Sunday, August 21, 2011

A step that leads to another step which will lead to another...

The title of this blog post is a glimpse of our life. He leads us by steps. Some people can handle the big picture. I'm assuming we can not. Well actually I know! just looking back at some of the steps we have taken {being lead by God} that I can not handle the big picture. I, in my own nature would freak out.

God first gave us a step. 6 years ago. To come along side of Chuck and Oralia and raise up their hands while we start this church together. We said okay Lord. We can do that. A friend shared a scripture with us that I'm sure he had no idea the meaning it would hold in our hearts...even to this day.
Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations and watch—
Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you.

You think that verse sounds like a total blessings from every which way you would look. However it wasn't at the time...but looking back now we know it was. God had to bring us to our financial breaking point. Our physical breaking points. Our fully relying on Him in every which way of every aspect of everything. God took every bit of comfort from us...and said trust in me. Not my nature. I screamed. I cried. I asked God to take the pain away. He said I'm almost done with you in these few patient....and when He was done....I was different. I learned to rely on God like I've never before. I found my joy in Him. Not in people. Not in things. Just him. We got to teach our kids how gracious our heavenly dad is. The littlest things like a costume which I could not afford to paying our heat bill....He provided it all and my kids got to see what an awesome God/Dad we serve.

Once that step was underway, God said okay now I'd like you to move to Flint where you started the church. We waited, and waited and waited. Then God said if you don't move now there will be consequences. We moved as fast as we could....
{I should preface that during this time my husband had lost his job of 11 years and was unemployed}
We still moved. {Thank God for 401k}

Once that step was underway....God spoke to my heart and my husbands heart to start a spin off of a business my mom currently owned. We did. We made hardly any money for a very long time. God spoke another step to us which was to continue with this buisness....and it will provide for you. Hard to see when your in the midst of it...but He has provided above and beyond what we ever thought possible.

God told my husband His next step....start playing the guitar. He did. And twelve months later he was leading worship for our church.
Three or four months later he was writing worship songs of things God was teaching us through this step by step journey.

God's next step was for us to purchase this home without ever seeing the inside or having a home inspection done...but just purchase it and watch what God will do.
We did. {we were blown away at the goodness of the Lord in all the details of this home}

Then God told us to get involved into the foster care system.
We did. {oh boy was that a roller coaster ride!}

Then I started reading blogs of these poor children in other countries and the conditions of their lives. I cried. I asked God why? Why would children live in conditions like these? I read stories to my husband that just broke my heart into a million pieces. He gave me James 1:27 as a life verse for us....whether it was for the orphans here in the u.s or in another country was for God to decide but either way we are to care for them.
We have three beautiful healthy children and all I can do is think about these kids on the other side of the world with no parents, no food, no Jesus. Finally one day my husband looked at me and asked, will you ever just be okay with not adopting a child from outside the U.S. ? I said yes. Then I prayed God would make me content and not desire to help the orphans in the world if it wasn't His will.
The desire i had was less, but everytime I'd go to the blogs that spoke about the orphans in Africa I'd fight back the tears and pray.

During this time God gave us another step. That it was time to step down as the Assistant Pastor and wife of Calvary Chapel Flint. This was a blessing, as we had felt like our time should be over here for a while, but was patiently waiting God's direction in this area.

We stepped down.

Then we prayed God what do you want next for our family.
God spoke. Go on a mission trip to Africa. Um What God? You want us to do what? Go to Africa. We asked the Lord to confirm this idea through scripture, through a word of knowledge and more specifically take our fear away.

My mom sends me a text with a missionary from Africa's contact info and said thought you might be interested in this...I guess he was in town.{I hadn't really told my mom anything we had been praying about, however she knows my heart for orphans and the needy.}

We decided to talk to our kids....and Our kids are super excited...They can't wait. They have ideas and ideas of things they want to do with kids in Africa. think vbs. :) they make my heart sing praises to Jesus.
I asked my oldest if he had any fears....He said yah I don't like flying...I said me either! I hate it...and he said the sweetest thing to me....I know but Mom you can do it, I know you can!...awe I just love that boy!

Me being a scaredy cat asked for more confirmation!

