It sounds like the title of this blog post would make a great country song. Any song writers out there? Let’s talk.
It is quite ironic that I sit writing a blog called “missionary zeal” while I am dealing with the simple conflict of this. I don’t want to leave but, I do want to go. I would say this was about the best way to describe how I am feeling at this very minute. This very minute is one hundred plus a few hours before I am scheduled to get on a plane and start the journey to Ukraine.
If you have kept up with my blog or know me personally you know that I have been called to be part of a 16 member team from The Mount to travel to Ukraine. We will be teaching English and Bible to orphans at a camp there. The money has been raised, the materials have been prepared, we have studied the life of Paul, bathed this trip in prayer, the bags are packed (ok, maybe not so much), etc. Typically this is the hard part of the mission trip.
Not this time. In my past “missionary” journeys I have never experienced the conflict of leaving. I have prepared and “beebopped” into the airport, hopped on a plane, and….GONE.
The hours leading up to Thursday are becoming more intense for me for the simple fact that I don’t want to leave my Dad. (you can read past issues of The Colonel Chronicles by clicking the link above to get updates on his battle with pancreatic cancer) All of those “what ifs” start going through my head about the wide variety of things that could happen when I am gone. The truth of the matter is that I have never worried about the “what ifs” before. But, this is a huge struggle for me this time.
I have said, thought, prayed, and written multiple times that I believe God is sovereign and that I want to be part of His perfect plan for me. (note: I didn’t say I wanted to be perfect…I said I want to be part of the perfect plan.)
I believe God has asked me and prepared me to go on this mission trip.
I believe that when He did He knew that my Dad would be fighting the battle of his life.
I believe that it will be perfectly clear as to what I am supposed to do.
I have searched for multiple reasons as to why I shouldn’t and wouldn’t go on this trip. All I can come up with yet is the simple fact that I don’t want to say goodbye to my Mom and Dad for ten days and be that far from home. As strong as I feel about this (and I mean I REALLY don’t want to have to do that) I don’t feel settled that this is a reason to stay home. Afterall, which is worse? Missing those ten days helping to care for my precious father or missing those ten days doing what my heavenly Father has planned for me? I know the answer.
A group of us recently completed the Beth Moore study, To Live Is Christ (the life and ministry of Paul). Can you possibly believe that Chapter 6 has the following title? Travel Ties and Hard Good-byes Seriously?!? Sometimes you just have to laugh with God and shake your head and say “Ok, I get it.” Here is the summary of this chapter. “Our present journey will prove that Paul gave his heart and strength as he ministered to each flock. Even though he knew farewells were inevitable, he still formed deep relationships which would make departures painful.”
Beth Moore says “Fear is a ver powerful too. Don’t think for a moment that Satan didn’t try to use fear to hinder the apostle from fulfilling God’s purposes, and don’t think that Paul was not terrified at times. Paul was afraid, but his love for Christ exceeded his fear of suffering and death. His primary ambition was finishing his task faithfully.”
“If only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me.” Acts 20:24
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
It is possible that God will reveal to me that His plan is for me to “not go”. But, it hasn’t happened yet. All I know to do is to keep moving forward with plans to travel (don’t let me forget to buy toothpaste…) and pray, and listen, and wait.
Me: “Dad, woud you tell me if you didn’t think I should go to Ukraine?” Dad: “I think you should go to Ukraine. I definitely do.”