Thoughts from Elizabeth in re: “The Call”

Here are some thoughts I recently shared with our sending church, which also happens to have been our home church for most of our life. 🙂

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I think over the years of talking about missionary work it has seemed more like Jonathan’s dream than mine . . . and I thought it was good enough to just follow my husband to a country God would show us, just like Sarah following Abraham. But after Jonathan’s trip to Cambodia this February it became clear to me that I needed to have the “call” too, and I didn’t feel like I had it. [I use the term Trailing Spouse to describe a person who is married to someone who wants to Go, but who doesn’t personally want to go.]

And so we took a step back to pray and re-evaluate our plans. We talked with the elders here at Red Bridge. They didn’t give us any answers, but they did give excellent counsel in regard to being unified on this issue.

So after praying separately about this, I really felt God calling me to go. I knew I had been given the freedom to stay in America, but when I contemplated that, it just wasn’t right. I knew we were supposed to go, and this time I knew God had told ME, not just Jonathan. I had never doubted Jonathan’s call, but I needed to hear it personally from God.

I just couldn’t seem to get over my fears of leaving the country. The song “Safe in His Arms” by Phil Wickham comforted me during this time – knowing God was going with me to a foreign country. I had forgotten He lived not only in America but elsewhere! After this time I felt sure that God was calling me to go – I no longer felt forced by my husband. So although it was a stressful time I am thankful we took that time to make sure both of us were equally committed to going to a faraway place to serve God.

I see my role overseas as similar to what it is here. I’ll still be the supportive ministry wife and home school mom. (Note to the uninitiated: those are big jobs.) I even see Jonathan’s role as not changing – he’ll still be an evangelist. (I have loved watching him transition to evangelism within Red Bridge’s Kids for Christ ministry.)

Besides all that normal ministry wife and homeschool mom work, I will be learning the language as full time as possible.

— Elizabeth

2 thoughts on “Thoughts from Elizabeth in re: “The Call”

  1. Thanks for sharing this! My husband is feeling a similar call– though not to a specific place yet– and I’m not quite there yet. I’d follow him anywhere, and I trust God to guide us, but I’m praying for that “call” on MY heart. Reading this has really encouraged me.

    • Amy, I SO get this. It felt like my desire would NEVER catch up to my husband’s. And like your husband, initially he did not feel called to a specific place. But my call is so strong now, and living overseas has changed me, strengthening my call so much more than I could have imagined. I feel so passionate about what we do and why we do it.
      May God give you the same calling that He has given your husband, and may you both be patient in the waiting, and the searching, and the stretching . . . Because if I had never stepped out, scared to death, in faith, to say yes, I don’t think I would be able to say today, that I am this passionate about seeing Christ’s love transform the world. By the way did you read my more complete version of this story in https://trotters41.com/2013/10/22/i-was-once-a-trailing-spouse-the-whole-story/ ? Just in case you hadn’t 🙂 God bless, and if you have any more questions or want to talk about anything else, feel free to ask (here, or a private message on our trotters41 FB page) ~Elizabeth

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