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Church Support Field Story USA - ISC

God is Faithful

"God does not always promise reconciliation for the hurts in life. God does promise that when we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, that He will handle the details."

     While I am glad that God loves me too much to leave me the way I am, I truly wish the refining process didn’t hurt so much! Why does it have to involve dying to self? And yet, when I surrender myself to His process and trust Him rather than trust my own understanding - I am always astounded by His faithfulness.
     My husband and I joined a church planting team of nine people that went to a city with less than 2% Evangelical Christians. Little did I know at the time that it would be THE most difficult and humbling experience of my life. You may or may not be surprised by one cause of difficulty…teammates. You see, in order for our team to function as “the church” in this setting - it required an intimacy and vulnerability that opened up the possibility of getting deeply wounded.
     After three years on the field, the Lord made us painfully aware of the arrogance and pride in which we had been operating. It caused us to fall on our faces before the Lord - well most of us. There was one person that resisted. Abruptly one afternoon, his wife announced that she was going back to the States for health reasons. She was my closest friend on the team. We had studied together, prayed together, shared life together for three years. Then, in a matter of 48 hours she was on a plane - gone!
     I heard almost nothing from her for more than four months! When I did finally talk to her it was to tell me that they were not coming back. And that was that.
     It was devastating! I felt betrayed and abandoned. And because I had very limited information - it left a lot of room for speculation. That was a dangerous combination. During that time, the Lord reminded me gently and not so gently that there was more to this situation than I knew and there were more perspectives than just mine. I had to surrender it to Him OFTEN and eventually healing took place even though there was no closure. I had to accept the probability that I might never know what happened.

 Fast forward three years…

      It was time for our family to come back to the States. When we were asked to come to Avant’s home office in Kansas City - the Lord made me aware that this family was in KC (up until this point, I really didn’t know where they were. We had completely lost touch). He also impressed upon me that He wanted me to reach out to them. Let’s just say it did not stir up warm and fuzzy emotions. I somewhat resigned myself to the possibility but in the back of my mind I couldn’t imagine how it would actually happen. I mean, Kansas City is a big place and I had no idea where they were.
     We were only in Kansas City a few days when I heard their names for the first time. I also learned that they lived within a mile of where we lived. Then I started spending time with my neighbor and she started bringing up her friend which happened to be my friend. It became obvious that the Lord was NOT going to make it easy for me to avoid her.
     Then it got real. My “conversation” with the Lord began…But Lord! What if she ignores me or worse rejects me again? What if she places blame on me? What if she stirs up more conflict? Lord, you are asking me to be vulnerable with someone who has wounded me. I do not want to go back in there!
     I wrestled and eventually I realized I should not and could not avoid this. God had provided the opportunity for reconciliation. Even though it was terrifying and NOT at all what I wanted to do! In the end I knew it was what God wanted me to do and I surrendered.
     I reached out not knowing how it would end up but trusting God to take care of me. She agreed to meet. We talked and cried and prayed together. God provided closure and forgiveness and healing. God brought about reconciliation. And for that I am grateful!
     God does not always promise reconciliation for the hurts in life. God does promise that when we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, that He will handle the details.
     Left to myself, I would have chosen self-preservation and conflict avoidance. After all, I was NOT the one who did wrong! (yet in reality, I most definitely contributed to the mess. Let me be honest). But it would have been easy to stay with the ‘I was wronged’ approach. If I had chosen that approach - I would have missed out on experiencing God’s faithfulness. Although the relationship was not completely restored to what it had been…my soul certainly was.

 

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