Lately Tim and I have gotten a few emails and the like with a similar question in them. Basically, a few folks have asked why we didn't go to Senegal. Our desire is to be transparent in this transition and I have been meaning to address this via the blog for a while now. Usually, by the time I get Jackson into bed, I am too wiped to do anything very productive!
Our answer to this question is painfully simple: God said so. It doesn't sound like much, I know, but it's enough. It has to be! Just over a year ago, the Lord started preparing us for a door that was going to close. His word was that we should not be discouraged, b/c He was going to do a new thing. Though we never imagined it would be such a big door, God began to speak to us (loudly) about obedience and timing. We do have more insight into why, and some of that we are holding on to until the time is right to share it, but we can say that God wanted to know how much He could trust us.
When we first heard Him say that a door was closing, we began to pray for discernment. We also began to say yes, yes, yes to all that God has for us, even if it meant a completely different ministry. The best way that I can explain it is that as we were constantly saying yes, and holding "our" ministry in open hands, along the way we said yes to something that God grabbed on to and thought 'ok, I am going to use them in a different way, time to change the direction of things.' I don't know if that makes sense to you, but that is how I understand it.
So we stayed b/c God changed the plan. We still feel called to ministry, but we have NO idea of what that will look like. And since we made the final decision to heed what we thought we were hearing from God, we have not doubted for a moment that it was the right decision. We praise God for that peace and we are blessed by how vocal God has been to us in this time of transition.
This season continues to be one filled with pain, tears and grieving and we deeply covet your prayers, especially for our unity as a family. We definitely feel stretched, especially as this season of unemployment continues to take its toll on us. We are hanging in there, but it's surely a challenge to stay full of faith and hopeful for the future.
I hope this answers some questions. If not, we want to know. We want God to be supremely glorified through this chapter of our lives and we are not embarrassed by anything that has transpired (even though we are unemployed and live in my parents guest room.... :P ) so we welcome dialog about what God is doing.
If you'd like to read the original newsletter see the post from July 30th, 2009 from the archives.