Called to Seek Him First

We are two years into our first term right now and have experienced pretty much everything we were warned about before we left and a few other realities. Things like…

  • how dumb you’ll feel
  • how you’ll have to remind yourself you were a professional at one point; things on the surface will seem the same, but underneath things are very different
  • the wall you’ll feel not being able to communicate at all; the pace of life will slow way down; the reality that all things “church” as you knew it would be gone-there’s a reason you’re going there to church plant.
  • God doesn’t necessarily send us into another comfort zone, rather one completely opposite of us
  • the reality of how hard it is some days to step out of the house and face the culture again, how easier it is to just stay inside
  • it’s not just about our expectations-the culture may have theirs of you
  • in all attempts to not offend, you still will
  • how God calls us to love, but what about those days we can’t anymore
  • in every attempt to do things “right”, you’ll do it all “wrong”
  • the frustrations of everything don’t go away, they just become normal and what you expect
  • the reality of loneliness is an understatement
  • the reality of how intentional you have to be about everything
  • you may be having a good day, but your kids are not
  • it takes putting on your “tough skin” just to go out everyday, but in love, of course
  • every person in your family is experiencing all this too, it’s not just about how you feel
  • the literal pain and nausea experienced in flipping through photo albums and remembering where we were before God called us here, it’s all gone, just memories now.

My list could easily go on, but I think you get the point.  If our “call” were a feeling, we wouldn’t still be here. It wouldn’t have lasted. Because we can say without any doubt God directed our steps and spoke to both our hearts so loudly about making this change for Him, we can keep going. We must keep seeking Him first. We must “fix” our eyes continually on Him. If we don’t do this “first” we won’t make it. We don’t have it on our own. Our “love” for this culture can only come from Him; ours is conditional, His is unconditional. He helps us understand things we can’t on our own.

I’m so thankful for His Word and many promises. How I have clung to them to feel safe, sane, comforted, and strong.  I have written down several scriptures and placed them literally all over our home so that we see them all the time. They must be ever before us, in more ways than one.

I’m reminded of a morning last year when I was driving to my language class. I had the I AM They cd playing and the song “Make a Way” was on. I’d heard it several times before but suddenly the lyrics were loud and clear; “you brought me to the desert so you would be my water…” I thought “How true!” It was a great reminder to me about how it is about Him not us. He’s called us to a place where we literally need Him- how wonderful! What a place to be. So no matter how hard, frustrating or tough it may be- we have Him. That is all we need. Our hope is our reason. We may continue to struggle because we’re human, but one day we will not struggle anymore. We continue to obey and seek Him first and our hope becomes our destination.

By: Bethany Ely, Serving in Germany