When Scottie was about 18 months old, Scott and I told God that He could send us. We were willing to go where He led, yet we remained put. The mission organization we applied with didn't think it was a wise decision with Scottie, because we were still trying to figure out why she had developmental delays. So we stayed put.
When Scottie was about 3 years old, we tried again. We just couldn't shake the feeling that we were suppose to surrender our family and go. And again, we were told "not now". How incredibly disappointing and confusing to surrender and say, "Send Us", just to be told no. So we stayed put.
Because of that willingness to go, we began to live differently. No longer were we concerned with attaining more stuff or thinking that we were entitled to the things of this world. We no longer held onto possessions. I would throw, donate or give away anything and everything. My sweet, young Emma Grace started attaching post-it notes to art and school work that she did NOT want me to throw away. God did not send us in 2005 or 2007, but our hearts began to change and think about the world.
And now here we are, and Scottie is 13 years old and we sense a movement. Scott came home from his first visit to Makarios, a school in the Dominican Republic, and mentioned that he could see our family in the DR. This past July we were in the DR with Jacob and Emma Grace, and I would tell anyone within earshot that I could see us there ONE day but not now. Why? Because the idea of dropping my 18 year old son at college and then only seeing him once or twice a year was not something that I could wrap my head around. So no way. Not now. Sorry God, but I think I will keep my fists tightly closed with my son in them and not go.
But then I returned to the DR in October. I spent time at Makarios again. I shared meals with the amazing staff. I laughed with the young teachers. Margaret, an American missionary, shared trade secrets on how to get flights back to the states for less. She encouraged and spoke truth in areas where I needed to hear it. Slowly my hands began to open.
So once again, I sit before my all-knowing God and offer to go. He may not send us now...maybe ever. I think the lesson for me is not about whether we go or stay, but am I willing to surrender my plans, my family, my control over to Him? Am I willing to go? Am I willing to place my Jacob in His hands and know that He will work all things out for my good, but also for the good of my sweet Jacob? Am I willing to do hard things and leave air conditioning behind? Am I willing to miss out on the things here?
With hands open, I release all of it to God because the plan He has is so much more beautiful and amazing than I could ever dream. Perhaps it isn't about whether we go or stay, but it is really about the posture of my heart. Is my heart open and willing to go when I profess to speak the words "Send Us". No longer a question mark at the end but a period.
We have about 6 weeks left to raise support for Scott's new position at Makarios. His position allows us to stay here...for now. He will develop relationships with current partners and create new partnerships. His job is talk about a school and a country we love. It is the perfect job that encompasses all of his work experience - education and ministry. We have no plans to leave for the DR...yet. We know there is work to be done here first. But the posture of my heart has changed, and when God says GO, we will go.