A lot has happened since I first sent in my meditation. Two years ago our family of five was still in the Philippines under the first government-imposed lockdown. It was during the first few months when the word “pandemic” was still unfamiliar and unthinkable. Birds singing outside our kitchen window in the months that followed was an unexpected simple joy that helped buoy my overwhelmed and burdened spirit at a time that seemed so dark and unsettling—the proverbial silver lining in the bleakest of situations.
It seemed like our year-long preparation for the “big move” of relocating to another country as missionaries was indefinitely on hold. That plan sank to the bottom of our urgent list as we, both as a family and ministers in the local church, went into survival mode along with the rest of the world.
Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails,” gently reassured us each night as we clung to God’s promises and buckled down for the months ahead on a roller coaster ride of surges, vaccinations, protocols, sanitizing, hospitalizations, and heartbreaking memorials.
But God is always good. And God’s plans for us are always good, pleasing, and perfect.
Fast-track to today and the email from The Upper Room informing me that the original meditation that I had sent on a whim two years ago was finally going to be published, which reminded me that God’s timing is truly always perfect.
We finally made it to our mission destination in Central America last year and have been living here for almost a year now as missionaries!
Last year, after much prayer and counsel, we left by faith (with a few basic Spanish lessons under our belts and a loose plan to start over from scratch) at the height of the pandemic, bringing with us our three girls and ten pieces of luggage packed to max capacity. Clothes, some beloved toys, Filipino books for homeschooling, and a careful selection of odds and ends from our beloved home country made it into our “balikbayan boxes”—this was it!
Go big or go home, and God was loudly telling us to “Go B-I-G.” We finally flew on July 2021 to a country that had been in our hearts for a year, but which we knew little practical information about—only that God wanted us there.
It’s been almost a year since we arrived, and Psalm 118:24 from my original meditation still hits home every time, especially now that every day holds both victories and challenges as church planters and missionaries in a foreign land. The words, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” keep us going.
In the end, every day belongs to God, and as we entrust every single day to God, God also sends us the grace and peace we need to find the joy in it.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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