I've been somewhat avoiding this post because I know it's going to be long...even for me. ;)
I've been somewhat avoiding it because it's another one that shows the vulnerable transparent side of our hearts.
I committed to honesty and no "masks" when I started this blogging journey several years ago and I don't intend to go back on that...ever.
A few have asked for me to "journal" our thoughts as we seek to move forward with a calling that continues to grow in our hearts. Many have asked where we are in the process and what is going on in our hearts. What now? When?
Moving along. Slowly.
The desire has not changed. Well, actually it would be more honest to say the desire has grown. We have a bit more of confirmation in our hearts that we are definitely meant to move forward. We have a greater urgency and we have a deeper calling to be willing.
Comes more concerns. More questions.
We see ourselves "there". We feel ourselves "there". We see ourselves in roles "there" that put us serving and loving on the "least of these".
However, there's a big chasm between "here" and "there".
Right now, we are still praying and seeking earnestly. We've had some candid conversations with a dear family that we hold close at heart that are currently serving in similar capacities to what is in our hearts. Kevin has met informally with our pastor again.
We've had a few commitments to financially support at some level once we are officially in process. We don't know how small or large those commitments are. We do now have a vague idea of some of the financial aspects involved. The numbers are in the range of what we were expecting, which is completely impossible without God's full provision. We've tossed back and forth ideas of fundraising and individuals that would consider partnering with us. Yet, that list seems so small. Such a drop in the bucket. However, we've been encouraged to not get too caught up in that because we will be surprised by how our list may not line up with God's. He's WAY bigger than a "list". I constantly come back to the reminder that Jill Savage spoke about at Mom's Night Out event at a local church a couple of years ago that stuck out in my heart THEN and is powerful NOW. "He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He only needs to sell ONE." Though she was referring to God's provision during their adoption of a son, her words remind me to not put God in a little box.
That brings me to the next part.
What if... He says "yes"? That's terrifying. Sometimes we can be afraid that our dreams WILL come true. This would not be a "little" yes. It's a life-changing one. It changes everything. Literally. As much as we can feel ready, we can feel SO NOT ready.
What if...He says "no" or "not right now"? Though I don't believe He's going to say "no" to serving Him and caring for orphans, widows, impoverished, and those needing gospel. He may say, I have a different direction or a different location. Maybe even a different time frame.
What if? It's not like we think it will be. Well, truth is...it won't be. That is scary. We can read all the books, have all the conversations, prepare as much as possible...BUT it will be different to live it. It will be better. It will be worse. It will be just right.
The better question I tell myself to ask is "What if we don't?" Those are some serious regrets to live with. What if out of our own fears, doubts, or inaction we potentially miss out on being exactly in the will of God. So much I've been reading lately, conversations I've had, and promptings of the Holy Spirit have revealed to me just how much I live in fear. I'm coming to realize the biggest fears that are holding us back are the same fears that many in the Bible itself had. God DEFINITELY used them despite their doubts, inabilities, failures, and excuses. I definitely don't want to continue to live life in such a way that allows fears to cripple.
What about the kids? What if it ruins their lives and they are miserable? On the flipside, what if by holding back we are potentially robbing them of the greatest experiences that can change their lives for the good in such a way that they become true vessels operating under God's control as He designed.
Our daughter has a heart for missions like I've never seen. She is ready. I have no doubt. She will go with or without us. We'll be putting her on a plane. The only question is will she be with us or without us. From the earliest days, she has had the calling on her life to serve. It's as natural to her as breathing. I'm surprised Africa wasn't her first word.
Our middle son has such a talent for hands on projects. His mind is abstract and problem solving in nature. We can so see him truly finding himself on the mission field such as the one our hearts desire. Sometimes we see him getting "lost" when he isn't allowed to that part of himself develop.
Our youngest still has such a tenderness and pure love and innocence. We can definitely see him just going all in and embracing every little person he comes in contact with. Nearly a day doesn't go by that I don't think of those two words whispered in my heart the very second he was placed in my arms as his Daddy was cutting the cord, "Mountain Mover".
As parents, we definitely wonder about the negatives. What ifs that can cripple if we aren't careful. What if the culture shock is too much? What if they feel as if they gave up too much when they are older? What if they get sick or hurt? What if.... Those two pesky words can drive you crazy in an instant.
However, what if....
What if the "yes" opens the door to their destinies?
Recently, we were referred to as a "missional family" in a passing comment by our missionary friends. Ever since that moment, I've been letting those words work in my heart. Thinking over and over what they mean to me. Do they fit? How do they fit us now and how will they fit us later? What do we need to do? Where does God need to change us for the mission field HERE and the mission field THERE?
Missional family does fit us. It fits who we want to be. It fits what God has started in our hearts.
We've been holding back for way too long. We've been holding back because we don't feel we are ready enough. Yet, we know that if we wait until we are ready we never will be. We will never be perfect enough. We will never be spiritually perfectly ready. We will never be fully physically ready. Some things in life you just have to step out in faith. Get out of the boat and walk on the water.
We've stuck our toe in the water. Then put it back in. Two toes in the water. Back in. Perhaps we've actually put an entire foot in the water and are beginning to lean out.
We know in our hearts that it's time to let go of the boat and start walking on the water with Him.
Some days we might plunge straight in the water because we failed to keep our eyes on Him. We let the waves and wind draw our attention away. However, a day is coming that when we step out, one step is going to lead to another and another....and then we'll be walking on the water with Him.
Today we are leaning out of the boat. Ready to take that step, but still gripping on to the railing too tightly. Yet, we know....
it's time to loosen the grip...
This control freak. This adventure avoider (married to an adventure seeker!)----might be wearing a few too many life preservers....but I think she's finding that it's time to toss them aside and let faith do the walking.
might be terrifying...OH so terrifying....
But so freeing at the same time.
(But someone might need to grease the railing so that once I let go I can't grab it again. Leave me with the only choice being to walk on that water. Across the ocean. To Him.)