In October, I felt like Paul on the road to Damascus when he was blinded and told to GO…(Acts 9:6)! The big difference being that I was already saved! Jason and I had been praying about our future, and felt God saying very strongly that we were to quit our life in Washington, D.C., head to his home town of Knoxville, T.N., and then on to my parent’s home in Scotland for a 5 month sabbatical. This is as far as we could see, I felt blinded, not knowing what His plans were for our future.
One thing was clear ~ our future was not in D.C. I remember laying in bed in Knoxville one morning, as our time to leave for Scotland drew ever closer. I hear God whisper to me: “This sabbatical is NOT a time to reinvent yourself; it is a time to REMEMBER who you are.” This is the most audible I have ever heard the voice of the Lord speak to me. I knew our future was, in part, something that He had already shown us in the past.
We went…we sacrificed our time as an offering to God…asked for wisdom…and WAITED!
Friend, trust me when I say, I know waiting is not easy! I had moments of doubt, frustration, impatience…and had to repeatedly offer the time to the Lord, and trust in His timing. There were many, many answers to prayer, and provision during our time. I just want to share two from the last ten days of our five months.
Jason was diagnosed with Mononucleosis on April 24th following two courses of antibiotics that failed to treat tonsillitis. He was very ill; sleeping for what seemed like twenty hours a day, and eating only soup! On Monday, April 28th, with only a week before we were due to travel, I reached out to a group I am in, for prayer. We were also waiting for an answer to a prayer we had put feet to by sending an application four weeks previous to that day, and so I also asked for prayer for our wait.
God is FAITHFUL when we come to Him in prayer ~ sometimes we hear an immediate “Yes”, or “No”; sometimes we are asked to “Wait”.
On Tuesday, April 29th, Jason woke up feeling well! He was tentative about his actions that day! On the Wednesday, he felt like he had never had mono! Jesus heals! Doctors might say mono can take months to recover from…but God’s timing overrules!
On Tuesday, April 29th, we also received notification that the application I asked for prayer over had been received, and was under review! We didn’t receive the decision, but we received assurance that God was at work!
Fast forward one week…May 6th we were due to leave Scotland. My prayer was that we would receive the decision we awaited by that day, as I believed God would end our time of sabbatical by confirming our next steps…that had been our purpose, and offering to Him. We didn’t. We traveled back to the U.S., and on May 7th made a stop-over in Charlotte to visit with friends, and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Office. On May 8th, we arrived home in Knoxville. An hour later, we received God’s confirmation through an email with a decision!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa. 55:8-9
In my mind, leaving Scotland was the end of our sabbatical. In God’s mind, arriving back in Knoxville would mark the end of our time!
Friend, no matter what you are going through, no matter what uncertainty or trials you are facing in your life…I encourage you to go to God in prayer…have FAITH that He will answer…and TRUST Him that He will provide the answer in His timing. It may not be the answer you long for, and it may not be at the time you long for it; but:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Prov. 3:5-6
We still have some uncertainty as our plans unfold, and are set in motion; but daily we are turning our plans over to God, remembering this command and promise from Him: