I’m a planner. I like setting goals, arranging details, and sticking to the program. I’m one of those people who immediately arranges a place setting to my preferences and can instantly tell if something is out of place at my desk. When things go off plan, I tend to get a bit freaked out. It may not be visible on the outside but trust me when I tell you, my mind begins to race and my body starts to respond to the stress. And yes, with God’s help, I’m working on it.
When we learned my previous lawyer did nothing he said he had regarding my residency application, my mind went into crisis mode. “What are we going to do now?”, I thought? I had carefully planned out 2017 and loosely planned for furlough to begin mid 2018. Beyond that, I had planned for us to return to Greece and get busy planting a church. The big problem being that, “I had planned.” Although I prayed over these things, they weren’t God’s plans. He simply hadn’t revealed His plans to us until just a few weeks ago at which time I asked myself an important question. Who is in charge of my life, me or God? It certain seems much clearer now than when I first faced these circumstances. My life isn’t my own. I am bought with a price. Yet, I began to stress when I should have simply trusted God.
Now that things have settled down and I’ve placed my trust where it should’ve been in the first place, God is showing us more of His plan… and it is exciting! Do I still need to make plans and attend to details? Of course, but it’s so much more peaceful following God’s direction than trying to blaze my own path. What seemed like a big disappointment at the time is proving to be a huge blessing.
The road ahead is definitely clearer now than at any time in the past three years. Because of my visa situation, we are moving our furlough up one year. We’ll be returning to the States at the end of June 2017 and returning to Greece at the beginning of March 2018. After our return, we will be moving to either Athens or Thessaloniki (the Lord hasn’t showed us that part of His plan just yet… and that’s OK!) to begin the preliminary work of establishing a new Baptist church! I’ve never doubted God called our family here to plant a church and now He is giving us the desire of our hearts sooner than we expected.
Things I figured would need countless hours of planning are falling into place even without my involvement. “Lord, please show me where we should look for furlough housing?”, I prayed. The next day, I receive an email that a family in our home church is making a house available to us for the duration. I didn’t even have to ask! “God, please show me what to do regarding residency.”- Done! Our new lawyer did some digging and made some recommendations which are so easy, she doesn’t even have to be involved in the process which will begin when we return next year. It’s so nice to focus on the important thing, getting the Gospel to the people God has brought into our lives, rather than sweating details of things God is already attending to.
I’ve heard the following statement many times in my life but I believe I never really understood how until now- “Let God be God.” I need to trust Him more without going in front of Him. I’m to be a follower of Christ, not one who goes my own way hoping to find Him wherever I wind up. The road ahead looks better than ever.