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Friday, January 04, 2008

No Regrets


It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? Time to reflect over the past year, where we are, and where we want to be. Add to that, my high school graduating class recently celebrated its twentieth class reunion and while I wasn’t able to attend, it’s been fun to catch up with several people I’d lost track of. It also made me spend time reflecting once again on the past two decades and where they’ve brought me.

Through all my reflections, one thing has stood out. God has always been there. While it hasn’t always been easy, I can look back at certain moments or milestones in our life where He’s has challenged me, convicted me, and moved me in directions I’d never planned.

Providential encounters where God asked me to step out on faith and trust Him.

About six years ago, we were living in the states, working and involved in our church. While we were fairly content with life, we felt God calling us to use our talents for Him again overseas. The question was where and when. We’d prayed about joining a team in Japan and even went there on a survey trip, but God firmly shut that door.

One Sunday after a mission’s day at church, we drove home discussing this desire to move back overseas. We talked about several possibilities including working with Scott’s aunt and uncle. They’d mentioned us to join them in the past, but it had simply been a comment in passing. If they sent us a formal invitation, Scott told me, he would know God was behind it.

Scott dropped the kids and I off at the house, then went to run an errand. I sat down to check my email. There it was. A letter from his aunt and uncle.

"Dear Scott and Lisa," it read. "We know we've mentioned it in the past, but we would like to extent to you and an official invitation to join us and the work here in southern Africa. . ."

A coincidence? No way. It was God’s hand orchestrating events in our lives.

I haven’t always responded in either faith or trust. Sometimes, I’ve preferred to walk away while fear reached out and pulled me under. I’ve ignored the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) moving of the Holy Spirit.

Yet still, He is faithful. I’ve seen it over and over.

Through the valley of infertility, He molded me. Through the miracle of adoptions, He brought me hope. Through the struggles of ministry, He’s teaching me to daily rely on him. Through childrearing and now home schooling, He’s teaching me patience and unconditional love. Through my writing, He’s opened doors I would have never thought possible. In moving to Brazil, He’s continues to stretch me and grow my faith.

My list could go on and on. The times I listened. The times I chose to ignore. His faithfulness never failed.

Any achievements have been from His hand. He’s brought good from difficulties, broadened our horizons, and stayed faithful to each and every promise. As James 1:17 says, every good and perfect gift is from above.

And when I stop and look over the past years, I realize that that very promise is true. Everything good, has come from Him.

Saying yes to His call still isn’t always easy. But my goal for the coming year is to live with no regrets. I want to hear God’s calling in everything and act. I was struck with how a friend recently put it. “I choose to say ‘I’ll go wherever You lead me….’ It is a daily process of dying to self, isn’t it?”

Wow. Powerful stuff.

Happy New Year,

Lisa

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