Weak Knees and Butterflies

Sunday,  we were commissioned by our church as missionaries to Nepal.

It was a blessed thing to be prayed over by so many.

And as countless people came by at the end to shake our hands or give us a hug.

I heard many comment on how brave we were. How God had used us to inspire them.

I was called a special kind of person.

And I’m humbled that God can, and is using us to impact others.

Yet, last night as I pondered this, I had to shake me head.

See, the reality is my legs are shaking like a leaf.

My heart is overwhelmed and I often find it hard to breathe.

When I think of leaving those I love behind, the tears flow and my shoulders shake.

The truth is, this warrior of God is just a child.

Last Sunday my husband preached from Luke 17, about the unworthy servant.

At the beginning of the passage, Jesus tells the disciples that if someone sins against them 70 x 7, they are to forgive them.

They respond by saying, give us more faith.

It seems that what God is asking them to do is beyond them.

They know that in and of themselves it is impossible and they think they need more faith.

But Jesus tells them,  “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke 17:6)”

My husband then explained that it wasn’t about the amount of faith, it was instead about obedience.

See telling a tree to be uprooted is crazy, and asking it to plant itself in the sea is insane.

Neither of these things make sense and they both are impossible.

Yet, Jesus tells the disciples that if they say to the tree do this, the tree will obey.

Jesus finishes off the parable talking about the unworthy servant.

A servant will not come in and expect to be waited on by his master.

A slave will do as expected, and would be shocked to hear thank you or well done.

He concludes with these words, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'”

And that about sums it up for me!

Because the truth is, I’m not brave and courageous.

I’m actually scared and timid.

Not a whole lot of what we are doing makes sense, rationally

And the truth is I’m not super spiritual.

I’m just an unworthy servant who has been told to go to the mission field.

And who has said yes, in obedience to the Master.

And sometimes saying yes to God is easy, and other times it is hard.

But as Kristen Welch so eloquently put it, “Saying yes to God does not mean I’m not afraid, it just means I’m obedient.”

 luke 17

 

Third Culture Kids…….

As the days draw nearer to our departure date and I watch as my kids heart breakingly say goodbye to family and friends.

I have to wonder if this is okay.

I question whether taking my kids to live in a third world country is right.

I wonder how they will adjust and whether they will hate it or love it.

I think and ponder these things.

Then I came across an amazing read, Am I a Horrible Parent for Moving my Kids (back) to Africa?

And I take a deep breath and remember that I’m not alone.

I remember that my first allegiance is not to my kids, but it is to the Lord.

I’m reminded that it isn’t my job to please or make my kids happy.

As a mom, my job is to teach, train and raise my children up in the ways of the Lord.

I’m to point them to Jesus, showing them that there is more to life than the latest fad or newest gadget.

More than selfishly focusing their eyes upon themselves.

Showing them the deepest needs of others.

This is my call as a mom.

I answer first to the Lord.

And I must trust the One who saved me and who loves my children more than I do, to care for them.

Are we wrong to take our children from their home, their family, their church, and their friends?

In short, no. We’d be wrong if we didn’t go.

Knowing this however, doesn’t make the packing or goodbyes any easier.

It won’t magically cause everyone to adapt quickly or love their new home.

This doesn’t even remove all the fears.

But, it is my prayer that as third culture kids, they will see beyond themselves.

They will understand the amazing grace of God, as they see how much they have in comparison with others.

It is my prayer that the Lord will use them to point other children to Him.

That as they play with the orphans and see the outcast, their hearts will be broken and moved to do something more.

As third culture kids, they have an amazing opportunity to experience things that most do not.

Sure, they may miss out on the latest fads. They may miss the typical american life.

But I’m realizing that this is okay.

Because they will encounter so much more.

 

TCK

 

The God Who Knows…..

God knowsEarlier in the summer as we began looking at plane tickets for our upcoming move to Nepal, we really wanted to fly Turkish Air.

We had flown Turkish Air on our previous trip to Nepal, last fall. We had been very pleased with our flight and the service.

Yet, as we looked for the most economical flight, Turkish Air proved to be much pricier than other airlines.

In the end, we made our reservation with China Southern, which would carry us west instead of east.

At the time, we were disappointed that we wouldn’t be traveling Turkish Air, but decided that it wasn’t God’s plan.

Little did we know that a war with Iraq would begin only months later.

As I read the news the other day, I was amazed at the goodness of God. For in an article I read, I realized that Turkey is right above Iraq. And much of the air space in this area has been closed until the end of the year due to the fighting.

I rushed to share with my husband how great our God is.

For though we thought we knew best, God truly knew what we would need ,and orchestrated the details precisely.

Then I thought to myself how many times do I question the Lord and His ways?

How often do I argue about the details and want my way?

When the Lord who is sovereign over all truly does know best.

I don’t know what is going on in your life right now, but I encourage you to surrender it to the Lord.

He is God, we are His sheep.

The Father does know best.

And though we don’t always understand His ways and often don’t agree.

He is busy moving and working in our lives for His good.

 

When saying yes to God, hurts

thU1VP13SBOur family has said yes to God.

We have said, we will follow you wherever, you lead.

We have prayed to the Lord of the Harvest and asked Him to send us out.

And, He has said, go, I’m sending you to Nepal.

We are thrilled and can’t wait to get busy with the work He has planned for us.

But, we are also hurting.

Because though this is what we have prayed for and dreamed of doing.

It is still painful to leave our family, friends and church.

Hard to sell your things, and live out of suitcases.

So, what do you do, when saying yes to God, is painful??

The Lord is teaching me, that when it hurts, I must run to Him.

I must rely not upon myself, but fully upon Him.

I have to allow the Lord to be my strength.

Denying myself and what my fleshly body wants.

Remembering why we go, and the needs of those we go to serve.

I must take my eyes off of me, and focus my eyes completely upon the Lord.

Saying yes to God wasn’t easy for Moses, the people didn’t like Him, and blamed Him for their problems.

Saying yes to God wasn’t easy for Isaiah, who shared God’s message with people who didn’t want to hear.

And saying yes to God wasn’t easy for Christ, but He laid down His life, setting an example for us to follow.

So when saying yes to God, hurts…

Because sometimes it will, and sometimes it won’t be easy.

Remember that the Great I Am is with you.

He will never leave or forsake you.

He is enough. He is all you need.

And when the pain overwhelms, cry out to Him, pouring out your heart before the Lord.

For He will hear your humble cry and will fill your mind, and heart with His perfect peace.

His grace is sufficient for whatever task He places before you.

Jesus said, “If anyone comes after me, he must give up everything.” He must hate his mother, sister, brother, even his own life.”

This is hard, this hurts.

This leads many to say no or to run from God’s call.

But these also miss out on seeing and experiencing the greatness of God, and the plans He has for them.

So I encourage you to say yes to God, even when it hurts.

Even when the pain overwhelms.

Even when you really want to say no.

Because He will take your yes and will do far more than you could ever ask or imagine.

For His word says, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him (2 Chron. 16:9).”