With some time to myself, I decided to explore my new hometown on the Thai-Burma border. Confidence was brewing after last night’s easy navigation from my home to another missionary’s home, approximately 5 miles away. I assumed I would have no trouble journeying through the small city.
Like the time I ate a hot dog… from a gas station… in Thailand. I was WRONG.
In America when you lose your way, you generally know where you are and where you want to be, and of course, the signs are in English. Imagine being half way around the world, driving on the opposite side of the road, and all the signs are in another language. I thought I was being smart by only taking one street so I could simply turn around, when necessary. Little did I know that at a point, the street converted into a one-way so when I tried to turn around, I was thrust into an unexpected path. Fortunately, I was able to find a place I recognized, but I had no idea how I arrived at the destination or how I would get home. I was lost!
For the past few nights I have been having a recurring dream about one-way road signs. Similar to my drive in the city, I kept trying to turn around and go back the way I wanted, but there was no way to achieve this goal.
Life is like a one-way street. God desires to guide us, and He wants us to follow Him and take the path He has set before us. If we try to go another route, as Christians, we become just as lost as those we are trying to lead. Turn around on a one-way street and you face chaos, the unexpected, and the prospect of injury. Don’t take a route that will disorient you or those who come into your path.
Recently, I had a friend post on Facebook that he wished life came with an instruction manual. God has equipped each of us with the perfect instruction manual: The Bible. Follow this and the path He has gifted us through Jesus Christ, and you won’t miss the road signs. Without complete submersion in the Word, there is no other method to successfully navigating this life. Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
With only 7 short days until our big move, I’m focusing on packing up our home – separating the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years into storage, moving sale, luggage, or trash. Keeping that in mind, I’ve decided, this week the blog entry will be from my dad.
Confession of a Father
After hearing my daughter and her family were planning to serve in the mission field I must admit I was apprehensive. There she was, noticeably pregnant and caring for a two year old boy, and now she is going where, to do what? Heck, I thought she could do those things around the corner or down the block. Why travel around the world when people here have issues?
Now, I’ll admit the attitude wasn’t too good, but my concern was genuinely out of love and protection, and not selfish. There were probably a hundred reasons why I was concerned, and some were significant.
The last few months have been a challenge. My prayer time has included many requests for peace and understanding. I could sense God trying to squeeze the anxious thoughts from my person, but I was holding tight. I just kept thinking in the physical, and not allowing His spiritual touch to solve the problem. For Him, there was no problem. It was me with the issue.
Last Sunday our church had a trial sermon from a pastor candidate. It was during his talk the light bulb finally clicked for me. While the pastor spoke about his family and other personal information, it was the short sermon which inspired me to come clean with God and the readers of this blog.
Without going into a lot of detail the pastor spoke about the two times Jesus was amazed by people. There are only two times. The first was the centurion that called upon Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus remarked that He was amazed at the faith of the centurion. The second occurrence was in Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown. If you recall, the people of Nazareth had so little faith Jesus could not heal the sick. Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith.
The way I see it we are either faithful or we are not; Trusting God means trusting God in all things. As soon as I allowed Him complete control of the issue my peace was restored. The things which were disturbing me will no longer impact the joy I have found in Jesus my Lord.
God will use this family in a mighty way. Please pray for them and financially support them in this work. I know I will.
My son reaches up and cradles my cheeks in his hands as he stares longingly into my eyes. It feels like he is reaching into my soul, sees who I am, and still loves me unconditionally. He hunkers down and cuddles into my chest before quickly popping back up to stare into my eyes. Climbing me like a jungle gym it seems he can’t get close enough. As he searches my face, the emotion is overwhelming.
It’s the morning after a colossal tantrum that resulted in me banishing his race cars for the entire next day. Initially, I think this physical charm is preceding a request to play Angry Birds or race cars, but he never speaks a word. I wonder if I have ever looked at him with such intensity and if I am capable of such undistracted peace. I’m reminded of God’s request for us to come to him with childlike innocence. God has gifted children with the purest minds. They can wipe the slate clean and see goodness in others. I pray my son never faints in his ability to love and deliver such amazing attention to another and, more importantly, to God.
It’s my goal to recover that pure goodness that, God provided, has been gifted to me through my child. If I am overcome each time my son approaches me with loving gestures, I can understand how my Father in Heaven must feel when I do the same for Him.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
Our countdown begins… 33 days until Ryan flies out for Thailand! We are so excited but overwhelmed by the amount of preparation still left for us to do.
The to-do list feels daunting at times with a toddler and a newborn at our side. I was feeling a little sour yesterday with all the commotion. I woke up feeling fresh and focused after an overdue shower. At one point, I raced my son around the house and was actually faster. It might have had something to do with the chocolate I ate, but today feels good!
I received an awesome text from my brother, Adrian, offering out of pure “inspiration,” he says, to set up our Facebook business and Fundly accounts. He has such a good heart. My oldest brother, Ethan, is incredibly business savvy and sacrificial of his time; he has been truly helpful with advice and setting up the website. God has blessed me with the world’s best brothers!
Mid-June, with my little boys in tow, we will be reunited as a family. Ryan is leaving earlier than us to start the agricultural season in Thailand. After arriving, the land must be tilled, the corn planted, and the fruit trees fertilized and pruned. He must also start the aquaponics project for the fish ponds.
The boys and I will be in the air and at the airports for over 30 hours! It seems only reasonable that Ryan will work hard to put the new apartment in order so I can pass out upon arrival. However, as any second-time-mom would understand, that will not actually happen. And anyone who has moved a child into a 12 hour different time zone also understands that will not happen.
A mom can dream.
We would like to thank River City Church for helping create this video.