Thursday, August 7, 2014

Never Say Never

I have said never.
I'm not one who thinks that every time one says never that God makes sure that's what happens.
I don't believe that God is simply out to derail everything we don't want to happen.
But I do believe that often times we speak out of ignorance.
We don't want certain things to happen ... so we say never.
Then God, in His lovingkindness, turns our never around on us.
He allows the opposite to happen for our good and His glory.

I have a handful of those times in my life when I said never.

#1 - I said I'd never attend a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With a Mission (YWAM).
My parents were encouraging it (and I was resisting) and my younger sister had gone before me.
She attended a DTS in Switzerland.
I was living in Israel and went to visit her when her school ended.
I was so inspired by the stories of the students who had just come back from outreach ...
and 6 short months later, I was in England attending a DTS.
It was a significant time of spiritual growth and healing in my life!

In England @ the YWAM base

#2 - I swore I would never attend a School of Biblical Studies (SBS) with YWAM.
When I was in England on my DTS, my younger sister was in Hawaii attending the SBS.
I said never.
NINE months of intense Bible study ... there was no way.
I didn't like school.  I didn't want to sit at a desk all day.
But God began speaking to me, and opening doors for me to attend one in Montana.
Only 3 months after finishing my DTS, I was on my way to Montana to attend the SBS.

In Montana for SBS

#3 - College.  Never.
I was going to be a missionary for life.
I would stay on staff with YWAM until retirement ... should that day ever come.
I didn't want to stop doing ministry and leading outreach teams to go to school.
But after 5 years on staff with YWAM, I had earned 72 credits from the University of the Nations (a non- accredited YWAM Uni.)
God led me home ... where I submitted an application to Colorado Christian University (CCU).
They accepted 68 of the 72 credits I had.
AND I graduated in 15 months with a B.S. in Christian Leadership.

#4 - I thought I would never marry.
But - should God bring someone into my life, we would have a long term relationship before getting married.  Slow.  That's what I wanted.
I watched so many of my YWAM friends meet and marry in 6 months or less.
That was NOT going to be me.
But you guessed it.
Again, God redirected my never.
I met Steve in January, when I was at CCU.
We started dating in March.
We were engaged in May.
And we married in August.
EIGHT months.
Although our first year of marriage was exceedingly difficult ...
we are about to celebrate 16 years of marriage in 2 weeks!
Marriage has certainly been a venue that God has used to bring about growth!

August 22, 1998

#5 - Kids.  No way!
I couldn't imagine being a mom.
I was a missionary ... set on traveling the world to tell others about Christ.
I loved teaching the Bible and wanted to go on teams to teach leaders in the 10/40 window.
My intentions were good.
But God knew I had much to learn by being a mom.
5 years into our marriage, we started a family.
In 6 1/2 years, we had 4 kids.
Now, I'm a stay home, home schooling mom and I love it.
God uses the daily moments to refine me, as I am tested and challenged.

Mother's Day 2014

#6 - I was not going to raise my family in Colorado.
Although I'm a native, and I love Colorado ...
I really wanted to live in Montana.
I lived there for 6 years before I knew Steve.
We lived there our 2nd year of marriage.
I wanted to have some land and call Montana home.
But after being gone for 5 years, God brought our family home.
He knew that we would need the support of our families during this season of life.
And we needed to be close to them.  And I am SO very thankful to be here!
August 4th, was our 3rd anniversary in this house.
AND it's the longest place we've lived anywhere.

#7 - I would not, could not ever be a missionary in a place like Africa.
I could go on short term trips ... but live there?  Never!
Now, God has burdened my heart for Tanzania.
The vision of starting a school there breathes life into my exhausted soul.
I dream of going back ... and being an active part of establishing a school that will change the lives of Tanzania's orphans.
I hope and pray for the day that God takes our family there.
Maybe only for a few months at first ... but then for a longer period of time.
2 ... 3 ... 4 years?
And so I wait to see how God would work through this "never."
He has already softened and opened my heart toward it.
So maybe ... one day!

And I am absolutely certain that those are not the only times I will say never.
And when I do ... God will love me enough to use those nevers
to bring glory to Himself through me.

1 comment:

  1. We serve a gracious God who works with our imperfections and absolutes. So grateful that He "never" gives up on us. xoxo