The Unexpected Journey
I can't tell you the number of times I've heard people say to me, "I could never do what you do" when talking about my life as a missionary. I always have to laugh and say, "I can't either...but God." Looking back on the time I've spent living abroad, I am seeing how God has been leading me on a journey of faith that until I reflected on it, I didn't even realize I was on.
You see, I thought I understood faith in a large measure when I left the US. It took faith for me to tell my friends and family I was going to leave for several years. It took faith for me to leave my job of 10 years. It took faith to see all of my funds raised. It took faith for me to let go of my material possessions and fly half
way around the world to live in a place where life was often quite different than I'd ever known. I can look back at those moments and see how faith carried me through, and how God was teaching me to trust Him when I didn't know the way or the how.
But now, standing here two years later, preparing for yet another transition in going back to the States and looking forward to the future to come, my perspective is different. My understanding of faith, while still limited, has broadened, and I marvel at the revelation God has brought me. Yes, I walked through those moments of faith, learning to trust God more, but what He is calling me to now is not just MOMENTS of faith, but a LIFE of faith.
Until now, I recognize that I have often lived by faith in pockets rather than a continuum of time. Dependent so often on myself until I couldn't be, putting me into a position of necessity to rely on God. Instead, I am desiring to live in a place of surrender, of total trust in His plans and in the shape of my life going forward.
But the journey to this point hasn't been an easy one. So many times I have found myself trying to see or understand, but all I perceive is silence and a fog. Time and time again, my plead has been, "God, won't you show me? Won't you tell me? Won't you turn on the light so I can make my way?" When I finally quiet myself enough to listen, He gently replies, "Won't you just trust me and let me lead you?" And it's in that place that my heart finally finds rest. My wearied, frantic, uncertain heart finds peace when I surrender to the plans He has, knowing they are perfect, and knowing that He has had me in this season for a purpose: To teach me to walk continuously with my eyes closed, but seeing fully into His goodness and faithfulness for each step of the way. It's only then that He can lead me to the deep places, the unknown places, the unimaginable places-when I fully put my every breath in His hands.