Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why would you want to?

As Todd and I have begun to share our calling into the mission field with others one question we have gotten over and over again is "why would you want to?"

That 'why would you want to' question is often followed by something like…

Why would you want to… risk your lives?
Why would you want to… leave the security of your job?
Why would you want to…. Leave America the country everyone else would love to live in?
Why would you want to… do that to your children?
Why would you want to... live on less?

And while I completely understand the emotions behind each of these questions- the truth is, I had to get to a point where I put my relationship with the Lord before all else... I believe God's word requires purposeful decisions- decisions that will shape our lives and how we live them.

So, why would we want to risk our lives?

The reality is, in my humanness I often attempt to cling to the things of this world and taking risks does scare me. However, what I truly desire is to live this life He has blessed us with- for Him. Sometimes I think we believe that we can somehow control what happens to us in life- and to a point we can. I can choose to move to Guatemala or choose to stay here- that is true. But what I cannot control is whether or not I am offered a tomorrow. I cannot tell you that if I move to Guatemala I get tomorrow and I cannot tell you if I stay in the United States I get tomorrow either. There are just no guarantees in this life- so I get to either choose to live for God with a purpose or choose to try to control my life- out of fear. What I have come to realize though is lack of trust in God always prevents us from receiving His best.

So why would we want to leave the security of a good job?

Our going into the mission field has nothing to do with our not desiring security. Trust me. It is not easy and it is tempting to stay put and continue on taking care of our own needs in a fashion that is comfortable. I won’t deny it- I like to be comfortable. We have a budget (thank you Dave Ramsey) and we take care of all of our needs and some of our wants. I like knowing that check will come monthly and that we will be able to pay for our needs. I like having that control. So, to walk away from that security isn’t easy. At all. And yet, what we do know is that our only true security in this world is Christ. I have no guarantees that tomorrow Todd’s job will be there. People get laid off, people get injured at work, or what if Todd didn’t make it home from work one day at all? These are some people’s realities- they have no control over those situations and neither do we. They are false securities and we recognize that now.

So why would we want to leave America- a country that everyone else is dying to live in?

Our going to Guatemala has nothing to do with us not loving America. Trust me, we know how truly blessed we are to live in such a great country. One cannot travel outside of America and return without noticing how truly blessed they are. Blessed by things that way too often (almost always) we take for granted. Clean water, paved roads, immunizations readily available (even for those who cannot afford them) excellent educations, opportunity and churches on every corner. And the truth is, I don’t want to leave all of that behind. But, my comfort is not more important than someone else’s chance to know about the Lord. I cannot imagine living life under difficult circumstances like polluted dirty water and sickness without the hope of Jesus-because while He is my only true security in this world- He is theirs also. No clean water, immunizations or paved roads can replace the gift of knowing Jesus. I simply cannot go on living and taking for granted all that I have without giving thought to those living without. And while yes there is a need for those in America to know Jesus as well- God has asked our family to go. Who am I to question an all knowing God when He told us to Go?

So,why would you want to do that to your children?

One day awhile back I was talking to my older children and I asked them what was the one thing I had taught them in life- and unanimously they said “that it isn’t about us." Now don’t get me wrong- raising your children to know 'it’s not all about them' does not mean that you don’t make them feel loved, special or cherished. My children know I would die for them in a heartbeat and that we are crazy about each and every one of them... yet we are more crazy and in love with our God. And because we love our children from the depths of ours soul, I DO want the very best for them in life- I want them to know Him. But not just know of Him- know Him in such a way that they desire to live their lives knowing it is 'all about Him'. And the only way our children are ever going to learn this is by our example. If we are not willing to put Him before all else- how will they learn to? We must teach our children how to think of others, how to see others needs and to have the desire to meet those needs before their own. We want our children to love serving others. We want our children to learn to love others- regardless of what's in it for them. We want our children to desire Him over popularity and over having stuff. We are teaching them that happiness is found in giving and not getting. We do desire for our children to have the best- and He is the best.

So, why would you want to go knowing you are going to have to live on less?

