Time for Change...
Updated: Nov 5, 2018
The year was 2007, and my life was about to take a significant turn. My husband, two babies and I were moving down to southern Mexico, offering ourselves to help establish a worship ministry in my brother-in-law’s church. This picture was taken during “moving week,” when we took down all of the belongings that we would need for the indefinite stay. I had no idea of all that was to come…
We moved. Wholeheartedly. Willingly. Without reserve.
We didn’t know how long God would have us in Tabasco, Mexico, but we were prepared to stay as long as He desired. We left our jobs, sold our not-so-necessary belongings, bundled our three-year-old and six-month-old daughters up and headed south. It was certainly stepping out in faith. We knew what our aim and our purpose was, and had peace that it was the right step.
We were hungry. To be used. To be a blessing. To grow.
We needed to expand beyond a career ladder, beyond dollar signs and busyness. We longed to see what else God could teach us and do in us. We knew He had equipped us with certain skills and talents, and we saw a need that required people with those same qualities to come and fill it. Without a doubt, we knew that the Holy Spirit was leading us into this new season.
It was risky. Financially. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.
But not spiritually. Spiritually it made perfect sense. It required faith. It required us to leave our comfort, to step away from our “guaranteed” financial resources, and to move a great distance from those whom we loved and depended on. We were exposing ourselves to risk and danger (in the natural), but we were also exposing ourselves to see His abundance and sufficiency in all things. We saw over, and over, and over again His protection, His provision, His favor, His strength in us, His grace covering us…and we were changed. I was changed.
Tabasco changed me. Not the physical location itself, nor my cultural experiences there. It was the giving of myself to God in the going… and in the staying. There were very, very difficult times that I experienced while we were there, but it had nothing to do with the people or the food or the change in finances or the weather or the bugs and snakes and scorpions. My most difficult and heart-wrenching moments came when I stood face-to-face with myself. With who I really was. The reality of my flesh – living and active, and wreaking havoc on my world. When I was living in the States, I had my job, my car, a busy schedule, things to do, people to see, places to go, goals to achieve… and I had not yet been forced to face myself in all of my in-gloriousness. So, Tabasco was a beautiful, tropical, brightly colored full-length mirror that forced me to look at myself and decide. Am I going to continue to be and live this way? Or am I willing to sacrifice my SELF on the altar? Not some grotesque or morbid act of self-defilement, but rather a permanent surrender of my stubborn ways and habits, my self-righteous control.
There was literally a day when the Spirit of God gently and firmly spoke to me and said, “You have a choice. You can choose to have your way, and in the process lose what you truly long for. Or you can surrender your way and let me give you my way. Your flesh will hate it, but you will see what you really long for become reality. But today, you will choose.”
It was a sobering and holy moment. Taking place in an old red truck, driving down a bumpy dirt road, holding my baby, tears streaming down my face. I knew I had to choose Him. The other choice was no choice at all. I knew what was down that road. Loneliness, regret, hurt people, and the sorrow of the missed opportunity, and a life that never became what He had designed.
It was down this bumpy road that my heart was slowly, day by day and by His grace, being softened and molded. Eternal changes took place in me that are still bearing fruit to this day.
I don’t know where you are at today, whether you are at a crossroads of change or going down your own bumpy road in the process of change. But wherever you are, when He speaks to your heart and tells you to choose, please choose His way. Do not fear. Don’t listen to the clanging voices that tell you He will fail you… they are lies – straight from the father of lies. Listen to the still, small Voice who is quietly reminding you that He is the great I Am, that He has created you for His pleasure and His purpose, and that He will take you into all kinds of wonderful, hard, and thrilling adventures if you will just surrender to Him.
Are you ready for a change? Today, where you stand, He is telling you to choose.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
Choose His way. For yourself. For your future. For your family. For your generations that will come after you. For the purpose He has created in you. For His pleasure and delight. Choose. And choose well.
He is with you!
**Photos were taken in Comalcalco, Tabasco, Mexico in 2007. The top photo was taken outside of the Walmart-like grocery store there in town. The bottom photo is the road that led to the house where we were living. There were monkeys living in those trees! Lots of wonderful stories and good times.
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