We swore that our roots would be the last place we would come back to. There’s no way we were heading back there. Soul-set on the other side of the globe and no looking back. China. Just married, passports ready, apartment awaiting our arrival. China. All the education, praying, and searching built up to this. China. Ready as ever to become whatever He needed us to for the sake of His Name (1 Cor. 9:19-23).
That didn’t happen though.
“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place” (Acts 17:26)
I think there’s this huge cloud on us like a blanket, convincing us that we will arrive when this happens. We can’t seem to shake it, and we embrace the fog and wait and wait and wait for the sun to peak through and then we know we will be where we need to be. I’m so convinced of otherwise though. Right now is what we are given. Our neighborhood, our city, our families. And all of that could change quickly if God so chooses.
And we aren’t stuck.
We are divinely placed.
Jesus executes the will of God, we don’t.
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:33)
“The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” (Psalm 16:5-6)
The Bible tells me exactly what my inheritance is:
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11-14)
Our moving plans fell through. We found out we were expecting and were certain that was why we stayed. Weeks passed and no heartbeat. Nope. That wasn’t the reason after all it seemed. With heavy hearts we stayed. Maybe in a year, right? Yeah, that’s all. We just need to get this marriage thing figured out and then we’ll go, we told ourselves.
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
All of these momentary pains haven’t taken God by surprise. The lot didn’t just fall in his lap and he shrugged his omnipotent shoulders. What God has prepared beforehand for his children is for love to abound in him and through him and to him. The love of God is sweetened by the reality of his sovereignty through our life-changing circumstances.
Never before had I experienced such soul-comfort as I had the moment God revealed how we must lift him up through the loss and change just as we had through preparing to go to China. Also, my soul rested in joy, tear-stained joy, knowing that God’s creating power never dims or fails.
That year, Thanksgiving with family was a blast as always. Delicious meals, contagious joy, and relaxation in abundance. Josh and I were dropping off my old college roommate that joined us for my family’s meal. There we were at her apartment, and I got sick all over my university campus. Ew. I mean I get carsick but not like that.
Pregnant with Norah Grace!
There was my calling. Plain as day and in the sweetest of forms. A soul to steward and invest in. What a mission! A little girl to teach God’s global gospel to. And now, The Lord has added another. All of this culminating to this reality:
Flourish where you are.
We can be completely who we are meant to be in God’s global, redemptive work when we hope in God. I have no how-to outside of simply believing the gospel. Preach it to yourself and your family/friends daily. All the creative gifts God has endowed you with are meant for his glory now. Flourish in them with joy, knowing that in this very hour we are doing kingdom-sized work whether we are in the confides of our own home or on in third-world slums.
God showed Josh and I quickly how we could be on mission for Him globally. We may be State-bound, but the money that God gives us to steward is not. Support missionaries! Pray earnestly for God’s work through them. When I read updates from our missionaries, I often feel as though I am there with them, and guess what? The God that has saved me and keeps me IS.
How many people have no Scripture?
Around 98 million speak languages where there is no known Scripture, and a further 81 million speak languages which need Bible translation but where there are no current activities underway. (Per Wycliffe Bible Translators)
Josh recently preached on missions are our church, and I’m still working through his words: “How do you live missionally? Are you? It’s our calling. “God does not save us to be apathetic and lazy with the gospel.”
We so frequently dislocate our affections to other things.
Josh also asked these questions: What is the greatest problem with us and missions? What is hindering us from living missionally? He states that it is the worth of Christ. It’s a matter of how much we value Christ and his accomplishments. THAT’S where our affections should be.
We are all called to lived missionally, and it’s not a matter of location, it’s a matter of the heart. Flourish where you are now.