"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:7-9
In the past 12 months, I have watched the American dream (new house, 2 nice cars, 2 good jobs, plenty of tech gadgets, etc.) that Rick and I worked 14 years to build, crumble down around me. At first I desperately tried to save what I could, then I tried to figure out how to rebuild it. I bargained, negotiated, searched desperately for a way back.
Finally, I surrendered it to God.
"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?'. Then I said, 'Here I am, send me!'."
For several years, since Rick started his journey towards a Bible degree (which he obtained May 2014 from Piedmont International University...and continues now towards his MBA from Liberty University), we have felt that our family had a future in ministry. In the beginning of the journey, I thought I would become a supportive, loving wife of a man in full-time ministry. Then we considered missions, and I prayed fervently we would be called to a mission field with running water and air conditioning. As Rick continued his studies and then graduated we waited for direction. And waited. And waited some more.
During the waiting, I started to think...Am I really willing to go wherever God sends me? Anywhere? Even if there is no air conditioning?
And then the bottom fell out. We had our answer. Our mission field is wherever we are. We don't have to wait for a mission board to approve and send us somewhere (not that there is anything wrong with that particular process).
We are giving up our country house and moving to a more urban area. We, as a family, will share the gospel with whomever we encounter. We will live missionally by caring for friends, neighbors and anyone else we encounter. We will show the love of Christ as we go about our daily lives.
Through trials God has brought me closer to Him. I have learned lessons I could not learn under any other circumstances.
I want to stop pouring effort into building MY dream and start pouring out God's love to those around me. I want to be done asking "What's in this for me?" and instead ask "Houw can God use me in this situation?".
"In all things, even the hard things, God is sovereign and can be trusted." -Gwen Smith
I am learning to trust Him wholly with my future, and my present.
"Being confident in God does not make the pain less deep, but less broad." -John Piper
One of my favorite verses that has been written on my heart for years now is Ephesians 3:20:
"Now unto him who is able to far more than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us."
I love the promise of this verse, that God can take my wildest dreams and surpass them with His plans for me.