Into the Unknown

by Bill Ratcliffe

Into the Unknown – by Bill Ratcliffe

The countdown begins.

Two weeks until I leave for Nicaragua. Two weeks until I leave behind my husband and children. Leave behind the comforts of home and routine. 

In the past two days I have gone from nervous to scared to broken. 

I’m Nervous for leaving my children behind and sending them through a two-week whirlwind of babysitters.  Will they ever forgive me? Yes, I think they will.  Maybe they’ll even thank me.  I’m trusting that they are safe in the the Lord’s hands, as always.

I’m Scared that I can never be ready enough. I know this to be true.  I will arrive on the mission field and I will not be put-together or have all the answers. I will feel clueless and needy. That’s hopefully right about the time Christ will step in and take over. Will I be the leader my girls need me to be? By God’s grace, perhaps at least some of the time, yes.

And as I sit and type this I feel pretty much broken

I left a missions prep meeting today feeling overwhelmed and completely baffled at how in the world certain things are going to work on this trip.  It’s not going to be like the trips I’ve been on before, that’s for sure.

Driving home, crying, praying.

“I can’t handle this, Lord.  It’s not what I thought it was going to be… it’s different from my other trips.  It’s too hard, too much of a challenge.  It’s outside my “giftings” (oh yes, the pessimism continues for just a moment more…)  Is it too late to quit? Can my husband go in my stead?!”

God’s reply?

Mostly silence. Not what I wanted. 

But then a little bit of a hug, if you will. I felt it.

And I responded with a little bit of a smile

After a bit more silence, I was reminded that this perhaps is exactly what I’ve asked for.  I’ve been asking for God to increase my Faith, to stretch me, grow me.  Well, I can’t very well grow if I stick with what I know and what is safe. I’ve got to step into the unknown, let Him break me a little, remake me into who He wants me to be, maybe even give me new skills….

There is a purpose for me in Nicaragua this summer, even if I can’t see it yet.

But oh!  May I be ever sensitive to the Holy Spirit on this trip (and always) – especially when things seem unclear or like too great a challenge. That is the only way to make this work.  Nothing is too difficult for my God (Jeremiah 32:17,) and His Spirit resides in me… 

So off on this adventure I go.

Heart trembling and knees shaking.

I’m soaking these next two weeks in prayer.  The fervent  prayers of a righteous woman do so MUCH good!  (James 5:16)

Should you feel like shooting some prayer my way this month, know it would be warmly appreciated.

🙂

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