When Mason & I were making the radical move from Texas (solid church, growing youth ministry, stable jobs, great friends, etc.) we felt pretty crazy. It seemed that very few people understood our decision to obey God. He had clearly told us to step in faith; for us that meant that we had to move halfway around the world.
Could we have stayed in Keller, TX for another 3 years to complete the timeframe we initially thought we would be there for?
Yes. But that would have been disobedient.
Could we have moved to another state?
Sure. But, that’s not what God told us to do.
God told us to pick up our freshly potted roots (truly, I felt as if we had just finally settled and begun to be ourselves in life) and go to jobs that we were unprepared for, in positions that would tax us both. We were finally at the point financially where we had some money in savings, making progress towards paying off school debt, and upping our monetary offerings to support more missionaries.
Life was good.
but it wasn’t best.
Our actions made no sense. Yeah, it seemed pretty radical. We lost friends through it, made friends through it, angered quite a few people, and were challenged to new growth, sacrifice, deeper love and forgiveness than either of us had experienced before.
It wasn’t long after we knew what steps God had for us to take that we heard about Francis Chan’s ministry transition. Ours was pretty much shaking our world upside down; but, in comparison, the Chan family’s transition was so much more extreme. Mason and I just looked at each other and shared a moment of relief: “we’re not the only crazy ones!” We thanked God for using their example to affirm and encourage us when it would have been so much easier to succumb to popular belief and just stay in TX.
I revisited these now-memories as I watched this video of Francis Chan speaking at Catalyst: http://vimeo.com/15995250
In the context of our culture, man’s thinking, worldly ambition (yes, even in the post-postmodern church) these steps do not make sense. However, they align beautifully with the life God has for each of us to live.
If you place your life, your story, in Scripture, does it fit? Would you be overlooked? Would you be seen as a radical?
Thank you Marla for sharing your story. I’m proud to join the crazy group.
Amen. Not much more to say, but God’s receiving glory! 🙂