ALL IN

Three years ago Joel and I felt a stirring. A stirring like we were on the brink of change. A stirring that we needed to get our stuff in order because God was up to something. In the natural, we began to clean our closets, listed our house for sale and began anticipating the change that was in store. We waited, and waited. Questioned our hearing and our steps of “faith.” Yet nothing changed; our house did not sale. We then settled back into our very comfortable lives, and started to loose site of what we were contending for. Yet, we were unable to deny the stirring that still plagued us.

In the fall of 2014, Joel made a comment that set a series of activities into action. After years of dreaming and praying, Joel said if I could come up with half of the money needed for a trip to my birthplace that we could go. I promptly looked into selling our family car. Shortly after the sale of the car, we had tickets bought and we were planning “a once in a lifetime” trip back to my birthplace. A trip back to where my parents sowed, a trip to a land that my father had told me time and time again would capture my heart. In February 2015, we were off.  I had prepared my children for the emotional roller coaster that we were embarking on. I had been dreaming of this place my whole life. I imagined my feet would literally touch the ground and I would be undone. However, that wasn’t quite the case. We spent 25 days on the island. I spent the first 10 days or so thinking my parents were idiots for coming here with toddlers and my mom being 7 months pregnant all those years ago, not to mention why they would choose to live there now. I laughed out loud to myself that after all these years of dreaming that I finally got to the land I had known I was called to and yet I felt nothing and in fact, I somewhat hated it. I looked to Joel, who quickly told me he felt nothing. However, over the 25 days God began to stir, speak and prompt. I would catch myself daydreaming about living on the beach, or in the countryside.

 We serve such a gracious God. A God who is so loving and faithful that he gives us time to respond to his calling. During our last week, we were presented with the opportunity to serve fulltime. Joel and I sat in a coffee shop  were called out. Called out of our comfort place, called out of our fears, procrastinations and called out of our “someday.” If not now, then when? We went home and spent the night praying and talking about the opportunity to truly be all in.   How could we stand before God and say we chose comfort over calling? How could we not walk out our faith for our kids sake? How could we not be people who were truly willing to risk it all for God? In the wee hours of the morning, Joel whispered to me “you know we have to do this, how could we not?” I rolled over with butterflies in my stomach, we were actually going to give up the American dream, the comforts of home, a secure job, a successful business to move to a third world country! It made no sense at all but total sense.

Here is the crux of it; we believe whole-heartedly that this is where God is calling us. But we are willing to risk, give up everything for a 1% chance to be where God wants us. Crazy, I know! But how glorious, how exciting to take not just a step of faith but a leap of faith to walk out God’s calling! If this is our legacy, “to be those people who gave everything up for Jesus” then so be it! I have lived the majority of my life being half in. No more! I am all in for Jesus, ALL IN!

Do we have the qualifications? Do we have the resources? What about our kids? The good news is I know the one who qualifies, who is the greatest provider and who is such a Faithful Father. All those questions are minimal in the big picture! Sure my kids are going to sacrifice, and possibly hate or resent this decision. But isn’t this so exciting that at age 14, 12 and11 they are learning to give it all for Jesus? Something that most of us never fully learn! We have sold most of our belongings, and are so excited to get to live in total trust of His provision. Stay tuned for the adventure of a lifetime, a story of Jesus at work in 5 sinners and for our ALL IN lives!

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