I don’t think I’ve shared about it before, but when I was younger and I was pondering what I wanted to do in my life, my dream was to open a bed and breakfast. I wanted to have a little vacation type place that when guests stayed there I would be able to just serve and love on them, that during their stay I could minister to them so much that people would be surprised. I wanted to be able to love people so much with the open love of God that they would say, “Ok, what is going on here? What is different?” Then, I would be able to reply, “I am so glad you noticed!! It is the love of the Lord that has me serving you here. You can have a lifetime of it! Don’t you want to?” When we started into missions, one of the things that grabbed me was the opportunity to serve at a bed and breakfast in Ireland. They operated to serve missionaries on respite and to house missionaries that were staying in the area. I thought, “Yes! Lord, you remembered my tiny dreams!” It was so similar to what i had imagined. But then, as most of you know, that door closed. And I thought, well, I guess God has something else for me.
I see now that that journey was necessary to shift both Kirk and my focus from the secular world to looking for work in ministry. Now, here we are at Lifehouse. And my job here is to welcome these young girls in crisis into my home, and to serve and love on them with the heart of Christ. It is my job description to give to them so much that they say “Why are you doing all of this for me?” And it is my job description to reply “It is the heart of God for you! Don’t you want more? I can tell you all about it.”
I cry just thinking about it!! In training today I was doing all I could to not sob at the table! How great are the plans He has for us! How awesome is it that He created us with specific passions and dreams and skills, and that He has specific plans for us! It says in Psalm 139:15-16,
“My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”
and in Romans 1:1,
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…”
My days were ordained. And, like Paul, like each of us, I was set apart and called for a purpose specific to my gifts. To see at least some of God’s will for me come to fruition, to see it come out of such painful circumstances, of being rejected by what I thought was God’s plan for me, is more precious than I ever could have known. Now, I see He needed us to walk all the way to that path. He needed us to be broken, to evaluate, to reach out and grasp for Him to guide us. I could never in a million years have anticipated all of the ways that this new ministry would have matched up with the desires in my heart.
God is so amazing, and His love and desire for us is boundless. So often in difficult times we ask God, why are you doing this? What purpose could you have in this? Why would you not want me to be a missionary and to serve you??? And then, looking back with hindsight, we can see exactly why. Can I encourage you all today to trust in the many plans God has for you? I know some of the frustrating, painful situations some of you all are in, and I know that in a few of you patience and strength is running thin. Please trust that God knows. Please take the tiny miracles of our testimony to heart with the knowledge that I am not a special case! I am just like you and God is going to move in you the same way He has moved in us.
I keep you all in prayer, that God will move in confirmation of His special path for you. Please pray for us, for transition, for encouragement, for protection, for discernment, for rest, for all of the fruits and gifts of the spirit. We have been so blessed in our short time here by the baptism of three of our ladies and the birth of a beautiful baby girl. Please pray for continued blessing on Lifehouse as we continue to reach out for support in the communities here.
Lastly, can I tell you what a blessing you have all been to us? This tiny blog, this little diary to our support system, is such a tool of encouragement to us, knowing that you all are walking with us as we begin our journey into ministry. We love you so much, and, really, we don’t feel that far away at all.