This past January I took for granted just how blessed assurance is.
Let me try to summarize very quickly where our family is right now:
We have lived in Colombia for almost a year, and we figured we would live here forever. We fell in love with our city, our neighbors, school, church, and most of all our people group that we work with here. We have been living in constant uncertainty for a few months now – basically, due to unforeseen circumstances, our living situation here is very sticky and complicated now, and we have no idea where we will be in 4 months. We have no idea where God will put us next. Where we will live. What country we will be in. It’s a little nerve-wracking for adults much less three little kids who have had 3 overseas transitions in 3 years. It’s a lot.
I have had many conversations with God since January. Lots of questioning. I was frustrated and upset and confused. Why on earth did God call us here, let us spend almost 3 years planning and strategizing and preparing to finally make it here on the soil, fall in love with our new home so quickly, to have us leave?
I started questioning many things. I’m ashamed to say I started questioning my faith. Let me say I know deep down who I am and who God is, but my mind started to wander. I started rethinking every prayer I had ever prayed.
“Did God really do that? Or was it just a coincidence?”
“Was that God’s answer or was that just how it happened?”
I spiraled through the month constantly fighting. Knowing what I feel deep down in my soul but at the same time my brain questioning reality.
---Like I said, I’m ashamed to share this, but I feel very much led to share. If it helps just one person know they’re not alone and someone else has felt this way before, then it’s worth it. Also for some that may think missionaries are “above average people” or "super-Christians"…..you’re wrong. Sorry.
“What?! A missionary is having doubts and questioning God??”
But let me tell you what He did next.
He let me wrestle with my brain throughout that month. He was silent when I prayed and talked with Him. I felt alone and unheard. It was difficult. Towards the end of the month I was sitting in church, and I remember we were talking about Abraham, and He started pouring out His words to me. It was so startling and direct I about started looking around. He wasn’t yelling and He didn’t sound mad but it was very direct and strong to me – His first words were: “Who gave you your son?”
For those of you who don’t know….Mark and I spent 5 years trying to have children and after many specialists and doctors and tests were told we probably would never have any of our own. God blessed us with a son 2 months after that test result. And gave us 2 more children after!
Well, the Lord then proceeded to mention all the things that He had done that past year – how there was no way these things could have “just happened” but that He had guided and directed each one. Many things happening in our ministry, putting people in certain places on certain days, giving us favor in many ways. It was all SO clearly Him. Not coincidence.
After Him reminding me very specifically of all the things He’s done for us this year and all the things He’s done through us I fell silent and just thought for a while. So glad to hear from Him again and be reminded of just how good He is. I felt like a child whose parent had let them try to “figure it out on their own” for awhile and then hopped back in to help them when they started to give up.
All this to say: yes, I had doubts and I had questions…. even BIG doubts and BIG questions. But through my doubts and unbelief God drew me even closer to Him than before. Gave me even more certainty than I had before, more assurance. Assurance is so blessed. I have assurance in my Savior that He IS in control of everything, and He has a purpose (even though my human brain just CAN’T understand sometimes!).
Even though we’re still processing our possible moves and more transitions and more talks with the kids about what may happen to us next, we have assurance in Him. He’s got us.
I still get a little frustrated sometimes and am tempted to think “but it’s just not fair!” ...but I have to push those thoughts away. A few days ago, I asked God “Why?” again. “Why would you bring us here for only a year? To fall in love with this place and these people just to have us leave again?” And He responded with, “Would you rather have missed out? Would you rather me not have had you here this year and missed out on all the wonderful things that happened?”
Hmm. Touché, God.
Abraham’s life has been popping up in my life randomly for the last 2 months. Tonight, in my quiet time I was reading in Romans 4,
and low and behold there he is again!
Romans 4: 20-21: “Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
God, please strengthen my faith and help me in my questions and my doubt.
I have blessed assurance. Help me not to lose sight of it again.