Trusting in the Unknown
The process and journey the Lord is taking me through is quite a whirl wind. Ever since middle school, when I went on my first mission trip in Reynosa Mexico, I knew this was what I was made to do. I started falling in love with other cultures and languages and the faces of people who experience true joy and awe of the gospel. They didn’t want me to prove to them this love that was so graciously given. They didn’t hear it all the time day to day. So when they heard this beautiful story of a King who gave His son so we could be free, this really was good news for them, and when I saw the look of this realization on the faces of young children and moms and fathers it started a craving in my soul.
I always knew that in some way I wanted to do this, travel to other cultures, learn the culture and the people and bring this amazing freedom to those who maybe never have heard it or seen it. I began reading books about missionaries and jumping on any mission trip I could go on. I didn’t know what it would look like, but I knew I wanted this to be my life.
Meeting a man with this same passion gave me even bigger dreams of doing this with someone who wanted it just as much and was just a little bit crazier than me. Each trip prepared me for the next, each one was just a little bit longer, a little bit farther and required a little bit more faith to go and raise the funds for it.
Going to Thailand with my husband was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and it greatly built our faith. We had to prepare emotionally and financially for two people and figure out how to do it as a team. It was our first mission trip out of the country together, as husband and wife. We had so many people tell us that this was what we were made for, that it seemed to come so naturally for us; it was a huge encouragement and confirmation.
Being in a country so completely different than mine where the whole culture is centered around the worship of golden statues opened my eyes to the father’s heart in a way I had never seen it. I felt His heart breaking and His jealousy for the full affection of His children, “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5). He truly showed me His heart and how He longs for those He loves.
For the next trip the Lord would call us on I didn’t know how not ready I was. Yes I said NOT ready. Ever since Thailand I have been waiting for the Lord to call us again. I had a plan in my mind on how we would do this, maybe stay in Texas a little longer and finish our degrees, get more experience, get more prepared to do this “being a missionary” thing, but these were all just excuses and soon I began to get restless and all I wanted was to go, I felt God stirring me and Ben and we knew He was preparing us for something.
We knew the Lord placed us in the ministry we are in at Frist Baptist Grapevine and we love it there, we love the students and the families who welcomed us so quickly and we knew that if the Lord wanted us to leave He needed to show us and begin closing doors and creating doors to walk through. If that’s really what He wanted, He would make a way.
Ben being the interim youth pastor for about a year we thought maybe we should stay and do this full time, so we left it up to God. We asked the Lord to shut that door if He was leading us somewhere else. After months of deciding the Church hired Bobby Cooley, an awesome Youth Pastor and we knew the Lord had His hand on this. This was God setting us up for what He was wanting to do.
We felt like race horses behind the gates with blinders on, we were restless, ready and anxious but we had no idea what it looked like, what this race would look like, but we knew something was coming. We began seeking council from our family and friends, we spoke with people from the International Mission Board, Missionaries and everyone just seemed to confirm our calling and that the time was now to run after it and take that first step off the cliff of indecision into an unknown territory.
The Lord showed us YWAM, Youth with a Mission, a long time ago, and the way they set up their trips and their missions just attracted us and the Lord kept putting it in front of us. We began praying about it and seeking the Lord separately. We decided to pray about it on our own and see what the Lord was revealing to each of us.
Very early on Ben got a clear answer and knew where the Lord was wanting to take us. I, on the other hand, was not as sure and I suddenly began experiencing extreme fear and doubt. This huge dream of what I had always wanted was suddenly right in front of me and it terrified me, and my mind filled with thoughts like…
“It’s so far away, the trip would be 6 months, that’s such a long time! We would have to quit our jobs and raise a huge amount of money to support both of us. What if I don’t like it? What if I don’t like the people? What if God isn’t calling us?”
While throwing this fit in my mind I began to hear a quiet phrase being repeated that started quieting all the other voices, “Do you trust me? Do you trust your husband? Why are you so afraid?” God began showing me what faith really means, “To have the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). How much faith would I need for something I knew, for something I could see? To jump off a cliff solely on a word is terrifying. Jumping into so many unknowns is extremely daunting, but this is faith.
I know for some people six months is nothing and for others maybe an eternity. For me this is a huge step, I’ve never been in another country longer than 4 weeks and certainly never lived in another country. I’ve never left all security to literally move to the other side of the world and this is stretching me far more than I thought it would, but stretching me in a good way. I feel like Jacob, wrestling with God and He just keeps quieting me with the question, “Do you trust me?” I began praying for the Lord to bring me peace about these things and He revealed this verse to me,” You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3). He told me that if I want His peace then I need to trust Him. In all things He started showing me how I need to trust and not only trust to take the step, but to continue trusting even when things get messy. To trust His voice even if things get difficult, even if where we go does not meet my expectations, or is uncomfortable, to trust His voice no matter the outcome.
Once I started slowly loosening my grip on expectations, what I wanted it to look like, my fears, worries and anxieties I began to feel His peace come over me, only because I chose to trust and let Him lead.
To say all that, we don’t know exactly what this will look like or what it will lead to or what God will show us through it, but we do know that this is a step, a giant step in the direction He wants us to go right now, and although there are so many unknowns I know who goes before me and I know He is leading and that He won’t lead me to the shore and not part the sea.