I've been diving into scripture and listening to online messages. And I honestly was not prepared for all the confirmation the Lord had planned for my heart. Yes I said {MY} heart because, I was the one who needed the most convincing. My first message I chose to listen to was fearless by francis chan on reality's website. Um....insane.
Go Listen to it {now!}
He talked about fear of walking your family through the shadow of death. And if we can't trust the God of the universe to bring us through the shadow of death then what or who can we trust.{btw I'm not implying that things will be perfect but Jesus whom loves His children very much will be with us.} He also talked about being fearful for our children. What about our kids? Shouldn't we think of them. {This I've had a hard time with...think Malaria,drinking water, food, not wanting to tell my children no} Well we are thinking of them. I believe these paths that God is leading us through is going to teach them about Christ too. He {francis} also talked about not worrying about having a crazy savings account with 3 months reserves and having this much in this account and that much in that account...but rather the bible says worry about today for tomorrow has enough worries of its own...if we take that principle how on earth could we be securing our 401k's to the fullest and our reserves for 6 months when our brothers and sisters are dying in other countries because they don't even have food or water for today? Man the Lord really used that to minister to my heart. I don't believe that means totally forsaking everything....but rather changing our perspective to live less and give more. Francis has really lived this out. They sold their house and downsized to give more. He felt the Lord has called him to give $50,000.00 one year...that was more than his current salary...and God provided the $50,000.00. The next year he felt God wanted him and his family to give $100,000.00 and God provided that amount for them to give. Last year he felt God wanted them to give $1Million and they met that goal 1/2 through the year. My point in sharing all that is through this message it showed me when God guides you and leads you he will take care of the details. He has for Francis, and I know He will for us too. This was the first "Okay God, I think i'm okay with your leading". Then I listened to part two of this fearless message.....and in it they talked about orphans, a boy named Isaac, adoption and Gods love. I was in tears, crying like a baby. I encouraged my husband to listen to these messages. He said he would soon.

Then one day I was reading and I felt like God totally spoke to me through His word one morning while I was in my devotions. He said...
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him. Lamentations 3:25

That was such an encouragement because I felt like we had been waiting and asking for more confirmation from Him.

Then two days later I was reading again in the morning...just me, God's word and my cup of coffee....and I ran across this verse, and the Lord said to me...send this to your husband.
So I got out my phone and texted him this verse...
Ezekiel 12:25-28
For I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and perform it,” says the Lord GOD.’”
26 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 27 “Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ 28 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done,” says the Lord GOD.’”

Just an ordinary verse to anyone but us. I sent it to him, and little did i know God had me send him this verse as he was in the middle of listening to the fearless messages i referred to earlier. After he was done listening to them he called me and said well if I was unsure before I shouldn't have had him listen and send him those scriptures because it confirmed in him what God was doing with our well as He was continuing to confirm in me.

We decided to move forward with what God is calling our family to do. However there was just one little thing that we were like....huh Lord we really thought you were going to give someone a word of knowledge or wisdom about this area of our life...oh well. You've confirmed it enough in our hearts....and through your scripture and messages. Well just last week an example was being given in church and the teacher that night {just as an example} pointed to my husband and said your being called to Africa for a year. Oh man. The Lord is funny. Gracious and Loving. There it was. This man had no idea what the Lord was using him for that night. We just love how God works.

So in a nut shell...we have our next step...GO TO AFRICA!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11{NIV}


Angie said...

I am in tears - I love the way God leads, directs and confirms His will for our lives when we seek Him. Do you have details? When are you leaving? What part of Africa will you be going to? Ethiopia, perhaps...?

Gina said...

Angie. :) I love your comment and questions. Right now we are still praying where Lord. We have some contacts of a missionary in Kenya. My aunt and grandma's church is going to urganda....were just really praying where Lord. Our heart is for the orphans so we know that is something He will use us in while we are there. Were praying that if there is a child for us to adopt he would show us this child while we are there. Thanks for praying. Your family is such a blessing to us.....really living out one of our life verses James 1:27. I will post updates when we know more.

Tiffany said...

So awesome! Cant wait to see what He does :)

Rosie said...

Praise God for the work he is doing in your lives! What a great testimony of HIS faithfulness and HIS guiding hand. Praying for you guys as you take big steps of faith into the plan he has for you all!

Gina said...

THanks Tiffany and Rosie...I'm excited to see what God has planned.