Our desire for our family to be on the foreign mission field grows by the second. It's the last thing I think of when I go to sleep and many times I wake up with it on my heart in the middle of the night. It's one of the first things Kevin and I both pray about each morning, both together and separately. I can't count the number of times that we talk about it during the day or my thoughts wander to some aspect of that calling. Our children talk about Africa as if we are already there or as if we are leaving next week. (So much so that we are beginning to wonder if perhaps Bradlee knows more than we do! That child keeps packing or saying something with such depth that there is no way it can be anything but God working in his little heart!).
It's growing so much that it's like we have tunnel vision. We live in THIS moment and still focus on today, but our hearts grow more and more anxious about wanting the "tomorrow".
Oh but let me be honest and transparent. Let me be vulnerable.
It's terrifying the dickens out of us. (Yes, I just totally let my southern roots speak!!!! )
For every moment that we sense that God is strengthening us and giving us boldness, Satan jumps in with his arrows. We have never felt a greater sense of spiritual warfare battling around us as we have since we verbally admitted that we were saying "yes" and no longer running for the call that is in ALL of our hearts. (If you talk to each of our kids, especially the oldest and youngest, you will KNOW without a DOUBT that God has put this in their hearts as well!). He has been at us full force. I'll be honest. His tactics have worked. They've delayed us. They've put some serious doubts in our minds. They've certainly created turmoil.
Our God is GREATER.
Our God is STRONGER.
We aren't backing down. It is more and more apparent EVERY day that despite our fears, weaknesses, and even selfish concerns....we ARE going forward. We continue to see confirmation after confirmation that this is our path. We are without a doubt called.
We've just wrongly been letting our fears cripple us. Slowing us down. Discouraging us to the point of inaction.
We've started putting those doubts and fears at the feet of Jesus and He is replacing them with His truths.
We are purposely transforming our hearts and minds by filling our hearts with His word and truly seeking Him like we've never done before. We are reading excellent books like Love Does, The Circle Maker, All In, etc.... We are purposely trying to live in such a way that our hearts can hear Him more. (And Satan sure LOVES to try and prevent that!!!!!!!!!)
Just last night and again this morning, I was drawn back numerous times to a devotion in my study Bible. This particular one was intended to go along with John 14 and was written by Anne Graham Lotz.
Just the title grabbed my attention and before ever reading the words of the devotion it was already turning wheels in my head and heart.
Just a title statement, but in my heart I knew God was asking it as a question.
Are you Faithfully Available, Tracye?
Some of her words that I thought were beautiful and so very timely needed for my own heart:
The size and scope of the assignment are up to Him, and the effectiveness and lasting impact of your service are also His responsibility. You and I are simply to be faithfully available...and obedient.
There have been times when I have argued, resisted, procrastinated, and questioned, but in the end I always give in, because He is my Lord...I have "seen" Him...and I love Him. I don't serve Him because I have to. I serve Him because I want to do something for Him. And in the process of being obedient, I have come to know Him. He has "made known to me the path of life. He has filled me with joy in His presence, with eternal pleasures at His right hand."
With eagerness and enthusiasm, I put my feet in motion. I want to serve Him all the days of my life. I want to stay awake to His glorious vision forever. I am now on a passionate pursuit for more of Jesus. I embrace the Cross that shatters the stranglehold of self and enlarges my capacity to receive more, I long...
- to gaze on His visible face,
- to hear His audible voice,
- to feel His unmistakable touch,
- to become an eyewitness of His glory.
Yes. Yes, Lord. Yes, Sir....our hands are raised and we are ready to start moving our feet.
We don't have the financial means. We still have more questions than we can give answers to.
Our feet are moving and our hands are raised.
He put a dream and desire in our hearts long ago. He's made it clear to all of us that we have a purpose: despite our own tripping over our own feet, our own weaknesses, our own failures, our own selfishness, or own sins. We can't wait until we are "perfect" because that day WILL never come. We can't wait until we have no doubts or fears, because if they aren't there----our dreams aren't big enough. No fears means it's a man sized dream. We have a God-sized dream. We financially can't do it. Not even in the slightest (I think we are about 2% of the way). Oh, but God can.
We're faithfully available. Even though we've definitely heard enough negatives to discourage, even from family and acquaintances. But we've also heard enough positives to know that God IS in this. Even in the discouragement, His voice speaks to our hearts above the negativity....
Yes, Yes, Lord! Yes, Sir. We're faithfully available.