Learning Lessons the Harder Way

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I am supremely stubborn. Ask Kevin.

The truth can be staring me in the face and I won’t admit defeat until I’m literally going down in flames and the situation is a hundred times worse than it ever would have been if I’d just simply admitted my fault two hours prior. Now I have 72 other faults to admit that I since acquired and a headache.

I’m stubborn with God like that, too. Something in me must not believe that he wants to give good gifts to his kids. Somehow it’s tons easier for me to accept something difficult he is allowing to be placed in front of me and roll with it than it is to accept anything that might resemble a good gift. And my stubbornness towards listening and obeying and accepting gets in the way.

Maybe it’s because I think following God is about suffering.

Maybe I don’t feel worthy of getting a good gift from him because I know just how much I have failed.

Maybe it’s like in my previous post and I’m afraid I’m hearing him wrong. That was actually something I wanted. . .surely he couldn’t be freeing me and sending me to do that. Again, what if I’m hearing him wrong? (Read yesterday’s post if you haven’t already)

Recently my stubbornness to follow God came into full light.

A year ago Easter I found myself on the beach of Puerto Rico with my family. Our world at the time seemed to be crashing around us. We were full of hurt and disillusionment and anger about Cool River ending and that was the point where our family healing started. We knew that our reality was about to look very different and we had to seek God to find out what was next. Fast forward….

Months went by and we were still upside down, not knowing what to do and trying to hold life together when a potential job crossed our path. It’s such a super long story why we even entertained the idea of moving our family to Hanoi, Vietnam, for a job there. But what it boils down to is that we were seeking God for anything he wanted and we were serious when we said we would follow whatever he wanted. And we LOVE Vietnam and our friends there and already felt invested in that place. We had no other word from God. . .so we moved through those doors.

To put yourself in a place where you can imagine being okay with moving your family to a third world country is hard and intentional work. To simply consider it, I had to fully embrace the idea.
I had to see our lives happening there. I had to envision my kids living and moving daily in that place. And surprisingly, over a few months of talks, I actually came to desire to make the move there.

And then the job fell through.

I know you probably can’t understand, but I realize now that I was devastated. I mean, in my mind and in my heart we were already there. . .on a great God ordained adventure. And all of a sudden it was snatched away. . .Again. All we were praying for was for God to use us again. . .give us a “call.” And though I did my best to handle the fact that Vietnam wasn’t our next new call, and hold onto the truth that God would have made it happen if it was meant to be, I was very, very sad. Fast forward some more. . .

We had to now make some logistical decisions about life. We sold our house and kept crying out to God. He seemed quite silent. We longed for a “call” again. Still we found ourselves just making logical decisions because we didn’t hear anything else. But there was one more thing that I heard…”Go to Vietnam.”

You can imagine how stupid that sounded to me. We had no money to spare. The timing made no sense. I had no real purpose for going…no job to do. God had already closed the door on moving there. Who would I go with? I basically told myself I was hearing things and making up silliness in my head (remember my blog from yesterday?”). I very stubbornly chose to ignore the possibility that I could have actually heard God tell me to go.

More healing and more logical decisions and a year later our family finds ourselves living in Littleton, Colorado, for some strange reason. God has been overly gracious and ridiculously patient. He is Provider and Healer. I have basically lived the last year as a closet basketcase trying to cope with being upside down and determined not to stop pursuing God in the middle of such nonsense.

Kevin and I have worn out shoes pacing the mall together as we have talked about every facet of life and tried to figure out the keys to God’s ultimate plans for us. Then about 3 months ago, after realizing the state of mourning I have been in over the job in Vietnam not working out, I started hearing that dang voice again telling me to go to Vietnam. Finally I knew it was time to listen. Still not understanding, I said “yes.” And wouldn’t you know it, it all miraculously fell into place.

In no time I had a traveling partner (Micki McCormick), a ticket and Visa in hand, a tax refund to pay for it all, friends ready to accept us and love us once we arrived in Hanoi….and no idea still why I was going……

I’ll tell you what I discovered tomorrow…..

TO BE CONTINUED

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