January 2, 2011

Identifying His Will for My Life

I just finished making a delicious pot of Beef Vegetable soup (thanks to Bear Creek Farms).  It was the perfect dinner (along with soft French rolls) for a cold winter night.  I put a Cinnamon Swirl cake in the oven, so in about 30 minutes (plus cooling), I will sit down with my coffee and enjoy a delicious warm piece of cake (yum!)  I thought I might venture to watch "Avatar" on Blu-Ray, but my son has not hooked his PS3 back up, and the TV is being watched now (football).  Oh well, I still can enjoy my cake and coffee in the office (sans a good movie!)

After dinner, I spent some time online looking up some things that the Lord impressed on my heart.  I have known for some time that I am to be involved in missions work, but I wasn't clear on the exact nature of that work.  The Lord spoke to me several months ago, well perhaps a year ago, and told me that I was going to work in missions in Europe.  At that time, I was struggling to find my own identity, and come to terms with my separation from my husband.  I was reeling from the loss of my identity as wife and mother, and trying hard to put on a "single woman" hat.  I didn't want to wear it.  I didn't want to be single then, and I didn't think I could be anything other than what I had been for the past 26 years.  I was content to be what I had been, a stay at home Mom that worked PT, and home schooled her only child.  I was active at my church, in AWANA and other Children's programs, devoted to my parents and parents-in-laws care, and generally feeling as though I was where I was supposed to be.  I never considered anything else because this was all I had known, and it was all I thought I was to do.  I never even considered taking short-term missions trips either.  I have issues with my constitution, if you know what I mean, and I don't travel well.  I like to travel, but I always end up in distress over bathroom issues.  It is part of my IBS and UC condition I developed as a teenager.  I have had to be careful about what I eat, not getting my system out of whack, etc.  I always look forward to going someplace, but as soon as I get there, I just want to come back home.

The thought of being a missionary was the farthest thing from my mind.  In fact, many years ago my DH casually asked me if I would consider going on the mission field (we were not married then), and I said no.  He never really gave it much thought, and now I wonder why he even asked me about it.  His parents had been missionaries, and I know that he didn't really like living abroad.  He was very glad to get back to the US so that he could do regular/normal boy things like play hockey and football.  He never even showed an interest while we were dating either, so I think now that perhaps the Lord was saying something back then that I needed to hear.  I am not sure, but it is nice to think about it that way.

Last year, I recall the Lord discussing this option with me.  I wasn't too fired up about it, but I said that I would go.  I couldn't figure out how I would go, but I knew enough about the Lord to understand that if He wanted me to go, He would make a way.  Over the past couple months, though, I have come to welcome the opportunity to travel abroad.  I have even asked the Lord if it would be possible for me to live in a foreign country for a time.  WOW!  Where'd that one come from?  Not me, certainly no!  I think it is one of those Holy Spirit things that happens when He puts the idea in your mind, and then lets you percolate it a bit.  He lets it stew, and then begins to stir it around.  One day, you just ask Him for the very thing He has been working on you to accept for months (or even years).  You think it is your idea, but really it was His all along, and it just took the right amount of mixing and waiting before you were ready to accept His call on your life.

I accepted His call, and since that time, I have slowly come to understand my role in His Kingdom work.  I have expected certain things to take place, and some have already passed.  Some things are marked for a date in the future, but I am waiting for them as well.  They will come to pass when God is ready for them, so until then I must wait.  I am a work in progress, a transformational example of Jesus Christ's handiwork.  As I begin to develop new attitudes, my mind shifts from my own way, and begins to accept His way.  I no longer think about my life, and what I can or want to do.  Instead, I only consider what He has in mind for me.  I may still halt a bit, especially when He asks me to go someplace and I am afraid to go there.  In time, though, I come around to His way of thinking, and then I begin to experience expectant anticipation (that good feeling like something wonderful is about to take place). 

This is where I am now.  I am waiting for my life to begin, literally.  I am living my life, of course; but, the Lord has plans for me, and these are the things I am waiting to come to pass.  I am longing for them to be activated, and I look for them.  I desire them greatly, and I think about them.  I mediate on them, and I consider how they may be, and how I will live in them (working, playing, and being about them).  I am like a kid in a toy store who has been given a free reign to buy anything and everything I want.  My wants are bounded by His unlimted and unfathomable love for me, and I desire what He wants for my life.  I cannot really explain it other than to say that I am in love with the plans the Lord has for me, and I cannot think of anything I would rather do in this earthly life.  I want this so badly, and I cannot wait for it to take place.

It's a God-thing.  I mean, there is no other way to explain it other than to say that God has done this work in my heart and mind.  I am not the person who is on-fire to go and move thousands of miles away.  I am a creature of great comfort and I need to "know" everything.  I am afraid of the unknown, and I fret and fear and worry about the littlest thing.  I am not smart nor am I saavy.  I am pretty non-active; I mean -- I don't even hike or bike or walk or do anything active.  I am a couch potato who likes to study the Word of God, listen to good music, contemplate the deeper mysteries of God, and then converse with others about His Glorious Presence.  BORING!  Well, thankfully, not really boring because I think the Lord needs geeky people like me, people who like computers and like to study and like to learn and read and discuss things.  He needs active people too, and with geeks like me, we tend to balance everything out.  God is a good resource manager, and He knows that there is a perfect place in His Kingdom work for someone just like me.

As I contemplate His Plan, I am in awe of Him.  God is God -- yes, I know -- duh?  I cannot even come up with a word that describes Him adequately, other than one superlative after another.  God is so very Good, and His Mercy and Grace endure forever.  I am so excited today that I can barely contain myself, and I cannot wait to see what tomorrow will bring.  2011 is going to be the year of change for me, major and massive change.  I cannot wait to see what I become this year, and to give God Glory for all He will do in my life.  I am ready, Lord -- send me!

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