This year has been a life-changing year for us. It’s amazing what can happen when as ministry workers you take a step outside of your world and come back to basics with God. We are nowhere near perfect but this year God has really blessed the decision to step back and take a Sabbath break by giving us WAY more than what we gave to Him. When we first stepped back, it seemed like we were giving Him our whole world. Now, what we have gained is far greater.
After gaining many revelations about Him through the Fatherheart “A” School (run by Fatherheart ministries), our YWAM conference, a time of debriefing, and two separate training courses that Noom participated in (3D Sports Coaching and Fathers Arise) we have now come to a time of uncertainty about our future. This is both exciting and nerve racking for us. Our hearts are still for Isaan, but we feel like we are entering into a season of training that might have us away from Isaan for a few years. We feel like this training season, however, is to prepare us for our future in Thailand and especially Isaan.
There are so many training options with YWAM, and we are currently praying about whether to train in Thailand with what YWAM Thailand offers, or to go even further into family ministry, social work and/or sports ministry trainings with other YWAM bases.
Throughout this time where we have no idea where in Thailand we’ll be after November this year, God stills our souls. We want to plan, we want to prepare our children, we want answers, but when we pray He responds with “Trust Me and be still.” He wants to plan it for us. He wants to give us the answers in His time. He wants us, like a father and his children, to take His hand and run with Him through the water at the most beautiful beach, squealing with excitement at every new experience, every new smell, every new breeze of fresh wind that blows in our faces. He has our backs.
It’s through these times of uncertainty that we get to experience Him in a new way. If we knew exactly where we were going, we wouldn’t get the THRILL of running alongside the King of the Universe. We would still run alongside Him, but it wouldn’t be as thrilling. When I was a young child, there was one year leading up to Christmas where I had searched through my parent’s wardrobe in order to find what presents they had bought for me and my brothers. I was excited to see it was exactly what I wanted, but as soon as I felt that excitement it was quickly replaced by a disappointment that I wouldn’t wake up on Christmas morning with a thrilling excitement to open my gift – I already knew what it was. As children, if we knew exactly what gifts we were receiving on our birthday or Christmas Day, we wouldn’t have the thrill of waking up in the morning and running to our presents. We wouldn’t feel the relief and gratitude when we opened our presents and realised that our parents DID know what we wanted and provided it for us.
For those of us who grew up in a place or house where we couldn’t celebrate birthdays or Christmas that way, God wants us to experience what our heart’s deepest desire is through Him. He can give us back a hundred times more than anything we feel we’ve missed out on if we just let Him.
In times of uncertainty, there is a promise. This promise is well-known amongst Christians today, but the power of it is almost always underestimated. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). In times of uncertainty for our future, or any uncertainty we might be facing, we can know that because of God’s promises and powerful love and grace for us, He DOES have a future for us. Our future is FULL of surprises and precious gifts (note: I’m not talking about materialistic gifts, although He sometimes throws them in too). We’ll definitely have struggles and trials, but He promises to never leave us. Even for those in a time of persecution or in physically isolated places, if we are looking to Him there is deep peace and a special connection with Him that we wouldn’t know otherwise.
Whether we are waiting on Him regarding our future, regarding material needs, regarding a job, a much-needed holiday, or bigger needs like freedom, breakthrough or revelation, will we be still while we wait? Or will we try in our own strength to seek out what we need? Will we wait for “Christmas Day” to open these precious gifts, and trust in Him in the meantime? I believe that when we wait on Him there’s a special thrill and excitement once He reveals each gift to us. Waiting develops character.
Please pray for us as we wait on Him regarding our next step towards more training.