March 13, 2012

Answering the "Why?" :: Part 4

Spring 2011 - catching a family moment on Morgan's senior prom night

Kids... teenage kids... really?  Why now?

Yes, this isn't the typical stage of life to switch careers and begin serving as missionaries.  We totally get that; we had the same thoughts... the same fears.  Are we crazy to think it'll be easy for them to leave their friends, a wonderful school system, community, and amazing family support system?  Yes, we probably are. 

As we were discussing the potential of missions, honestly we did worry about what this would mean for the kids.  It was easy to think that we had provided them the "perfect" situation - a safe, comfortable, loving environment where they could flourish and become all that God would have them be as young adults.  On the flip side, we began questioning ourselves...  Who are we to think WE know what is best for them?  Friends who have been missionaries for the past 20 years in Spain & Portugal have four amazing kids.  Reading about how their oldest daughter has been able to be used in ministry opportunities & leadership roles overseas is so exciting.  I'm sure her world perspective of God's work is much broader & richer because of the many cultures she has experienced first-hand.  As we contemplated our decision, this family's testimony helped to remind us again that God's ways are higher than our own and He has a plan that is beyond our comprehension - a plan for all six of our family members! 

Throughout Scripture we read about how God often asked those who followed Him to do things that didn't seem practical... right... best... good.  But, He asked for faith and obedience.  Think Jonah, Noah, Joseph, David, Paul... and so many others.  I think of the story of Abraham and Isaac.  Wow!  After waiting more years than any of us will most likely even live, Abraham was blessed with a son at 100 years old.  Then one day God asked him to sacrifice his son on an altar.  He didn't even question God, but got up the next morning and set off to obey.  We all know the story quite well... just in the nick of time God provided a ram in the thicket as the sacrifice.

In comparison, it seems like uprooting our kids is a small sacrifice on our part to be obedient to God.  We are holding on to these words that were spoken to Abraham, praying that God will also protect our kids and make them flourish through this experience:

The angel of God spoke from Heaven a second time to Abraham: "I swear—God's sure word!—because you have gone through with this, and have not refused to give me your son, your dear, dear son, I'll bless you—oh, how I'll bless you! And I'll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! like sand on the beaches! 
~ Genesis 22:15-17, The Message

So, we walk in faith, knowing that God is leading.  Many of our questions are still unanswered that directly affect our kids, but we trust Him and will continue to obey.

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