Saturday, January 9, 2016

World Race Reflections - Abandon

January 7th, 2016, was the ten year anniversary of the start of the World Race.  It has been ten years now since we sold our house, ten years since we sold half our belongings and put the rest in storage, ten years since our steps of faith took us onto a plane and all the way around the world to serve God in new and unknown places.

Milestones are important to me, and the realization that ten years have passed has stirred up a myriad of memories.  I am planning to take some time over the next year reflecting and sharing what the trip has meant to me, now that the highs and lows of the trip have had the opportunity to mellow and marinate in the context of life back at home.
One of the most life-changing aspects of the trip took place before we even packed our bags.

It had been easy enough to complete the online application, but when it came time to click “submit”, I hesitated. Was I actually willing to go through with something like this? If we were accepted onto the trip, could I actually walk away from my home, my church family, my friends, for a year of the unknown? I had to ask myself, “Am I willing to say YES to God, no matter what He asks of me?” 

That was my moment of abandon, and in retrospect, I realize it was a turning point in my faith. The answer was yes. It had to be yes. Yes to God. Yes to faith. Yes to the unknown. At the time, I had no idea how high the cost of that abandon would eventually be (and, thank goodness for that). But neither did I have any idea how much peace and freedom I would ultimately experience by laying down my life into God's hands. 

I look back now upon multiple wrestling matches that I had had with God, knowing what He wanted of me and trying to decide how I would respond. Those little submissions were wretchedly painful! But once the question had been answered, once and for all, the need for wrestling ended and my soul flooded with peace. That is not to say I never struggle, but the question now is, “What is God's will?', more than, “How will I respond to what I know God is asking me to do?” 

A wise Christian woman once quipped to me, “God is not looking for committed Christians; He is looking for submitted Christians.” I don't know if God loves pithy quotes, but I do know that the more of myself I entrust to Him, the more freedom and joy I find in being fully myself – the me that He created me to be.  When the hard times come (and oh, they still do), I am assured that I am standing on a firm foundation, and not only that God wants to fulfill His plans and purpose in my life, but that I can be an active part of the process.  

No comments: