Leaving All For Him

I didn’t want to go to Brazil. Our associate pastor was planning the trip; some teens were going; another adult wanted to go; and my husband told me one evening over dinner that he wanted to go. He felt God’s leading him to go. I thought that was great; I would be supportive.

A few days later, over another dinner, my husband told me he thought God wanted me to go. My husband wanted me to go. He wanted us to do this together. My reaction — Hello, we have six children. Like I could just up and go to Brazil for a week and a half.

My husband asked if we could find someone to watch our children, would I go. “Sure, why not!” I answered. But I knew we wouldn’t be able to find anyone to watch the children.

Our parents readily agreed to watch the children. Much to my surprise. My aunt and my sister-in-law pitched in some days. Not only did they agree to watch the children, but they planned special activities — trips to a wildlife park, crafts, music lessons, picnics, trips to the lake, splashing pools and sidewalk chalk, bubbles, cookie-baking, bread-baking, fireworks and homemade ice cream. My children weren’t only cared for, they were given a special vacation as well. OK, God, maybe this was Your idea.

In Brazil, I wrote in my journal:

Matthew 4:18-25 — The disciples, the first 4 called, left their nets immediately and followed Jesus. Jill Briscoe challenges me to be willing to leave all I love to follow Him. It makes me think of this trip. I feel like -over and over- God is asking me, “Do you love me? More than all else?”

I left all I love, except Patrick, to come on this trip. Most people think I’m crazy. All I know is I needed to obey. Honestly, I didn’t want to come. I did eventually get excited about the trip, but I didn’t really want to come. Up to the last minute, I would rather have stayed with the children. I am enjoying myself. I know I am supposed to be here. But I didn’t want to leave my children.

I think too often, we act like we love our children more than we love God. And we act like we love our children more than God loves them. We love them more than we trust God.

I know God wanted me to submit to Him, to submit to my husband. I know He wanted me to go to Brazil, even if only to exercise submission, to relinquish control. I needed to trust God to protect my children, to protect us. And I learned some things in Brazil that I couldn’t have learned here. I was encouraged by the missionaries. I was challenged by my Brazilian brothers and sisters in Christ and their vibrant worship and transparent living. My view of the world was expanded yet again — it’s easy to hyper-focus on diaper-changing and toy-strewn bedrooms and grocery lists and laundry baskets. As I fumbled for the right words and played a game of international charades with a saleslady in the mall, I gained sympathy for people in the US who can barely speak English and are struggling to learn. I was reminded to have compassion, the kind of compassion Jesus had for people. Mostly, though, it was a lesson in relinquishing control, in leaving all for Him.

Do I love God? More than all else? Yes. Well, I want to. And it’s good to have opportunities like this trip to Brazil to fan that tiny spark inside me that does love God above all else. To practice leaving something or someone for Him. I’m glad He gave me the chance to trust Him, to follow Him out of my comfort zone.

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5 Comments

Filed under Christianity, marriage, missions, motherhood

5 responses to “Leaving All For Him

  1. Yours is the second blog that I have read that reminded me of the verse in 1 Samuel, “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (v. 22)

    I am so glad you heeded the call. Your children will be blessed mightily. You have demonstrated for your children what it means to be under authority, you have shown them that God works out the details. And, you have created a legacy… you have shown them a tangible way to live their walk in Christ.

  2. What an awesome testimony! Isn’t it amazing how God takes care of us – even in the details. 🙂

  3. You two are so sweet and encouraging. God worked in my heart and helped me submit, even though I really didn’t want to. And then He blessed me. Why should I be blessed so much when He did the work in my heart? 🙂 I have no answer for that. He’s just so good to us.

  4. WV Grammy

    By your being obedient to God, the blessings continued to flow. We were blessed to spend time with 3 of your children. We got to do special things with them, enjoy their smiles, listen to their laughter, see them do things that made them happy -put their heads under water, learn to float (sort of), laugh and giggle as they slid down the bank on the “water-slide”, hold the stick and roast their own marshmallows for s’mores, try homemade ice cream, sit around the outdoor fire, sleep in a tent, picnic in the gazebo, catch a fish!, blow bubbles, catch bubbles, and more.

    Greg and Bobbi truly enjoyed watching them and doing special things with them. Diane delighted in the 3 days they spent with her. Both the grandmas seemed to enjoy them also, as long as the “noise” wasn’t too loud. “:^)

    I hope they remember the 2 weeks in the summer of ’07 that they spent with us as a fun time. It was a blessing for us. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  5. I have been enjoying reading the details about your trip, and I am very glad you shared the background. Isn’t it neat how God blesses our obedience to Him in ways we could never imagine? Thanks for this great reminder that I need to be willing to give anything God asks from me.

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