I’m heeding the nudge of the Spirit to chronicle My husband and my and our now OUR family’s story of calling.
I am choosing this for Tuesdays because of some of the special women at Jen’s (especially Amy) that I have been getting to know for a few weeks, and I feel that you and any other consistent readers (especially dear Cherry, who is a co-laborer and beloved bloggy friend) might be the most blessed to hear this story.
But, truly, I know I need to do this for myself and my God as we continue this unique journey that will, prayerfully, land me in Budapest, Hungary as a long-term missionary within the year.
Trusting all who read be blessed with a touch of Him…
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way; walk in it.”
~Isaiah 30:20-21 (NIV)
It is hard to know where to start. Here goes…
It began long before we met, though we likely passed each other in the halls of our high school. Yes, we went to the same high school. I knew his older brother. Who was a year behind me in school. Ha! You’re getting the picture. My beloved was a freshman when I was a senior and we spent two different years at the same school. The one when he had just poked his head into middle school and I was the last of the towering ninth graders (freshmen better known as). The following year, freshmen would be attending high school with sophomores, juniors and seniors providing the opportunity for us to share (sort of) one more year in the same school.
We both believed in and loved Jesus during those high school years. I was perhaps a bit more bold (okay, a lot more, you can read ‘Bible banger’ but there is Grace. I was doing the best with what I had and claim true ‘Word that won’t return void.’) But here is what was the same. Our fledgling love for Jesus lacked the guidance and leadership to be strong in the midst of friends falling into parties. drinking. sex. throwing themselves into the reckless lot of the world. My heart broke for them and I did the best I could, but I had so much to learn and was hurting…there were those who reached out to me, but weren’t equipped and I left battered and sitting on a ton of stuff.
His story through high school was similar. He left with lots of regret of not living for his faith and beginning on that only path worth being on while I left wondering if I needed to walk my talk and love with deeper integrity.
One ‘random’ day as I had been planning to major in Elementary Education in college my twin sister suggests (she epitomized practical (yin) and I epitomized head-in-clouds, nose-in-books oblivious (yang)) ‘Abby, why don’t you pick a secondary concentration in a subject you are good at like…Math? since the Elementary Ed field is so flooded??…’ Guidance counseling session closed. I would declare a ‘Math/ Secondary Education’ major the following fall.
He picked his college based on the football program that he wanted to play with…having been re-directed in the final time of deciding…picked a simple major, ‘Business’ and off he went.
In our freshmen years of college we were both pursued by gifted discipleship leaders who persisted and were extremely faithful. We were both led through the same discipleship program, called Sonship (highly recommended…others have been developed…Gospel Transformation and Gospel-Centered Life). God poured the Gospel vividly through ALL. OF. OUR. LIVES. We were forever changed.
I began to dream big dreams about SAVING. THE. WORLD! Of course, it would be Jesus, but I was going wherever. You can read some of that story here. Becoming fluent in Spanish, adding that as a major, and in the spring of my junior year when I had dreamed every missionary dream decided, “oh, maybe I should start to work with high school students since I am majoring in Secondary Education??!!” (idealist dreamer should never die but at some point feet must hit the ground;)
He was finding life in deep, accountable relationships and wondering how he could ‘give this back.’ (note: it is not a coincidence that his paragraphs are MUCH more concise)
I went far and wide and taught at a Christian high school and poured everything I could into my students and wherever else I could take my feet. His hands and feet, I prayed. I began seminary and continued groping for what a ‘call to full-time ministry’ might look like. Followed Dreams and Saw Visions of Urban Renewal and thought I had met my life partner. Hard-headed me refused to see the signs and had my heart and world completely broken. I knew nothing except that I was to return home—this was the last place my dreams would have taken me.
He returned home too. Gladly. A Business degree in toe and got a starter job in this field. He was dealing with his own brokenness and a yearning to live for Jesus and make a difference in this world was fanning to flame.
to be continued…
It appears this will be a longer series than I anticipated…I hope you aren’t bored…I promise our introduction to ministry in Hungary will be included next time! stay tuned!!!! please!! and, in the meantime…
WE ARE ALL CALLED IF WE ARE HIS. WHAT’S YOUR STORY? HOW WAS YOUR PARTICULAR CALLING SHAPED? I’D LOVE TO HEAR. LEAVE ME A COMMENT, BUT BETTER YET, GO WRITE YOUR STORY AND LET ME KNOW THE LINK. I WILL LOVE TO READ IT!
Join us at Jen’s for Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood on Tuesdays…it’s an amazing group!!!