I have been wrestling the last few weeks over this decision of whether to move to Kona and work for Call2All or to stay here in Tacoma for now. Initially, as is typical for me, my excitement over the opportunity was my driving force. Now, also typically, some logical and practical considerations are making me take a step back to evaluate whether this is something I'd really say yes to or not. I have taken a lot of comfort in Jacob, who also wrestled with the Lord. (I'll probably post a blog in a day or two about all I have been gleaning from his wrestle.)
On the one hand, there are lots of really good reasons to go. Those to whom I have talked to about this say things like, "You've been talking about the nations ever since I have known you." "You should go, why wouldn't you?" And, it is a REALLY great opportunity. I'd get to be a part of an organization that is doing some amazing things. Getting to go to the nations is also a big plus.
On the other hand, I'd be doing administration. Administration. This is something I am gifted at, but for sure not the fullness of my heart. To this, I have a whole other group of friends who warn me about not settling for Ishmael, when Isaac is the promise.
(As a side note, I love when people share their opinions with me. This isn't because I am going to actually make my decision off of other's opinions, but rather that there is SUCH good wisdom and truth that comes out of these conversations which will help me make my own decision.)
I have noticed (and this is not a knock on any one organization/group etc.) that because so few people are actually *good* at administration, as soon as it is discovered that someone is gifted in that area, it's all people can think about. People who are good at administration tend to get placed into this box. The problem is that for me, I don't quite fit into the box. I'd probably have a head and an elbow sticking out. It would become uncomfortable for me after a while.
The thing is, that when I look at all of the reasons to say yes or all of the reasons to say no, neither list feels like the overwhelmingly obvious answer. It would take a step of faith for me to go, and it would require the same step of faith for me to stay.
There is a big cost to saying "Yes" to this. And, if I am honest, that scares me. The cost of following the Lord is always there, but until you are actually confronted with "putting your money where your mouth is" and you actually have to give up real, tangible things, it is easier to *say* yes than it is to *do* yes. In my opinion most people truly never really *do* yes fully. They have a whole list of things that they won't give up. It becomes clear when the Lord actually does ask them and they won't do it. Anything we say we "won't give up" prevents us from being fully obedient to the Lord. It places US firmly on the throne of our lives instead of God.
For me, at minimum, I would be giving up:
1. the security of a place to live, my house
2. the security of a job, instead living off of support
3. having family near by
4. the area of friendships, I'll need to start over in developing community in Kona, and I'll be gone from Kona so much, that this will even be a challenge
5. my stuff, including pets and perhaps even family heirlooms
6. my calling-specifically my teaching and counseling gifting
7. my desire to be a wife and mother
I think it's number six that is pressing me and causing the most wrestle right now. Because doing administration is not my calling. Do I relinquish even the dreams and hopes and vision of what *I* want for a dream, a vision and a calling that could have a greater impact on the world than my own personal desires in this area?
If I went, I'd have to go trusting the Lord to meet my every need. I'd have to believe that though I would be doing administration, it would be a stepping stone to something else (what that "else" is, I have no idea) or that at a minimum, being a part of what is happening would be enough for me. I'd have to trust that by laying aside *my* version of what I feel called to do for the bigger and greater purpose of serving Call2All that I will be blessed. I would have to trust that by giving up everything (and I do mean everything) I'd gain something eternal.
In Luke 9 (and Matthew 8), Jesus talks about the cost of following Him:
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Sometimes I wonder if all of my rational, logical reasons for doubting are just excuses. Like the men in Luke, am I saying "Yes" with my mouth but not with my actions? Are all of my fears just really things that I am idolizing and putting me first on? Or, is this a real discernment on my part about settling for second best rather than holding out for the best?
I am not certain of the answer. And, so, the wrestle continues....