Posted by: Judy | November 22, 2011

Game Changer 3

The last time I felt this way was over 25 years ago. I was a missionary, living in Thailand. It was an amazing experience. Since then, many people have asked me if I’d like to go back and visit. My answer is always the same, “No.”

Why?

I did not want to go on a mission. I’d worked the summer in Yellowstone, and wanted to go back. My church leader suggested it was time for me to go on a mission. I thought about it, a lot. I prayed about it. I struggled, wrestling with what I wanted and with what God wanted for me. It wasn’t easy. At last, I agreed to go on a mission, dedicating my life to God’s work for a time.

Filling out my paperwork to volunteer, I included a recommendation from my doctor that I not be sent someplace hot. Heat saps my energy, leaves me feeling muzzy. I also have kidney trouble, so I have to be careful about maintaining hydration. When I was asked to serve in Thailand, everyone wanted me to request a change. I had the feeling that Thailand was where God wanted me to be, so I made a pact with God. I would do my best, as imperfect as it was, and He would take care of me.

Over the next year and a half, that pact solidified. Half way through my mission, I was in a city where we visited a family that lived in a rural area. We could only visit in the evenings. It was dark, down a dirt road. I sang hymns every time we went. It was during that time that I frequently reminded God that He had sent me to that place, and I expected Him to take care of me.

Visit after visit after visit, we were asked if we were afraid to come. “No, God called us here, and He will take care of us.” On one of our last visits, before I moved, toward the end of my time there, I finally asked why they kept questioning us. I learned that there was a gang operating in the area. People had been killed. God had protected us. From then on, we always arranged for several of us to go. Now that I knew, I couldn’t expect God to keep protecting me without using the brain He’d given me.

So, now, when anyone asks me if I want to go back, I answer, “No. God called me to go the first time, and it was His responsibility to take care of me. If I go back, I’ll have no such promise.”

A new path has been placed before me. It wasn’t a course I was raised to consider, let alone pursue. Buckets of breadcrumbs have lead me to this moment. Whenever my faith wavers, I ask God to help my unbelief, and He sends another breadcrumb, and sometimes a whole loaf. God set me on this path, and I expect Him to take care of me.

I’ve matured enough to know that trusting God does not mean the way will be smooth or pain free. In fact, I know it won’t. God’s way is not the easy way. That being said, I am willing to place my life and my future in God’s hands, in a way I have not done in over 25 years.

In Thailand, I knew that I was learning things I would use for the rest of my life, and yet I also realized that I wouldn’t know how because the tools would be used differently. I’ve struggled and fought and fallen down and crawled forward. And a tool that was there all along, waiting for me to reclaim it, finally feels familiar enough to use again.

God is in control. I can fight Him or work with Him. Each moment is a choice in one direction or the other. I’m learning to choose God.

I wrote this post last Thursday.

Friday, strangely enough, or not,Β I wasn’t surprised when I opened the email from Harlequin rejecting my manuscript. I find it so amazing that I’d reached the point where I was perfectly okay with whatever happened. I’ve been reading up on self-publishing and exploring other publishers and beginning to think that Harlequin might not be my best choice. I’m a little disappointed… I was rejected, after all, but I know it’s for the best. I was given some helpful feedback as to their reasoning, but they weren’t reasons I was willing to change in my story. I also confess that I’m scared. I feel like the door has been flung open wide to the possibilities, and I’m not used to this kind of freedom. It feels good, but it’s unnerving, too. I’m letting go of another dream, though this time I truly feel like God has something that is better for me in store, if I’ll only keep taking the next step and the next step and the next step. So, do I believe Him or don’t I? I believe Him. Jesus help my unbelief.

Lesson: Never challenge God, unless you’re prepared to take on the challenge He throws back. I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. God help me.


Responses

  1. AMEN. I prayed for a fish and caught a whale. It wasn’t what I was thinking at all and I feel a little overwhelmed. God does have a sense of humor. πŸ™‚

    • Amen to that! πŸ™‚

  2. Are we also all trying to write romance stuff too? That would be sooo funny (funny coincidence not funny haha.) Me too…Christian inspirational “chic lit” style and I’m looking at self publishing. Would love to talk more about this…


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