience when we first considered missions, but I don't think that God uses those methods all too often.

Maybe I should tell you how we were "called" to go overseas. When I was seventeen, I realized that the man that God had planned for me was going to be a minister. I'd fought such a calling my whole life, so I wasn't thrilled at first. It grew on me over time, though. I love being a minister's wife now, and I couldn't imagine any other life.

A little over a year ago, Edwin and I realized that God was working on us. We knew that He had another job for us to do. We were very happy where we were in Kentucky. We loved our church (and we still love them, despite the distance), and there wasn't an issue in the church that caused us to leave (just to make sure that is perfectly clear). We just knew that we had a job to do elsewhere.

We'd always figured that after Kentucky, we would move closer to home. We started looking for jobs in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida (I was cheering for Florida). We saw various jobs, and Edwin applied to some of them, but nothing "felt right". I'm not big on feelings. I don't trust them, but we are spiritual beings, and this feeling had to do with our spirits and the Spirit of God. It was a spiritual discomfort that kept us looking.

Edwin told me after a few weeks that he really wanted to leave the Bible Belt. I wasn't totally thrilled. I was really looking forward to being closer to my family, but Edwin is my primary family, along with the girls. I found some jobs in places like Las Vegas and the NorthWest. Nothing came of them.

Then Edwin asked me about missions. I wasn't convinced, but out of a desire to see my husband's calling fulfilled, along with my own, I agreed to begin the process, still unsure of what God was doing. I filled out the application out of submission. I don't mean gritting my teeth submission, and I don't mean that I was angry or bitter about it. I did it because I trust my husband's judgement, and I just didn't know what God wanted yet.

Now I do. Through the application process, interviews, and presentations, God has not only brought a desire into my heart, He has brought a burden. I yearn, yes yearn, to go overseas. I long to fulfill this calling. It may not have started with some mystical voice or gut-feeling, but it is absolutely clear. Edwin and I are following the path laid for us by our King. And I can't wait!

So, have you asked what God wants you to do? If I'd assumed that I knew what God was doing, I would have been living in disobedience. I'm so glad that God uses things like husbands, yearnings, and closed doors to speak to His people. It couldn't hurt to ask if God wants you to go overseas to take the Gospel. The worst that could happen is He says, "No", or maybe it's, "Yes," that you're afraid of.

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