About 8 years ago God began working in our lives and opening our eyes to a lot of things that were at the time not easy to face. One huge eye opener for me was to realize how often I put my desire to have ‘things’ before anything else. I truly believed that if I had it all- I would be happy. I honestly believed that a big house would bring me happiness. (And can I just tell you that more square footage does not bring true happiness) I put the desire for things before my marriage, my children and before my God. I was living for ME. About ME. And to please ME. It was like this fight was going on inside of me to prove I was good enough. And I guess I figured that all the things that I owned would somehow prove that. So you know what? God let me have those things- as well as the bills that went along with them. :) Cause yah, he’s good like that. And what I realized was those things didn’t make me any happier and that those bills were sucking the life out of me- and my marriage. Yet the funniest thing happened in my pursuit of happiness... I stumbled upon joy- in Him. Joy is so much different than happiness. Happiness has everything to do with our circumstances- but Joy is from the Lord- and it cannot be taken from you... regardless of our circumstances. Joy comes from simply knowing the Lord and living your life full of purpose for Him. So we let go of the 'stuff'' and the stress that went with acquiring it and moved towards simply living out our faith.

The bible tells us our purpose in life is to have a relationship with Him and to tell others about Him- so that they too may know Him. Therefore, all of us are to be missionaries- some as senders and some as goers. Some right here where we are- and some in foreign countries. We get to decide whether or not we will answer His call. Even as I sit here writing this, I don’t have all of the answers and I don’t know how everything is going to fall into place. But what I do know is because of who He is and what He has already done for us- I can trust Him completely.

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Danae Hudson said...

My parents moved to Hong Kong for my dad's job and no one understood. Though it's a bit of a different situation, many of those same questions came up. What people don't understand (and haven't, unless they've gone to visit my family) is how HAPPY my family is where they are. They don't understand how they could be HAPPY in a different country, in a weird place.

It's hard to look at something that you would NEVER EVER think of and think, 'Yes, you COULD be and WILL be very happy there.' I think, though, that's compassion. Maybe they won't agree with you now, but maybe if they come visit you and see you so HAPPY, maybe they'll understand.

Or not. But those who don't might not mean as much in your life anyway. What is it, you'll find out who your real friends are? Definitely.

Laurel said...


I am so excited to see ALL that the Lord has for you as you pursue HIM above all else. He will guide your paths. He is your security. He is your protector. He is your provider.

Your children will be BLESSED by this journey, as well. We have raised our children to love & serve the Lord ... to follow the dreams and passions that He has put on their hearts ... and the Lord has led just 4 of our older children to minister in the following countries in the past 9 years (can't wait to see where He will lead the other 8 children):

Haiti, The Gambia, Senegal, India, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina (for 3 years), Chile, Germany, Czech Republic, England, Bangladesh, and Jordan (for 1 year).

It is EXCITING when we follow HIM, rather than the world's ideas of what we should or should not be doing.

Hope your week is BLESSED!

Laurel :)

The Beaver Bunch said...

I'm gonna need you to stop reading my diary/listening in on my prayers/stealing my blog material.

Okay? ;)

Seriously though, we are hearing the EXACT same things. And my responses are almost identical to yours.

Blessings to your family.

Courtney said...

Thanks for the insight. I'm learning as well that our only reason for exsistence on this earth is to bring Him glory. I long to hear my future children say, "It's not about us!"

We Are Family said...

Beautiful. Lifting your family up in prayer.

Katie rayn said...

Amen! I can't tell you how I needed this today. This subject has been on my heart and the Holy Spirit has been at work in my Sunday school class. We're reading Radical(I blogged about it yesterday) and it's taking a toll on all of us. If I had your words, this is what I'd say to all those who asked us, how could we do that to our children when they were told we wanted to adopt a black child. I am commiting to praying for your family! Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

My Thoughts said...

So beautiful Amy. I totally hear you. Keep following your heart and the Lord my friend. You will not be disappointed, as I KNOW He will see you through any situation that may come your way. Your faith is wonderful and your family is blessed.

Andrea said...

Love this! My husband and I have talked about this seriously...and I think if the right opportunity came up we would be all over it... after we finish this adoption. :)
Thank you for sharing your heart and stepping out in faith!

the Philpots said...

Amen and Amen!!

Lexi said...

