We have a family motto that addresses 3 areas (plus one more for the parents).
- Read & Live (the Word)
- Be thankful & Pray (always)
- Care (about others) & Share
The above 3 are quite simple to remember even for our children, but not always so easy to practice. For Jeanette & me, we do have one more.
- Trust & Surrender
I am making progress, but still continue to struggle. I have an innate desire to want to control how life & ministry unfold. Letting go has been tough, but I am glad that it is an area in which my wife’s strength lies… probably because she had many occasions to practice.
When I told my girlfriend of 2 years that I was planning to enter seminary & ministry, she didn’t talk to me for 4 weeks. It took many prayers, consulting the counsel of godly people & ultimately what God was speaking to her heart to move her to trust & surrender. One year later we were married & off to seminary.
When our son was 2-1/2 years old, life threw us a curve ball, and Jeanette miscarried. For the next few years she couldn’t conceive. We always wanted at least 2 children. Jeanette comes from a big family and she always adored little ones so it was natural for us to see ourselves raising multiple children. However, after many years of unanswered prayer to conceive again, I had to reluctantly accept the possibility that maybe it was God’s will for us to have just one child. For me, it was a tough pill to swallow. Jeanette simply trusted & surrendered to the Lord. For those who know us, you know how that story unfolds and we are now blessed with 3 wonderful children.
Let’s fast forward some years. One day I had to share with Jeanette that I believe God was calling us to East Asia for missions. At first, she didn’t understand because things were going relatively well in life & ministry. At that point, one could say that we had built up to where things were comfortable and it wouldn’t be easy to let it all go. I have to admit that though I said it, even I didn’t understand it. One thing about God’s calling is that when we desire to grow deeper in Him, it only gets louder & stronger. Eventually Jeanette placed her trust in the Lord who has been so faithful… and surrendered.
Without her continual trusting & surrendering, we wouldn’t have come this far. I am very grateful to the Lord for making her strong in the area where I struggle.
Last week was our 22nd wedding anniversary. We celebrated at home with our children. As always Jeanette cooked dinner, but I did go out & buy, for the very 1st time since coming to Taiwan, Häagen-Dazs ice cream. It may sound too plain for an anniversary dinner, but we appreciated that ice cream like never before. We have a deeper sense of gratitude because we are beginning to see beyond what’s right in front of us and we know that all we have is given by His grace. Our heavenly Father is truly worthy of our complete trust & surrender.