It’s been a super exciting week for our family! Jeff and I completed the final interview of the Time to Revive missionary application process this past weekend, and we received word this week that we have officially been accepted as TTR Missionaries! This officially begins our journey of trusting the Lord to lead and provide as we transition to becoming full-time missionaries, relying fully on the prayers, encouragement, and financial gifts of a support team.
I imagine we feel a lot like Abraham did when God called him to leave his country, his kindred and his father’s house, and go to a land that God would show him. There’s sheer thrill and exhilaration at the call of God; we’re humbled and honored that He would choose us. There’s wonder and excitement as we look out into the unknown with only the promises of God to sustain us and ground us. And amidst the trust that He’s been building inside of us so that we could take such a leap of faith, there is also a bit of a hitch in our step, a lump in our throats, at the first step of walking out into the complete unknown. We know and trust that God will prove faithful; He can’t do otherwise. It is His character. But we also know that God’s faithfulness and provision will likely look quite different than we imagine. Our dreams of days filled with mountain tops and the land flowing with milk and honey will also likely be littered with valleys and desserts and famines, just like Abraham’s were. Because blessing is not just in the “good times.” Blessing is in His presence with us, whatever we may face.
God has already shown Himself faithful to care for us in ways we didn’t even expect. Throughout our experience with Time to Revive this past year, one of the things I learned about myself was how little faith I had. Seeing the great faith in others created in me a deep desire to learn to trust God in such big ways as well. But faith doesn’t come easy. It’s not something you just pray for and instantly it’s yours. It’s something God works in us as we decide to trust Him even when we don’t feel like it or when we’re scared to death. It’s like standing on the edge of the bridge terrified to trust the bungee that’s secured to your back, but choosing to believe the facts that have been stated, the numerous jumpers who have survived before you, and taking the leap despite your trembling knees and nauseous stomach. And just like the exhilaration you feel when the bungee holds and you come bouncing back up after the terrifying jump, our hearts are filled with joy and strength and admiration for our God when we make the (sometimes terrifying) choice to trust Him despite our trembling knees and nauseous stomach, and He comes through for us proving faithful.
I had a situation like that this week as we have been preparing for our trip to Sarasota this weekend for reviveFLORIDA. Some of the transportation details weren’t working out the way I had hoped, and Jeff and I found ourselves in a pinch, not sure how we would be in two different places at the same time (taking care of the kids @ the host home and attending the early morning team meetings) while we only had one vehicle. My natural reaction was to be angry—it wasn’t fair—and to take the situation into my own hands, demanding that it be worked out to our advantage. But the Holy Spirit’s gentle whisper silenced my pride and invited me to trust the Father to work it out on our behalf. He’s been building this faith in me, one little situation at a time, and so I said, “ok, God, You’ve got this.” He took my anger and replaced it with anticipation of the challenge He had set before me: take my hands off and watch what He could do. So I waited. Each day as I waited, I obeyed the things the Lord set before me to do and kept watching for Him to work in the situation. Days passed and it didn’t look like there would be a solution to the problem. Still, I waited, knowing that He would either work it out or give us strength to endure it. And then tonight, as we were putting the last suitcases in the van and packing the last snack baggies in the kids’ backpacks, God did His work. Without my even having to ask, He prompted someone to call and offer to provide a rental car for us for the week in Florida. Wow. I trusted, and He came through, and now my faith is even stronger than before. He is building it in me…all I have to do is choose to let Him.
As we prepare to travel to Florida in the next couple of days, will you join our family in prayer? We so appreciate the support and encouragement of our friends and family. You have helped to carry us through this exciting and challenging time! Below is a list of prayers that we are praying for this week…
- God’s work in Florida…we are praying and believing that reviveFLORIDA will not begin from the ground, but that it will start standing on the shoulders of all that God did in reviveINDIANA…that it would be the continuation of the movement He began here
- Patience & peace & endurance…for us as parents and for the kiddos. It’s a full and strenuous week. We need God’s strength and character in order to thrive as a family in the midst of the full schedule.
- Jeff is pressing in to learn to hear and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading even more clearly. Pray that He will hear clearly from the Lord and have the courage to follow, no matter what. Please pray also that Jeff will begin to see and sense more of what His role is within Time to Revive.
- Betsy will be writing blog stories from Florida as well as training a couple of new missionaries interested in the writing role as well. Please pray that God will give her wisdom and strength to juggle the hats she’ll be wearing, that He’ll open her eyes to His stories and give her His words as she shares them, and that He will use her to encourage and help prepare the new writers to be used powerfully by Him.
- Embrace…please pray this word over our family…that we will embrace all that He has planned for us this week, no matter what that looks like. Whether it’s being mommy & daddy or sweeping up after the evening meals or experiencing powerful moments, pray that we will keep looking to Him and welcome whatever He has planned.
Thank you. Thank you for cheering us on and lifting up our spirits with your prayers as we walk this journey. We’ve definitely left “normal” behind, and you all have made this journey so much more possible and enjoyable through your support. May His love fill your heart in deeper ways today…