“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” –Psalm 37:23-24
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
As is typically the case, I have far more to share with you than a weekly blog post should contain, but I look forward to seeing what God has willed for me to share with you today.
I sincerely believe God truly does work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called by His Name (Romans 8).
I just finished reading a book a precious friend of mine, who has spent her married life serving the Lord alongside her husband with Wycliffe Bible Translators all around the world, Rose, recently lent to me to read before I depart.
And the Word Came with Power by Joanne Shetler, a story about the written Word of God coming to the Balangao people of the Philippines, was used powerfully by God in my life in conjunction with the other things He has chosen to fill my days with as I have journeyed through the short book.
But I do not feel a strong urging to share with you all I took away from the story. However, if you have the slightest intrigue to read it – please do.
Last Saturday I attended an Easter fellowship at the International Mission Board’s (IMB) support center for Africa (where I work each day). Thankfully, my sickness came just after the celebration.
It was at this Easter luncheon that God brought His daughter, Becky, into my life. As she sat next to me at our small rectangular table, I did not expect anything more than a nice chat over lunch. But God ordained much more than my expectations before I was even born.
I had met Becky’s parents over a month ago when my boss sent me over to their room of the guest house in our compound to interview them for a story he was working on. Jerry and Carol have served over 30 years on mission with the IMB in West Africa, and dialoguing with them that autumn afternoon is one of my most treasured memories from my time here.
Becky grew up in West Africa, went to Baylor University, Truett Seminary, and served a summer in North Africa with Go Now Missions. Early on in our conversation God enabled us to make these ties, which led to an interest to ask deeper questions.
Becky has been serving nearly three years in North Africa with the IMB after the Lord called her to the people she works with back when she spent the summer there with Go Now. She was visiting her parents in Johannesburg (who are here for medical purposes) for a week before she moves to a new city. Becky invited me to walk over to their guest house someday this week so we could talk further about what God has been doing in our lives.
Long story short, God gave us time to do that, and I am truly grateful for Him placing Becky in my path at such a time as this. Our conversation provided an incredible opportunity to debrief, as I have less than two weeks before I fly back to Texas. But God also used the time to allow me to vocally process a few things, and speak truths through Becky He wanted me to hear and chew on.
As I was processing, and by the grace of God, Becky was tracking with me, Becky said a short and simple statement of observation from the Lord that I am still contemplating in prayer: “It sounds like God is redefining a lot of things for you while you are here – including missions.”
Who knew one sentence could be so powerful? GOD.
I wish I could write 1,500 words about those few words, but I won’t. And I feel I am just at the beginning of truly discovering what that sentence means to me, and what God would have it mean to me.
I will share with you one thing I am currently in the process of coming to terms with:
When I was in fifth grade I told God I would do whatever He wanted me to do, but I never wanted to be a missionary and I never wanted to work in a church. Oddly (or not-so-oddly) enough, that is just what God has had me do these past few years.
But after I went on my first week-long overseas mission trip to Germany in 2004 (eighth grade), I knew meeting people I would never meet on a regular basis and sharing with them the only thing worth sharing was something I always wanted to be a part of my life. It was then that my love for missions, people and cultures began to develop.
June of 2008, the week after I graduated high school, I surrendered to the Lord’s calling on my life to serve Him full-time in vocational ministry. He had been tugging on my heart for a number of months at that point, but I fought it up until the last night of Xtreme Camp when He assured me if there was ever anyone to hand over my future to in complete trust – it is Him – my God, my Master, and the Creator of the world who holds all things together.
So as I have continued on this journey of discovering what that calling is, and people ask me what kind of ministry I feel called to specifically – I always say something about “missions”.
But what exactly is “missions”? Just as the Lord spoke through Becky, a girl who had just met me but was able to see my heart because of the Spirit we share, God is redefining “missions” in my life, amongst several other things.
I will not go on a long rant about what I currently understand missions to be, and what I am learning from God. But I will say, as I have grown up for a time now saying “missions”, and assuming I would live somewhere on the other side of the world, God is showing me He may not desire that of this daughter of His. He very well may, I have no idea. But He is ushering me into a place of being okay with the possibility that I may not live overseas the rest of my life.
I know not God’s desires, but I do know He has demonstrated His presence in my life in a mighty way this semester as He has proven His love and provision to me in a very real way of sustaining and satisfying me. I still have a LONG ways to go in all of that, but He is bringing me to a place now where I am content living anywhere in the world, so long as He makes it evident I am exactly where He wants to use me to bring Him glory.
As we prayed with one another before I left, the Spirit prayed something powerful through Becky I have heard several times, but have never truly listened to:
“Help Meghan to realize this life is all about learning how to love you and be loved by you – and everything else is your business. May she learn to live as your child.”
That really is my only real responsibility here: to learn how to love God and be loved by Him. I am a daughter of the Most High King. I am a child of God. It is so easy to get caught up in the things of this life, and the opportunities God provides to bring honor to His Name, that I often lose sight of the beautiful simplicity God desires from me: to be His child.
With such a short time left, I pray God keeps my eyes, ears, heart, and mind open to what He wants to reveal to me, and how He wants to use me, and others, before I fly back to the States May 13.
I pray no matter where He takes me in life, He will forever and always enable me to hear His voice above all the noise, listen to His callings, and immediately follow Him in faithful obedience – no matter the cost.