I’ve actually written a few posts since my last post, but for whatever reason, they sit in my drafts box, not ready to be posted. This time however, I hope this is a post that says, “Post me.”
I very much want to write a post letting you know my heart and my God struggles. It feels like so long since I’ve done it that it is somewhat awkward on where to begin. I’ve had lots of struggles going on – relating with friends, relating with my mom, friends who miscarried when I did not, my daughter’s relationships with family members, unforgiveness, God’s created design in our lives, spiritual gifts vs. the whole body of Christ – things that are stand alone topics that I cannot fully go into here now, but that I was not compelled to blog about at the time. What I will say is that through each struggle, I was not alone, God was there, making sure I found Him and His way through it. I would recognize my struggle, my pride, my hurt, or whatever it may have been, and He would answer the need and help me walk through the proper path.
Lately, I have been struggling with needing space for my expanding family. But tonight God placed some truth on my heart that I wanted to share. I wanted to find a bigger home. Daniel had no desire for this, but I dreamt a little dream for a couple of weeks. Then one day God clearly spoke to me that I had a great home with plenty of space for my growing family. What it no longer had room for was things we have filled it with that we no longer need or use. Actually, I felt he was clear in saying that in keeping these things, it was like the man in the parable of the talents (Matt 25: 14-28) who takes the talent God has given him and buries it. Perhaps, by giving some of our stuff away, we can invest in someone else’s life.
Tonight, I felt like he gave me an even broader perspective, which I will attempt to share here. Sometime between my freshman and sophomore year of college, I felt a calling on my life to be in ministry. Later, I felt that call was specifically for missions. I went on summer missions and vision trips and waited for God to call me to a foreign land – a land that was not in Alabama. My parents were not in favor of this, and they wanted me to stay here. When I graduated college, I applied all over the U.S., but it was months before I got a job, and it was here in Birmingham. As much, with the remembrance that God called me to his ministry, I very much viewed my job as the mission field. I did not hope to attain high ranks in the company I worked for nor did I spend most of the money I made. I saved it for the day I would be called to that foreign land or to seminary. I did not live on nothing, but I lived on much less than my peers because I had a goal in sight.
However, along the way, God called me to marry my husband, Daniel, who to my knowledge has not been called to a mission field anywhere other than Birmingham. Some may think that I missed the boat or did not hear God correctly, but I strongly believe that I have been called to be both married to Daniel and to be involved in ministry, although the latter may appear lacking at times.
It is true that in being married and in having children, my vision has become cloudy. When I was a child, I grew up in Cordova, AL, in the “country.” My family life was not perfect. My parents were not perfect and did things that were not always Christian-like. We were raised in church, but I would not say that God was at the center of our home. The town I grew up in was not perfect either. It was and still is a very poor community. People there were not concerned with living in the right subdivision or finding the right school district to go to – mainly because there are not those kinds of choices there. Most of my Birmingham friends may not be very impressed with my humble background, but I am not in the least bit ashamed. God led me on a path away from my little town, but it is still a part of who I am.
What I have come to realize is that although I hardly live in a perfect place here either, it at times, feels like I live in a dream place, not in the real world. Though we worry about which school district our children should go to, we have lots of pretty good choices close by if we ever did move. Schools that would be a lot better than the one that I went to. We do not live in some exclusive neighborhood or subdivision in Birmingham, but there are still not many poor people living close by, which to me, is very disturbing. I want my children to be exposed to people who have needs, which means I must be intentional to do this.
Though I came from less than perfect conditions as a child, God totally had a hand on my life all the way throughout my childhood. I am not saying that it is not important to think about where to send your child to go to school, but we as parents do not have to worry about these things. We can know that we will be doing what is best when we let God lead, even if it is allowing our kids to go to a school that seems less than perfect in our minds.
Again, living in this world, the world that is my current mission field, has made my vision a little cloudy. I am becoming acclimated to the culture – the culture that says we need a bigger house and to go to the best school system. And that is hardly what I want to do, I want to set my sights on things above, where my vision will again be clear. There is still a chance, small though it be, that God will call me and my family to Timbuktu, and if it comes, I want to be ready (Matt 25:1-13) and not have wasted my resources on things that simply do not matter in the eternal scheme of things.