I was angry with God. My parents had just announced to my brother and I that they felt God was asking them to become missionaries, and I was scared and sad and furious at what that might mean for me. God was ruining my life plans. Didn’t He care about me at all?
However, as the weeks went by, I began to think that this missionary plan might not come to fruition after all. My mother was sick, and had been sick for a very long time with what doctors thought was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). She couldn’t stand or walk for more than a few minutes (sometimes not at all), and there were days when she couldn’t speak clearly either. How could our family travel across the world when she was so weak? My parents had been asking themselves the same question, and they decided to make my mother’s health the test of their calling.
One day, they gathered ministers and church leaders around my mother for an anointing service (see James 5:14-15), praying that God would confirm the call to missions through her healing. And she was instantly healed. She could stand; she could walk; she could sing and talk. In the following days, our neighbours would rush out of their houses to ask her what had happened when they saw her walking down the street instead of being pushed in a wheelchair. From that day to this, the symptoms of CFS have never returned.
After such a clear miracle, I reluctantly accepted God’s call to my family and what that might mean for me.
In the process, God began to soften my heart and show me that He had not forgotten me in the middle of this; He did indeed care about me, too.
For example, as we prepared to move from the UK to the US for training, we had to give away almost all our possessions, and I was so sad to lose our piano. I thought that would be the end of my playing. But when we moved to America, and we opened the door to our new rented apartment (which we hadn’t seen before), the first thing I saw was a baby grand piano sitting in the living room. It felt like a smile from God, an assurance that everything would be alright.
Then God enlarged the scope of my dreams. Far from ruining my life plans, He set me on a new, much more exciting trajectory that included travel and overseas study and a mission experience of my own. I met people and learned skills and had adventures that I could never have imagined before. And it all started with a calling I hadn’t initially wanted to say “yes” to.
Now, as I face a new crossroads in my life, with all the accompanying uncertainty, I remind myself of these stories of what God has done in my past. There is hope for my future. God always has better and bigger plans than I can dream up for myself.
“‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’” (Isaiah 55:8 NLT)
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’” (Romans 8:15 MSG)
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