After returning from a great week of training, we knew in our hearts that God was leading us toward another bold leap of faith. Storms started raging right when we got home. We picked up our great dane from the kennel with open wounds which needed surgery. Mark was confronted with one exhausting problem after the next which contributed to a 60 hour work week leaving nothing for MPD (Ministry Partnership Development i.e. support raising). There were a plethora of problems deterring us from seeking God and remaining confident, positive and listening for the Lord. However, He was talking. In the midst of it all, He kept me encouraged and attentive to His voice by revealing His plan to us in unique ways.
Within the first few days of being home, I started feeling conflicted, panicky and anxious. I remembered a sweet missionary family that after much prayer believed the Lord was sending them in July and that plan came to fruition. I questioned God, “Is this something you want us to do?” If we commit to a date, I have to be 100% in with no Plan B to fall back on. I can not live with a safety net. God reminded me that He is our net and won’t let us fall if we are obediently living out His call and doing His will. Both feet in the water, completely out of the boat and no gripping the side. If we really feel that the Holy Spirit is telling us to let go, for Pete’s sake we need to let go and trust Him! Mark and I felt this overwhelming pressure from the Holy Spirit to inquire more seriously. He kept speaking to us as we meditated on His Word, through Christian books and situations that could have only come from Christ.
One afternoon in a coffee shop God directed me to a friend’s blog who is also a fellow missionary. The post detailed his process of choosing a month to leave his job and another to deploy. Just what we’d been pondering ourselves. What stood out was the wise counsel he sought from numerous people. Once home, I immediately noticed a tear-off devotion that stated, “Seeking wise counsel may help us find opportunities of which we were not aware.” Geez. Ok Lord, you’ve got my attention.
We gathered a group of trusted wise counselors which we called our Clarity Committee (Prov. 24:6). We entreated them to pray through the week about both a resignation and deployment date. The consensus was that, yes, resigning now was key. However, everything was riding on this decision. Mark is the head of our household and he takes the responsibility of caring financially for our family seriously. No job = no pay = no insurance = etc. etc. and going into debt is not an option. So, with much prayer and fasting, we nervously threw out a fleece asking God that if He wanted Mark to resign by or before the 15th of October, He would give us a duplicate verse. In some miraculous way either one or the both of us would come across the same passage. This was on a Friday and we gave ourselves until Sunday evening.
Saturday afternoon, we sequestered ourselves in our bedroom to pray and read. I finished the last page in my journal and turned back to the first entry. My eyes spied some sentences I had underlined in a section by Franklin Graham called “God Room”. (You can click on the photo to enlarge it.)
I read the underlined section out loud to Mark. When I was through, he asked if he could see my journal. After a moment, he put it down and said, “I believe God just gave us our answer.” On the adjacent page was this:
Mark 9:23 which states, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes…With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
This was the same verse Mark had been contemplating throughout the week. During his times of prayer he explained to God that, “I believe you can do this, yet I’m dealing with some unbelief. Please help me with my unbelief.” He knew of the verse, but couldn’t remember where it was located. While I had been journaling, the Lord took him to Mark 9:23 & 24. Amazed by God’s goodness and grace, he meditated on those verses. That’s when I read to Mark the “God Room” quote which caused him to take my journal and find the verse on the adjacent page. We got chills, praised God together and thought, “Oh my gosh, now you actually have to give notice!”
While preparing his resignation letter, Mark observed that the date he was hired was October 15th exactly 10 years to the day he was leaving. God has given us one confirmation after the next! We have received complete affirmation from ReachGlobal with their backing and belief that indeed we will be moving to Budapest in December quite possibly before Christmas. We are committed to this, we believe this, yet we see how impossible it all seems. Getting to 100% in 3 1/2 months is semi-crazy. But, leaving a job and a salary to relying on nothing but God’s provision starting November 1st is totally crazy to most people. The timing is everything. Bottom line is that we must have enough money in our ministry account to live on by November 1st. Otherwise…??? Only God knows. But, don’t we love experiencing God’s direct presence? NOTHING is impossible with God! (Jeremiah 32:17, 27 & 33:3) If we call on Him, He will answer us in ways that will astound us! Jesus reminds us that we must not forget to ask the Father for what we need to live and do His work (John 16:24). Then, as a guest pastor at church once said, “Put your belief into courageous faith and obey me (Christ) so you can see the glory of God at work in your life.” We may feel the swells of the ocean and the storms raging around us over the next few months. But, I don’t want to be like Peter (in this particular way). We MUST keep our eyes on Jesus no matter what. Don’t look down, don’t look back, don’t fear what chaos may ensue, just keep looking at Jesus and walk, walk, walk. All the while remembering that to delight in the walk and revel in the miracles is what glorifies the Lord and that is what this whole trippy adventure is truly about.