[warning: the following promises to be a long entry]
Am I living out the call of God on my life today or am I just wandering aimlessly without purpose?
This is the question that nags at me every morning, afternoon, evening. It seems to comsume me with its constant presence. It overwhelms me at times and at others it comforts and guides me. Today, it frustrates me.
Matthew and I have been praying for ... well... not quite forever... but all of our life together what exactly is our purpose - our mission - as a married couple. What is our reason for existance on this earth? Two weeks ago God began to speak into us an answer to that question.
It was Sunday morning. I woke up to a clear word from the Lord. A "nudge" as some might call it. We have become in the habit most recently of getting to church early so we can join the prayer team. It helps to center us on God as we shed our worrisome week and pray for our church community. We also have enjoyed walking alongside the people in this group and are encouraged by meeting with them. However, this particular Sunday the nudge was to go to Matthew's parents' church in Anderson. This is not unusual for us since Matthew grew up in this church and we enjoy the love and prayers that this family still extends to us at each visit. I am particularly drawn to this group of people because they have sent out some friends of ours to Indonesia over the years and they have a heart for this island nation.
So, needless to say, it was not difficult for us to accept the nudge as a word from the Lord and we attended the service. We had no idea how significant our attendance nor how ordained it would be. (But, looking back... I should have known it would be just for us since the short term team they had sent to Indonesia had returned the following week!) I could go on for days about all that God spoke to Matthew and I in that service... but I will instead just highlight the significant points.
The church's mission statement was written on a banner hanging on the wall in the sanctuary. It stirred something deep within both of us and we knew it was the Lord speaking clearly over us His purpose for our lives. We have adopted it as our own mission statement (with a few adjustments) "Inspiring among all peoples an overflowing joy, [hope and freedom] in God through Jesus Christ." I know that God will continue to shape this statement and our callings, but we are so excited to have a place to start.
Through the message we felt a strong conviction to repent - to turn and change our direction. We have been striving to live in the comfort of the American dream. Most of this has been subconscious... but it is still present. This is not bad, but it is not the life we have been called to, so we have repented and are pursuing God and asking Him what it means to walk on the right path toward what He has called us to.
Nate spoke a message at the Stirring a few weeks ago about legacy. The question was asked (my paraphrase) is your journey in life headed in the direction that it needs to in order to have the legacy you desire? I would have to say that, at this moment, it is headed in the opposite direction. So, we are now asking questions and seeking God to discover ways that we can turn around in our lives and run the race that He has called us.
So, what does this look like? Well... we know that we want to go to Indonesia for a few weeks on a vision trip within the next 6 - 12 months. We also know that we need to get rid of stuff and lighten our load so that we can be ready to go whenever He calls us. We also know that children are part of this call and legacy, so we have decided to start trying again. This also means working on becoming healthier physically, spiritually and emotionally so that we can accomplish all that God has called us to without the hinderences that we currently have in our bodies (tiredness, weakness, depression, anxiety, etc.) So, we are looking to lighten our load of stuff (yard sales!) and financially that means changing our living situation. We are looking to either have some roommates to help pay rent or else move in with family/friends and rent a room.
I know that in all these things that we do not step forward on our own. God has called us and he is faithful - he will do it. He will accomplish His will in and through us in His perfect timing and ways. But we also want to be obedient to the call and ready with hearts and minds open and bodies prepared to take on the challenges and joys to come.
So.. you faithful who have read this long entry... I ask something else... that you would pray for us as we seek God's wisdom and guidance for this new part of our journey. I also ask that you pray to ask God what your part in this will be. Will you commit to stand in the gap and intercede for us? Will you commit to stand by us as friends to encourage and rebuke when necessary? Will you commit to support us financially as we move into a new season of missions work? Will you commit to stay and support our families as we embark on a new adventure across the globe and leave our loved ones behind? Whatever your part in this journey with us is, we are glad and thankful for your presence. We thank God for your faithfulness and friendship and look forward to continuing this journey with you.