The first act of waiting is to seek God’s counsel in prayer before any attempt is made to solve the problem ourselves. And it should go without saying that when we wait for God’s counsel, we are submissive and open to it. We are not telling him what he must do. We are like patients phoning the doctor for advice on how to treat the rising pain.
The answer may come from the Lord in two forms, both of which involve more waiting for him. He may tell you to do nothing, or he may tell you to do something. John Piper
I never expected to still be in small-town Nebraska “waiting” by January 2012. Graduating in May of 2011 was most definitely exciting and opened up a whole new chapter of my life. But as I look back, it seems as if college was easier than where I’m at now. And maybe to you that is an obvious answer. I had one goal and that was to graduate with my degree I was studying. Four years ahead of me and I didn’t really have to think about planning my future. I couldn’t wait to graduate. It was like I was in a whole new environment after. I found myself KNOWING and HOPING I would be leaving for Africa soon! That’s all I wanted to do. That’s all the Lord had placed on my heart—was to serve African children through this way. It’s funny how the Lord changes your life- when I was a child I told myself I would NEVER be a missionary….and look at where I’m at now. I love His humor and how He makes me laugh at the changes He makes in myself.
I applied with AIM. I was raising support. I planned on leaving in September of 2011 for roughly a year. And then I had a thought. The thought turned into a desire and then into a change of heart. I switched from short-term to long-term which changed everything. Now I had to raise a ton more. Monthly pledges are also needed. It’ll take that much longer to get to where I want to be. But I did it anyway. It felt right. And from being overseas a total of 8 months (but at different times and places) wasn’t enough. I wanted more. You can hardly learn much about people and the way they think in that small amount of time. You immediately learn differences but it takes that much more time to understand why and how. How another culture operates is incredible. How it changes your perspective of the world. How it challenges you to think. How it embraces the beauty of people and the Lord’s creation in a whole NEW light. I was thankful for the opportunity to learn all this. But I want more.
So instead I went long-term. I started a new process. I kept raising support. Then candidate week came. I spent a week with an amazing group of people, both couples with families and singles. All of them had one passion- Christ, and to serve Christ and His Gospel to a specific country in Africa. How amazing it is the way God can bring people to unity and to feel so close to each other because of one major similarity and passion. I love those people and so am excited to see them get sent to Africa in the future and watch how God provides them in those crazy ways.
But at the end of that week. God said no. He said not right now. Not yet. And I was devastated. I was so sure that I would become appointed that day. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I’ve been obedient and have followed the Lord’s leading for my entire life. Why no, Lord? What a crushing experience that was. I even took time to myself during one of the sessions just to pray and cry. I couldn’t believe how the Lord was
wrecking or changing my life. A divine intervention, not an interruption.
As I look back, I’m truly thankful for that “no”. I struggle daily with where I’m at in life right now. But I know this is temporary and won’t last forever. Sooner than later I’ll be on that flight again. God asked me to heal through some major issues in my life. See we had to take psychological tests and meet with a Counselor about those tests. The hardest two hours of that week. I didn’t want to learn more about the weaknesses and faults I had, and knew I had. But if it wasn’t for that “no”….if it wasn’t for those tests and questions, would I be going to Africa unprepared and unequipped and not ready? Would I come home because the pressures were too much and I wasn’t emotionally ready for it? Who knows, it is possible.
Now, as I think about the issues I’m dealing with and progressing through successively I want everyone to know there is nothing wrong with counseling. If anything it’s been the best thing for me ever! I’ve never figured out how many faults and weaknesses I have. But, I have also never felt so free before. I am in God’s will! He is HEALING me and showing me how to strengthen these specifically for the FUTURE. I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful for my Great God. Yahweh, Majesty, King of Kings, My Savior and Lover.
But waiting. Why do we all struggle with this soooo much? Some days it really kills me and brings me down. I dont know how to submit this to You Father. It drains me and I wonder why my life couldn’t be a bit more exciting, even while I wait in this process.