Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Please hear me out...

 A month from today, I will be across the country, gathering with others preparing to ship out across the globe. I have butterflies. So many emotions, so much confusion I am choosing not to give into, fears I am ashamed to admit, and joy and peace that makes it all worth it.

Thank you for patience with me as I took a break from blogging this last fall. It was a much needed hiatus, and I am really looking forward to getting back into it. 

Never before have I found myself being forced to defend a life decision the way I have been these last couple of months. My decision to move to Iraq is not one being fully supported by many around me. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot make people understand. However, I hope they can trust that they know me well enough to see that I am doing what I believe is right in this situation, and that is to go.

I don't question the way God worked in me this year, bringing all this together. I sometimes question His allowance of certain things, but I accept His hand in everything bringing me to this place. All close relationships struggle at one time or another, and 2012 has been a messy, stressful part of my relationship with Christ. The chaos of my faith this year was on the brink of disaster, and I see now that we are always on that terrifying edge... but welcome to sanctification. I have not always remained faithful in clinging to His sovereignty, wanting to do things my way, on my terms, allowing my human mind to guide. Yuck. That only gets us in trouble. Our minds are often the war zone. Our hearts are fragile. But, our God is gentle. When I get embarrassed at our humanity, I remember He knows what He "signed up for" in redeeming sinners, and walking us through our time in earth. But oh the joy...Oh the hope...

Knowing that His will alone is what I yearn for, that my way is never better, that my sin is dangerous, and that His glory is the single, most crucial part of my existence, I rest. Resting in all that I know to be true,  I cannot delay or deny His call...even when it means things aren't happening on my ideal terms.

So here I am, saying yes to something that many disagree with, but here's my response:

I don't see anywhere in Scripture telling me to follow God only where it is safe and trouble free. In fact, when I look at His word, I see example after example of the exact opposite. 

God is faithful in His call. God is faithful in death and God is faithful in allowing life. I only bring up death, because for whatever reason, this seems to be our biggest fear...but why? Heaven is where we are finally free, isn't it? It surprises me that so many people want to discuss "safety"  or  "comfort" as a reason to make excuses for ignoring the call. This is not Biblical. He asks us to concede to the talents He gave us in how they can bring Him glory and it is up to Him with how He uses those gifts. This is required of us even when we find ourselves alone on the journey...husbandless, childless, friendless, and famliless...or not.

The fact that my safety is a great fear of my loved ones is something I am sensitive to,  but it's not a reason for me to say no to this...nor is it where I struggle trusting right now. My fears are different, because yes, I am terrified. But it's the loneliness that makes me tremble in fear.  However, not going because of loneliness is just as wrong as staying put, due to the fear of danger and the desire to be "safe". Neither are honorable, neither are right.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not choosing this position hoping to find myself in any sort of danger, but danger is not a reason to walk away. And it certainly is not a reason to leave the lost drowning in darkness. What happens when we place our personal safety and/or happiness as a higher priority than the eternity of those that are lost?

I still believe God took me to Egypt not for what I could do for them, but for how He wanted to use that country as part of my sanctification process. And OH BOY did He use it.  I expect the same out of my time in Kurdistan, Iraq.

I don't blame people for being concerned for my safety, and I understand the fears that go with that. But I ask that they try and see my side, knowing that it goes against the heart of the Christy they are trying to protect, to say "no" when asked to be part of something like this.

Please pray for me, for the fears of my loved ones, for the aches and fears of my own heart, and for the glory of God, which ultimately is what all this is for anyway.