As a small child, I thought I wanted to be a nun and work in an orphanage. In my early teens, I knew I wanted to be a nurse, but I still had a powerful feeling I was to do mission work abroad. God had put this on my heart. All my life I felt I was called to work on the mission field.
When I met my husband, and we were married, we became busy pursuing our careers—his as a baseball coach and mine as a critical care nurse. I still thought about mission work but knew I wouldn’t be able to do the type of work I wanted in that season of life. I put the desire to work on the mission field on the back burner, even though it was still heavy on my heart. Over the years we did work in each of the communities we lived in, through foster care and volunteer work.
I continued to have a strong urging to go to another country and help the orphans and widows. When my kids were older, I began to seek out organizations to travel with or groups to tag alongside. Every time I tried to find a place to serve, my attempts failed. God had a different plan. I didn’t go to a missions field that was desolate and in despair, as I had envisioned. We found ourselves in a place where people calculate success and influence based on their personal performance and accumulation.
We struggle many times in our lives with God’s purpose for us. His guidance is much different from our own sense of purpose in our lives apart from God. In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren writes, “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. . . . You were born by His purpose and for His purpose.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11.
God has a plan for each of our lives. It is not on our time or in our understanding. For all those years I longed to serve in a foreign country, God had a plan. It wasn’t mine, but it was perfect. After I finished writing my book, another opportunity came for me to travel to serve in the mission field. No doors shut. They flew open, and I was able to fulfill that desire of serving.
Haiti was more than I could have ever dreamed of in serving. It was the ideal place with the perfect people. We worked with two orphanages and were able to tour the new medical facility that has yet to open. God granted me an opportunity to serve in a way that was greater than my desires or in my imagination.
Are you having a difficult time seeing God’s plan for your life? Step out in faith, believing God will lead, guide, and direct you.
Look for others around you and listen to their stories. Encourage them while presenting God’s love through yourself.
Be still and listen while doing the hard stuff, the stuff you don’t always feel is your purpose. We can achieve stillness in our spirit even when our lives are busy. Find the stillness to connect with Him. We have been uniquely created to do a special work for the Lord. Let’s take the first step—belief, and trust in the one who makes all things possible.
We are blessed by God to be a blessing to others. Let’s not miss out on a chance to make a difference. Live each day looking for those unexplainable moments when God reveals a plan. Trust God in His direction by living out His mission, sharing Him. We each work in the mission field Jesus has given us. And we live each day with the certainty we have Jesus and His hope for eternity. God wants everyone to build a relationship with Him and know the hope of Jesus.
Encourage one another.
Share the gospel.
Live a life that matters to God.
In just a few short weeks, I will be returning to Haiti. This time I will not go alone. My husband will be by my side to see why there is still a piece of my heart with the children there.
Please pray for our safe journey and for the time spent serving in the orphanages and medical facility.
Where do feel God drawing you to live on mission? Which doors has God closed that you are still clinging to? Which doors has He opened that you are reluctant to enter?
#makingroombook Chapter 9