Monday, August 9, 2010
Mon 8.9.10 Wilderness
"I know you're supposed to go!"-E.L. to me. At the Leadership Summit Thursday and Friday past my long distance mentor Bill Hybels talked about hearing whispers from God and obeying them, trusting them. Jeff Manion then wrecked my world by talking about the long stage between when you depart from "Here" and before you get "there!" He called it the Land In Between. Often we are prepared for terrible, even for a season of difficult, but not for years of wilderness. I wept for most of that session as he described my weariness and my weakening faith. I have never doubted the call to France but boy had I begun to lose heart in the dry and often lonely wilderness. Often feeling alone and misplaced. The past six months was the most difficult. To come clean I paused all of my support-raising because I thought I had found eternal romance. It didn't work out and so for the past 3 months I have battled and survived depression and loneliness, despair even. I find myself looking at all of the young families and seasoned marriages and wondering when it will be my turn. I watch other missionaries take off and get into their field and I wonder when God? When God? So much so that I have been asking Him to not whisper but shout, to ring my bell loud and clear is I misunderstood His instructions to help plant churches in Brie, southwest of Paris. Sunday a dear friend and sister in Christ stopped my to ask for an update. Tears sprang to my eyes as she said with passion and utter confidence "I know you're supposed to go!" Like Jeff Manion, her faithful heartfelt words spoke this to me... Don't quit. Do NOT GIVE UP! Jesus seems to ask me if He's worth it. Will I finish this race or give up a mile from the finish line. I will Not give up. Today the call is just as clear as when I first got a picture of ministry in France from this scripture years ago. Just like Paul writing to the Thessalonians in chapter 2 of the first epistle I can say to my French brothers and sisters "like a mother caring for her little children. we [Jesus and I] loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.