February 5, 2013

We're In This Together

One of the greatest rewards of writing this blog is that I hear from readers and get a big picture look at how God is working around the globe. In church planting, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone, but, in reality, there are faithful men and women in every corner of the world faithfully sowing gospel seeds. God is at work, and we are serving Him in partnership together.

So it was with joy that I read the stories you shared with me about your ministries and, especially, your hearts. Thank you for sharing and giving voice to God’s faithfulness. The winner of the book and necklace from the link up is announced at the end of this post. Following are some highlights of the stories that were shared. Read them, savor God, and be encouraged that you serve alongside other faithful women!

When Tim and I married, we were headed to the mission field.  In his second year of seminary, Tim picked up a couple theology classes. He lit up like a neon sign when he shared his gleanings from class with me and I felt an uneasy foreboding in my heart that proved to be prophetic.  He switched his focus from missions to pastoring that year. Ironically, I was ready to go to Africa at a moment’s notice if God called, but I wasn’t ready to become a pastor’s wife in America.

Four years later, we are still here, and not one of my worst fears came true.  God has given us deeper roots, humbled us, molded us, and sustained us through every trial.  His grace has overflowed into our lives.

I realize that I was probably very obnoxious [back home] because all I could talk about was Portugal and how much I loved it and how ready I was to get back.  And a LOT of the reason for that was because God has rocked my world since moving here.  I have grown so much closer to Him and it has been so great for our family togetherness that I am humbled that He found us worthy of this calling to move and serve here.  I won’t lie, it can be HARD to live in a foreign country, but the hardest days are the days that push me to rely heavily on God and His promises.  He is LITERALLY all we have here.  And through all the trusting God we have to do, we are discovering a more abundant life. 

I literally cried my entire commute both to and from work for months. I began to question God; not even on what we felt called to do, but mostly on what was being required of me in order to be obedient to that call. If this was what things were going to look like, how on earth would I survive a life of this? And then the seeds of discontent and resentment started growing. Why did I have to make this huge sacrifice? Wasn't leaving behind my community of church and friends enough? Wasn't choosing a life of service in ministry over comfort and security enough?

Being a church planter’s wife has been one of the primary ways that God has chosen to chip and chisel away the sin that was present in the nooks and crannies of my heart.

I am learning that God wants me to not be able, so that He can work through me.

Amy shares her journals:
August 29: I don’t know why I even get out of bed on Sundays.

But it wasn’t until I saw the connections between the gospel and the dinner table in our new church plant that I realized what a hospitable heart truly looked like.

And we’re just planting Jesus, no matter what church people choose to call home.

The winner of the link up is Heather @ Discovering the Extraordinary! Heather, email me with your address so I can send you your beautiful necklace and a copy of the book.
You have a second opportunity to win the heart necklace and a copy of the book, or rather your husband has an opportunity to win it for you! On Valentines Day, I will be posting love letters from pastors, church planters, and regular ol’ husbands to their wives, in which they express how vital their wives are to their lives and ministries. Readers will vote on their favorite letters. So tell your husband it’s what you’d like for Valentines! He’ll need to write his letter on his blog and email me the link by February 13. I can't wait to read 'em!