Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Only God!

Nineteen years ago as a newly married twenty year old, God was speaking very loudly to me and Cliff.  At the time, we thought God was calling Cliff into full-time ministry and me as his ever supporting ministers wife.  I remember sitting in a service at my home church, the one just months earlier I had walked down that center aisle, and feeling God speaking so loudly to me.  As soon as the invitation was given, I found myself kneeling at the altar.  I uttered a very simple prayer that day.  I prayed, "God I will do whatever you want me to do, whenever you want me to do it, and whereever you want me to do it!"  I could barely see through the tears that flowed.

As I stood to go back to my seat, I remember fear gripping my heart.  The reality of what I had just prayed, and meant, hit me like a ton of bricks.  And so out of a heart of fear, I reasoned that I would probably be on the next plane headed to Africa!

Why Africa?

Well, it represented the farthest place I could think of away from my family and friends.  And for some reason it was the first place my fearful little heart thought of. 

Last year as I prepared for my trip to Africa, I was flooded with the memories of this time in my life.  I found it very funny that God was sending me, eighteen years later, to the very place that scared me so badly.  Only this time I wasn't so scared. 

Well fear tried to grip my heart again, the day before I left.  I remember sitting on my love seat in my living room and thinking to myself "tomorrow you are going to get on a plane, fly for 16 hours and be in Africa!"  I began to panic.  My blood pressure was escalating  and by the time I picked up the phone to call my friend I was in full on panic.  The only works I could get out through the tears as she picked up the phone was something like "do you know I am going to Africa tomorrow!  Do you know how far away that is from my children!"

I am reminded of these moments now as I wait with much anticipation for a lawyer to send us notice in the coming months telling us it is time to come back.  My fear has been replaced with a great love for this far away country.  Who knew that the place that caused me such fear would be the place that my heart longs for.  Who knew it would be the birthplace of my second daughter?

God knew!

Nineteen years ago it was no coincidence that my mind immediately thought of Africa.  I believe it was the beginning of God preparing me for what was to come.  The beginning of God planting in me dreams that I didn't even know how to dream. 

Isn't He wonderful!

I am reminded today of Isaiah 55 that talks about our ways not being His ways and our thoughts not being His thoughts.  I am reminded that He knows my yesterday, my today and my tomorrow.  He knows that we are on a need to know basis because if He unfolded the whole canvas of our lives, it would probably paralyze us with fear. 

So I enter today with a thankful heart.  Thankful for a God that orchestrates my days.  Thankful for a God whose plans are beyond what I could think or imagine.  Thankful for a God who takes a surrendered heart to places it never dared to dream nineteen years later.

Have a blessed day!

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P.S.  I thought you would enjoy knowing that nineteen years ago instead of being on the next plane to Africa, we actually boarded a plane to Texas.  Cliff was in school there for a year and then we returned home.  Guess what great blessings God brought into our lives from the great state of two precious children!  Now that brings a smile to my face!

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