Monday, March 14, 2016

The Blank Check

In case you missed it...we are back in the United States of America! And not just for vacation. We have moved back.

We've gotten a mixed reaction to our moving back. Our American friends and family are, understandably, ecstatic. Our international friends or American friends who live overseas are saddened and even disappointed.

If you are like the dozens of people who've already asked us this, here is our answer to your question, "What happened?!"

All of those years ago, before we were even married, Ian and I both looked at our lives and identified our dreams and our callings. For Ian, his dreams and his calling were one and the same. For me, my dreams (teaching, white picket fence, holidays with family,) were not exactly the same as my calling (to see the nations reached for Christ.) Both of us had a blank check in front of us. The blank check was for our lives- our dreams, aspirations, and callings. We handed that check to the Lord and said "Whatever You want to do with our lives, wherever You want to take us, in any timetable that You will."

Shortly after we were married many doors were closed and I was told by that still, small voice, that it was time to hand over my dreams. We both lifted those blank checks up to the Lord again (that had been seemingly uncashed,) and said "These are for You."

It seemed then that God wrote in the "in the amount of," spot: SPEND LIVES ON MISSION FIELD. REACH THE UNREACHABLE. SERVE IN HARD PLACES.

So, off we went. The Blank Check was blank no more.

We went to hard places. Dark places. Spiritually dusty and soul drying places.

We befriended the "unreachables." We lived among them.

Then, over time, we saw that blank check reappear. We were befuddled.

We gave it to You, Lord!
You cashed it in, here we are!
What more is there?

Over months of prayer and anguish, tears and frustration, we saw that the "pay in the amount of," spot was no longer blank. It read: GO BACK. REST. FIND THE NATIONS IN YOUR NATION. SERVE ME WHEREVER I SEND YOU.

No, Lord! We are here, doing what You asked us to do! 
Not many people are willing to be here!
Why would You send us back there? That place is BRIMMING with Christians!

Over time, we reluctantly agreed. We saw God closing doors to our time overseas. No new doors were opening up, mind you, there or here, but our paths were getting fewer and fewer.

With a shrug of our shoulders we relented. The Blank Check of our lives was once more filled out, and, to be obedient, we needed to hand it back to the "Pay to the Order of," God.

I won't lie. It has not been an easy season. No sunshine bursting forth from behind the clouds. No light bulb moment when we finally understand what He is up to.

But here we are.

Hanging out in Florida in our hometown. Explaining grass and trees and squirrels to the girls. Looking into how to buy a car and find a job.

I cling to the cross and remind myself daily of two things:
1.) My identity is not in being a missionary, it is in Christ alone.
2.) I am not called to the nations/overseas life... I am called to follow God.

Sometimes my calling to follow God will lead us overseas but sometimes it will tell us to stay.

I have no doubt that we will be once again presented with the blank check of our lives. I pray now that in that moment we will look to Him and not what our picture of our lives will look like.

If the Pay To the Order of line reads: God
Then the amount line should always read: "Whatever You want to do with our lives, wherever You want to take us, in any timetable that You will."

May we all have the peace to hand the blank check of our lives over to the Author and Creator of life, no matter where it sends us.


Callie said...

Beautifully said!

Unknown said...

Wonderfully described.

DuneBashers said...

Wow! Beautifully expressed! I love the daily reminders to cling to the cross. Our life mission and purpose in life is to worship God!

Thank you for listening to Him and being lead by Him. We will miss you guys, but our hearts are joyful for your faithfulness to Jesus!