Saturday, August 23, 2014

Revisiting My Calling

A few years ago, my school went through major changes in staff.    The leadership changed.  Good friends left.  New people came in.  I found myself asking, "Should I stay or go?"   During that time, I wrote these two posts:

and

Today I am still living out this call.  On Monday, God willing, we will start our new school year.  I will have five math classes that I am excited to teach.    I will already know some of my students,  and others will be new to me.  I am ready.  Maybe someday God will point me in a new direction but for now this is where I am suppose to be.  

Even though the last few years have been hard, I am glad that I stayed with the calling God had for me.  I have grown spiritually, wept a few tears, and made a few mistakes but have also been a part of something amazing.  

As our team goes through many changes this fall, I was reminded of the above posts and how they relate to our current season here in Central Asia.  Dear friends are moving in a new direction.  It is hard.  Things are uncertain.  It would be so easy to question if I should be here or what will happen.  But this one thing I know, God is not finished with what He wants to do with me here in this place.  It may not make sense.  It may not be easy but this is where I need to be.

TJ




Saturday, August 09, 2014

Trusting in the midst of If's, And's and But's

Sitting on the plane next to my husband, my heart was racing and the adrenaline was pumping.  We were on the first leg of our journey but we were starting two hours late due to a mechanical problem and the pilots being MIA.   My mind was full of fuming at the pilots for being irresponsible and thinking through the logistics of making it to our next flight.   We ended up having just enough time to grab our bags,  to get checked into our international flight, and to find our gate before they started boarding our plane to take us back overseas.

I feel like I failed the trust test on this one.  Did I trust God to get us there on time?  Yes and no.  People were praying.  I could see how it could work but then my worrying said another story.   Did I trust that God was in control if we didn't make our next flight?  The Sunday school answer would be yes.  But.  Notice there is always a but.  Why can't I just trust with no if's, and's or but's.   The plan was to meet a friend and her three kids in Houston and travel the rest of the way together so we could help her out.  The plan worked.  But if the plan didn't work, did I trust God to take care of my friend and her kids?  Couldn't He have provided help for them along the way?  

I think without meaning to I limit God.  I put him in a box.  I say I trust him with all my heart but then I want to lean on my own understanding.  I want things to make sense.  Sometimes God doesn't make sense.  He used a boy with a few stones to kill Goliath.  He saved Peter from jail but James was beheaded. His plan to save us included His Son, Jesus, dying on the cross.  God doesn't always make sense but God is always good.  A truth I need to remember at all times.  We quote verses like 
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:9 NIV
Or
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  Romans 8:28 NLT
Do I really live in a way that reflects I believe these words?  How do I react when the test comes?  How do I respond when things don't go as planned?  Or the future seems crazy?  Do I see an opportunity for God to work or do I despair?  Do I trust or fret? 

As humans, we want to put limits on our trust.  I will trust if...  I would trust but...  For our family, the next few months will test our trust.  There are many changes and many unknowns happening where we are.   Trusting won't be easy but it is not impossible either.   The key is staying grounded in who God is and remembering what He has already done for us.   It involves trusting God's heart even when we don't understand why life is going the direction it is going.  

Dear God, Your hand is at work in the world whether we see it or not, whether we understand or not.  Thank you that your work goes on whether we trust or not.  Forgive me for the times I worry and don't trust.  Forgive my unbelief.  In the days ahead, may I trust you with all of my heart and lean not on my own understanding.  May I acknowledge you in all things.  May I believe you can do the impossible.  May I trust and not be afraid.  Work in me and through me.  In Jesus Name, Amen




Sunday, August 03, 2014

God's Reminder to Trust


This week we head back to Central Asia.   Even though we are excited to head back to a place we consider home, we realise things will be different.  We are entering a different season.  Our team is changing with a few dear friends moving to another country of service in the fall.  Our school has a new director and principal.   If you read my blog at all, you have heard me talk about reading the Psalms this month.  The timing has been God sent.  When I hear of changes, my heart can become fearful of the unknown.  I find myself waiting for the shoe to drop and something else to happen.  Instead this week, God has been speaking to my heart through his word.

In Psalm 112, the Psalmist writes about those who fear the Lord.  In verses 7 and 8, he writes,
They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.  They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.   
The day after reading this, we received some bad news that some friends of ours are not returning.   I want to fear but God says, "Trust."

Then today as I was reading Proverbs 3 in the Message, it was as if God was speaking directly to me.  
Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.  Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.  Earn a reputation for living well in God's eyes and the eyes of the people.  TRUST GOD from the bottom of your heart;don't try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.  Don't assume you know it all.  Run to God! Run from evil! (vs 2-6)
So today I am trusting in a God who knows the unknowns.  The Fall will be full of changes and hard good byes.   It will also be full of new friends and the chance to get to do what we love to do.  I am looking forward to seeing how God will work and show His glory in the land where we serve.

If you liked this post, you also like Lessons from an 11 Mile Hike.

What are some verses God has given you this week for the season you are in?