Just a few short years ago [ …okay maybe 10 – yikes! ] Drew and I were planning to be missionaries in Mexico for the rest of our lives. We were all in. We found ourselves back in the states for a short stint to get some things together, but our hearts and minds were still in Mexico. We planned to live out our marriage in Mexico, raise our kids to speak Spanish, and to love amor chile sauce on their potato chips.
We had a plan and it was good. Not only did we like our plan but it seemed totally in line with what God wanted for our lives. I mean honestly God, how many people out there actually WANT to be missionaries? And here we were waving our hands and jumping up and down. Then one phone call changed everything. The plans we had came crashing to a halt. And try as we may for the next three years, God never opened a door for us to return to Mexico as full time missionaries.
This was a tragic season for us. Everywhere we looked – every door we pushed on – was fruitless in our pursuit of a life lived in Mexico. We watched our dreams to be missionaries come crashing down. It was hard. It was a season of mourning, and try as I might I couldn’t make sense of it. It seemed like the death of our dreams.
There are times in our lives when we look around and all we can see is the death of things.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently – how God doesn’t always live up to our expectations. (Maybe it’s better said that our expectations don’t always live up to God’s). Either way, when we fail to mind that gap between expectations and reality, we hit the ground hard every time. And our first response is usually to wave a fist at God; to be angry or depressed or __________ (enter your favorite negative emotion here).
Can I tell you one of my favorite things about God (that I have had to learn the hard way)? With God, what looks like the end is often only the beginning. He specializes in taking moments that feel like a HARD. STOP. and turning them into the start of something unexpected and new. Death out of life. Beginnings from certain endings. This is God’s area of expertise.
Like it or not, we don’t always get to choose for life to go the way we want or expect it to (dang-it). But we do get to choose how to respond in those moments. When everything around us seems to be dying, we get to choose: succumb to the death or watch for signs of life. We can choose to be a people who know that death is not the end of the story in fact – it’s often only the beginning…
And speaking of beginnings…
Uncommon [good] is beginning a new weekly spiritual rhythm in October. And it’s kind of a big deal!
Check out our events page to for more info.
you are loved
you are valued