Beautiful and gotta shout a big AMEN. love this post and so excited for your family!

praying for you all!

Shanny said...

Praying for your beautiful family. What lucky children to have a mommy like you. God Bless you Amy.

Wife said...

:) AMEN! We have been asked over and over, "Why didn't you try to have biological children first?" or "Are you going to have "your own"? I don't know!! I am just following the Lord's lead!

Angie said...

We have been praying for your family as you set off on this next exciting chapter in your lives. I cannot wait to see how the Lord uses you all!

Much love,
Future Mama

Polly said...

Someone once told us "The safest place is in the center of God's will" and that sure sounds like it applies to y'all. I admire and applaud your bravery. Y'all are inspiring so many.
Blessings and love,

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

Excited for you on this journey!!! PRAYING for BLESSINGS as you totally trust God in what HE has for you.....which is sooo much more than any security!

Anonymous said...

Well said!

I was a single parent for 14 years and always thought more money would make me happy and content. My thought process went like this: If only I didn't have to work, I would be happy. If only I could have a picture perfect house that people envied, I would be happy. Well I've accomplished both of those things and guess is not perfect..haha. I love being married and I am happy but I'm restless and I feel like a fake. Deep down this is not the life I want to be living. I don't mean to sound ungrateful for what I have because that's not it. It's just hard for me to justify caring about what I hang on my walls when so many people won't eat today.

As I mentioned in my email to you yesterday, my hope is that we will go into missions. I also mentioned I have a RH. Well the most amazing thing happened last night at our couples Bible study. We were talking about Gods will for our life and I decided to just let it all out. I thought my husband would roll his eyes but he said "we will make this happen". On the ride home he wanted to talk about it more. He asked what I thought of Guatemala. I always envisioned going to China but am open to where ever there is need and a place for us.
Today we are going to sit down and write out a vision for our future. As we need to make decisions in our lives we will see how those decisions will fit into our vision. Hopefully the answers will come easier.

G.M.C. said...

That was well written Amy. You are right on and He will bless you for putting all of your security in Him.

Annabelle said...

Amy is it just my computer?? But your new background (black with polka dots) could hardly be read. And I really want to read it!!! What little bit I could get sounds sooo good. You always encourage me girl:)

Kelly said...

Thank you for this post. I am a sophomore in high school, and I am starting to try to figure out what I want to do with my life. The thought of being a foreign country missionary has crossed my mind, as has the thought of adopting kids. So posts like this really help broaden my perspective. Thanks again!

Dr. Margo Turner said...

Thanks for sharing your insights and your heart...we have twins adopted from Guatemala (who are 5 and SO FUN), are 46 years old, and are selling everything, leaving great jobs, and lots of ease to be missionaries in Honduras...and my mom hasn't stopped crying since we told her (so your questions and answers hit the spot)...but the call of God on our lives requires complete surrender to praying for your family and maybe we will meet in Central America!!! We'll be the graying gringos trying to share God's love with anyone and everyone in broken spanish but full hearts. Margo Turner

Jenny said...

YOU all are amazing!!! I'm your newest follower!!! Blessings!

Amber said...

So glad you are who you are, Amy, and that I've gotten to know you just a tad through your blog.

It's good stuff in your heart, girl friend! :) And those kiddos' smiles couldn't agree with me more!!

Courtney Kay said...

I am so excited for your family's adventure!

Gretchen said...

Great post.

Praying that everything comes together smoothly for you all to be able to head on out. I can not wait to follow your journey.

his, mine and ours said...

Just now getting to read this, but so glad I did! I think it's amazing what you're doing....and AMEN to the "too comfortable" part. This is why I read your blog. You bring me back to reality. NOT America's reality. God's reality...the reality that we (Americans) are not the norm. Thank you and God bless your family! Just please don't stop blogging! I can't wait to hear all about His work in Guatemala!

Doreen said...

perfectly said Amy... you are so blessed to know what "His "plan is and your next chapter in you r life...hugs

Sharon said...

I just found your blog. Thank you for sharing this. We are in the process of discerning our next step as a family and are working through similar things...thank you for putting your thoughts out there. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Blessings to you.
Cousin Ellie