But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Sunday, September 9

And the answer is...

Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, THANK YOU for your prayers! I wish I could express to each of you how much they mean to me.

August felt rather like a spinning, twisting rollercoaster that I wasn't sure I'd survive. It was very busy, and my mind and heart were very full of weightier matters than they are used to. The decision of whether or not I should move to Peru for two years troubled me more than I ever would've expected it to.

For starters, it revealed some serious idols in my life. Not necessarily bad things, but dreams I had put on a pedestal without even realizing it. I spent at least one morose week finding myself challenged at every turn by dreams that I had told myself I'd given to God, but really hadn't. It was good, but oh! it hurt.

When I came to the end of that idol-crushing fest, however, I still didn't have peace about going. I don't really know how to describe it. I was finally willing to go, and sometimes I was even excited at the thought of going, but there was always... a heaviness. It never seemed right. So I continued to pray, and I could tell I was being prayed for.

Finally, during the hours of silence on the ride from Indianapolis to St. Louis, with a little over a week left until I needed to send my reply, I knew that I needed to take a step. I remembered that God is sovereign, and if He didn't want me to go to Peru, He was completely able to make that clear to me. At the time, aside from a few things I needed to ask about, I couldn't think of a good reason not to go besides the unsettling lack of peace, but I wasn't entirely sure that wasn't just my selfishness.

I decided to apply and see what happened from there. The next night at the dinner table, I told my family. They were, as they have been during this entire decision-making process, very accepting of it, and agreed that if God didn't want me to go, He would make it clear. That night during Family Bible Time, Dad prayed just that: that if there was anything I needed to know, God would show me quickly. I thought to myself, "Why is he praying that so fervently now, after I've decided to apply?"

That night, I was finally able to chat with a sister who lives in Peru, and who was actually the one who first told me about the position. I hadn't talked to her at all since the interview I had with the General Director, and so she wanted to know all about it. As I was typing, the lack of peace I'd been feeling began to turn into something more concrete. She made some points that I hadn't thought of, or had thought of, but had just assumed I was misunderstanding because of the distance, and advised me not to go. By the end of our chat, the lack of peace seemed to have transformed into the letters N and O. It felt rather like a whisper of fresh air.

However, it sent my mind into total chaos. What about learning Spanish? Doing something meaningful and cool with my life? What about finally knowing what I was going to do for at least two years, after all these years of not having a clue? What if I never got another chance to leave the country? What if I was just being selfish?

It's crazy, isn't it, how I can so easily make any decision for the wrong reasons? All praise to our patient, gracious God for His steadfast love!

I now had exactly one week until September, and my mind had changed direction completely. I decided that I would decline the invitation to apply, unless the Lord showed me otherwise during the week. So I prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and the more I prayed, the more peace I felt about not going.

So now I've sent in my reply. I am, until God leads otherwise, staying in the USA. Thank you again for your prayers! Please join me in praying that the Lord will send the perfect teacher to that school.

Glory to the God who hears and answers the cry of His servants!

Dios te bendiga!