We had been anticipating this moment for more than a decade. The Lord crossed our paths in the fall of 2003 when Bobby and I worked together at Commonwealth Christian School as middle school teachers. His wife, Jennifer, and their first born, Mollie, would frequently meet our small group of middle school staff for lunch. I remember conversations shaping across that cafeteria table. Our conversations would often focused on the anticipation that the Lord may be calling them to full time missionary work.
In the years that ensued, they said “yes” to the Lord’s leading them to full time missionaries. From the time they affirmed their calling, to this past weekend when their family stopped through to say “goodbye” to our family, we have had the privilege of watching the hand of God weave a stunning pattern into the tapestry of their lives. The field they originally anticipated the Lord sending them to, took a sharp left, placing them into another region of the world. Initially, one church intended to “send” them into the field. Yet, God multiplied that support into two loving and devoted churches sending them; alongside a host of individuals. The changes proliferated the faith rooted in their hearts.
As teammates, cheering from the sidelines, we watched them not only surrender to the call of full time missionaries, but to the reality that only God could execute point guard, calling all the plays. For years, we had the privilege of watching them, listening to them, aching with them, and encouraging them to surrender their offense to Him. In our last days with them before they headed toward the horizon of their God-ordained destiny, we could not have been more emotional on their behalf. Our hearts were bursting with joy to celebrate all that the Lord had done and all that He has yet to accomplish because of their obedience to Him. Our hearts were also identifying with the ache of their unknown. It wasn’t long ago, that the Lord was tugging at our hearts to leave the comfort of the known behind. A time when our family’s journey steered west, to a place we had only briefly felt beneath the soles of our feet. There was excitement and anxiety. We knew, as they know, that just because the Lord is leading, doesn’t mean that where He leads is always sunny and 75. Yet, we also knew, as they know, that it is better to be in the darkness with the Lord, than in the light on our own.
The taillights of their truck faded out of sight, tears streamed, hands waved feverishly and a confidence resided in our hearts that the Lord was continuing to go before them making the mountains into roads and the highways to rise (Isaiah 49:11).
Abba, may we rest in the fact that even in the unknown, you are always known. As each of us journey with you, may we hold fast to the truths we find in Isaiah 48 and 49. You are redeemer, the Lord our God who leads us in the way we should go. You become our strength. You have chosen us. You are faithful. You have engraved us on the palm of your hands. You help us. Most importantly, as we wait for you, we will not be put to shame.