Friday, February 21, 2014

New Directions

What would I do if I wasn't afraid?

I read this question and began to ponder. My heart was restless, my task too small, my soul longing for more. The TCK (third-culture-kid) part of me was itching for a new challenge, a change and yet the US part of me was liking the comfortable life I had carved for myself in the beautiful hills of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I wanted a new adventure, a new role, but I was afraid.

What was I afraid of? The unknown, separation from my young adult sons, giving up my dream home, disappointing others, missing out on the perfect job, saying goodbye (again!) to good friends and family.

David Benner reminded me that foremost, I had to determine if I really believe that God wants my deepest happiness.

St. Ignatius of Loyola notes that sin is unwillingness to trust that God wants our deepest happiness. Until I am absolutely convinced of this, I will do everything I can to keep my hands on the controls of my life, because I think I know better than God what I need for my fulfillment.
Then I had to cultivate a lifestyle of living in the presence of my intimate God, not just in times like this, but moment by moment.
Our decisions and our search for guidance take place in the active presence of a God who intimately cares about our life situations and who invites us to participate in the divine activities of healing and transformation. - Frank Rogers, Jr.
Now, six months later, God has answered my heart's cry and has laid out a new path for me to follow - a path that leads back into the missionary world, a journey that requires sacrifice but promises great blessing and fulfillment, an adventure of faith and transformation. I am so grateful for the many months we have had to consider this new direction and I can look back and see how, one by one, God has answered all my questions and hesitations. So when it came down to signing on the dotted line, his gentle voice spoke very simply "This is the way. Walk in it."

On April 1, Lord willing, my husband will assume his new position as Director of Member Care with the mission board, Christar. On June 1, I will join his team. The specifics of my role have yet to be developed, but my overall mission has not changed from the one God gave me when we left Indonesia eleven years ago: "Lighten the burden of those who work for you, remove chains that bind people, give shelter, feed the hungry, help those in trouble, rebuild walls, restore homes." (Isaiah 58:6-14) While my calling is the same, my target group is new - missionaries!

I am both nervous and excited in anticipation of raising support, saying goodbye, packing, selling our home, moving and establishing a new home and ministry. But I will not let fear hold me back, for I so want to participate in God's divine activities of healing and transformation. I echo the words of another who followed God's invitation:

...there is nothing so kindling as to see the soul of a man or a woman follow right over the edge of the usual into the untracked land. - Amy Carmichael
So what about you? What would you do if you weren't afraid? In what ways is your heart restless? Are you absolutely convinced that God wants your deepest happiness? In what new direction might he be leading you?