I looked around at the boxes and thought to myself, are we nuts? Those common, human, insecure feelings and thoughts were gnawing at the edges of my mind as I wrapped yet another Ball jar in a scarf. Is this irresponsible? What will people say? Will people understand? Will people support us? How can we explain all this so everyone gets behind us? What is our life going to look like a year from now? Jesus. Jesus. Jesus, how.can.we.do.all.this.
The reality is simple, our story doesn’t make sense. We were married less than a year, made the decision to quit a steady, secure, great job to become missionaries at some point, and then, just for kicks, got pregnant. We essentially decided to do everything everyone says not to do in your first year of marriage. Add in dealing with a chronic disease (Stephen, ulcerative colitis) and moving, and boom, our year.
So it’s easy to understand why in the midst of our move from Apple Valley to Saint Paul I had a mini panic attack.
Even though I was freaking out in a way that doesn’t invite advice or comfort or even direction, as it seems to be with me and God, He spoke. It was with a still small voice that He nudged me to look up. To look up from my boxes and fears and insecurities and forgetfulness and logical questions. To look up from the carpet in the nice apartment in the suburbs where there’s a room for a baby and a nice kitchen. To look up from our five year plans and sleeping in late on mornings off and not having to change diapers. To look up.
You said yes, I feel Him remind me. I see scenes from last January. Our pastor led the church in 21 days of prayer and fasting. Stephen and I spent time before the fast asking God why He wanted us to fast, what He wanted to show us. We both knew that God wanted to clear out space in our hearts and minds and lives so we could hear what was next. We didn’t know what it would be, but we knew that whatever it was, it would change where we lived and what we were doing.
Before the 21 days were up, we knew we needed to start the process of becoming missionaries to Thailand. It started small and relatively safe. Something like, “Well, in a couple years, we will move to Thailand for maybe two or three years and then come back and start a family.” to “Well, maybe we’ll go within the next year and then stay for three years and help other people get there.” to “Oh crap. We’re called there long term, aren’t we?”
Together, we made good on our marriage vows. During our wedding, we both made really beautiful, lofty, wordy promises to follow God together and to figure out what He made us us for. While I meant them at the time, I didn’t think those vows would actualize quite the way they have. But with fear and a little God given blindness, we said yes. To what? We weren’t sure exactly, but we knew it would include our whole lives and Thailand.
It all started, as most God things do, with a yes.