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Oct 29, 2013

One

Have you ever heard one of those stories where someone forgot their anniversary? Of course you have, because I've heard a bunch of them (and I may or may not have forgotten my own first anniversary... ahem). Well, this isn't about that. I mean, okay, it kind of is, but not really. You get me?

As of this week, we have officially been on our journey to the mission field of PNG for one whole year.
You know the story, but let me lay it out anyways...
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One year ago, we got a phone call that literally changed our lives. Shortly after, we got on a plane for one week of intensive evaluation with New Tribes Mission Aviation in McNeal, Arizona. The plan from that point on was this: raise financial and prayer support, build strong relationships with our church and friends, pack, buy tickets, do three months of training in Arizona, buy more tickets, and be in PNG in October 2013 (yep, this year 2013). If you followed this blog at all, you were right there with us as we went through every step, and every heartache, and every joy; our world had just been turned upside down, and we had to kick it into high gear to meet our deadline. That's also when I began struggling with anxiety on a regular basis and triumphed over it, and discovered that I'm intolerant to processed sugars. Serious excitement began to kick in as we realized that in just a few months we would be serving the Lord in another country. Everything was moving along so quickly, doors were opening faster than we could go through them, and then suddenly it all stopped. Oh how our hearts broke at that time! We were shunted sideways (talk about whiplash!) for an extra year of training at NTBI in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Once the Lord put the pieces back together and we could think straight again, we went ahead with Pre-Field Orientation (the required orientation before you go to the foreign mission field for NTM). As soon as we got home from that, we began to consolidate our belongings, this time to move to Wisconsin, and the packing began. Then the til-next-times began (I don't believe in goodbye), and that was that. Before we knew it, the truck was packed and we were literally sweating it out in Waukesha and taking classes, and then freezing our toes off. It took a while to get settled and be okay with the whole situation, but the Lord is ever faithful and good, and showed us yet again that He is in control, and He sees the big picture.
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Looking back on this last year of both ups and downs, I see how the Lord has been our constant companion and guide on this road called life. He has been ever faithful to us in countless ways that I can't even begin to name they are so numerous. He soared with us on the highs, and cried with us in the lows. He's shown Himself in the big things and the little things.

Now we're at the halfway point. One year from now, we should be on our way to Papua New Guinea. But plans may change between now and then, and I'm going to be okay with that. Well, okay, I might not definitely won't be okay with it, but ultimately I will. Make sense? It doesn't matter what I plan, because in the end, it's not my plan that is best - it's God's, and since He can see the big picture, I am much better off to just leave it in His hands.

How has looking back at hard things helped you with hard things to come?