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

On Being Safe, by Elizabeth

When Jonathan stepped off the plane from Cambodia I gave him the Phil Wickham CD Heaven and Earth. It is such a treasure. In fact, the 6th song on the album, Safe, helped me say YES to overseas missions. It echoed something Wendy Gibson, one of our Team Expansion coaches, told me: I can trust God to be with me across the ocean. The chorus sings: “You will be safe in His arms, the hands that hold the world are holding your heart. This is the promise He made, He will be with you always, when everything is falling apart you will be safe in His arms.” Those words gave and give me comfort in knowing God is always with me, wherever I am. Somehow I had forgotten. Phil and Wendy reminded me.