Showing My Hand...

The time has arrived to lay all of our cards out on the table ... We are not moving to Michigan. We are renting a house in the area for 9-12 months. We are on our way to full-time orphan ministry/mission work in 2010.

There it is; the secret I've been so cryptically keeping from you.

Now to pick those cards back up and possibly explain to you how we arrived in such a radical place... and you, go right ahead and pick up your jaw from off of the table :). I'm sure you're as shocked as I was when I got the call from Alex in January. Ooops, I've jumped ahead a bit. How about we start with a proper explanation ...

When Alex and I met and married in 1997, we began saving our pennies for our 'dream house' in the country. It was a collective goal and we did everything we could as 'American dreamers' to make it happen. In 2004, we found 'IT' - a beautiful piece of country property with lots of trees and a lovely home. Now THIS was the place we would live until our last breath. We held onto this place with fists-clenched; nothing could separate us from this land, nothing. Right.

Fast forward 4 more years to August of 2008. Alex was presented with an amazing job opportunity. The only catch - a necessary move to Michigan. Hmmmm.... could we possibly part with the dream home? It is funny how God works. Due to the cutbacks in Alex's field, this opportunity appeared to be the right thing. It was the right thing; but not in any way we anticipated. Our fingers began to loosen on this place and we began to walk through the Michigan door.

We listed our house. Last fall, we thought we had our beloved place sold. We took a jaunt up to Grand Rapids and put a contract on a really nice home. The home was amazing; why didn't it feel like my home?? On the very last day at the very last hour of the option period, the buyers on our house backed out. That was early October; remember that stock market collapse and the beginning of the economic crisis we now live in? We begrudgingly backed out on the house in Michigan and began the wait; the wait that would change everything.

Gently, God continued to remove all things material from our radar. Seriously. The unbelievably-materialistic-me that used to be was simply gone. (I know high school and college friends, this is a shocker, eh?) Vanished. And the woman left in her place had come to a realization that life held a beautiful simplicity, previously unrecognized. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of the simple.

In January of this year, everything I know about stability began to crumble. One Sunday at church, a friend and I were gabbing about our upcoming move, the economy, our house, etc. She made a comment to me that 'maybe this wasn't the job.' Me, being me, blew this statement off and said indignantly 'we need to have a job and this is a job.' In my mind I wondered how she could be so bold and so wrong. Hard head I have.

The. very. next. day. my sweet husband calls me from out of town telling me that he and God have had a pow-wow and we are to take our heart for orphans wherever God leads, even internationally. WHAT? Had he gone mad? Alex's heart was pure and his motives sincere. Me, well I was still several steps behind him thinking that surely he heard it all wrong! No way was God calling us to leave everything. The objections began to play in my mind like a bad movie ... we are unqualified, unequipped, inexperienced, untrained, selfish (well, I am), you name it. We have 4 young children, for goodness sake! We are the LAST people who should be missionaries.

However, I know this man, my husband. He is not a flippant, fickle soul. He is the person that I know best in this world. And I promise you, he loves the Lord. I've seen it time and again... and, because of that, I would follow this man to the ends of the earth to do what his hands and heart were made to do, love children without Daddies and Mommies.

So, knowing my Alex, I began to ask ... what if this was true? What if God cares more about our heart for orphans than our qualifications? What if this literal burden we have for children without is more than just a passing concern? What if all of my writing on taking care of the fatherless is the rubber about to meet the proverbial road of reality? What if?

These last 5 months have been an amazing time of preparation. Alex and I have grown together through this huge decision. And now, the path seems like the most natural, most obvious path available to take.

Out of the blue a few weeks ago, an old friend called to see if Alex wanted to come on board to do consulting. There is something special about this friend... he 'gets' my husband's heart. This man supports missionaries in Israel and he has said that Alex can have as much time off as we will need to prepare. And he knows that Alex's time with him will be fixed. Coincidence?

North Texas, here we stay; with family and friends as we prepare for what is sure to be the ride of our lives. Our hands are wide open now, freely accepting from God what He has planned and freely giving it all back to Him to use for His purpose. It is all His. Our hearts, our home, our furniture, our family. It is all His.

So friends, this is the 'big reveal.' (hat tip to Mrs. Edwards). Please know, the most important part is not the big reveal, it is the 'extreme makeover' that God has done in our lives and the lives of so many throughout this age and thousands of years before. We are a tiny, tiny piece of His unbelievable plan for the fatherless.

Please pray with us for the children in this world who have very little hope for a Daddy and Mommy. Please pray for us that God will use our paltry offering and multiply it beyond belief. Please pray that He will be glorified in all of this. Please pray that we have the courage and the strength to walk through the next open door.

Peace and love,

Related Ramblings:
The Call - April 23, 2009
Breaking Hearts - April 19, 2009
You Have to Know - March 23, 2009
Sticky Labels - February 12, 2009
Living in the Center - February 6, 2009
Remembering - February 2, 2009


My heart and my prayers are with you in your new journey!
Mrs. Edwards said…
When I was about 12 my parents sold a family business to join Wycliffe Bible Translators and we uprooted from the state I'd always lived in, the state my dad had always lived in, and became missionaries. So in a way, I'm not surprised at all by your big reveal. After all, when God transforms our hearts we begin to see that everything is different and we just can't go on aiming for the same thing that everyone around us aims for. From reading your posts I could see God's work in your heart and this seems to be the only natural outcome.

I look forward to more information and will pray for you in the days and weeks ahead. Exciting times!

gracie :) said…
In awe of God's ways and excited to see the rest of the story as it develops! I am so very excited for you guys!
What an exciting time in your life!!
Pam said…
Laura, I have not checked your blog for a few weeks, but in reading this post it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to me that you would be serving God through ministry to orphans full time. Several of your posts during these last several months have displayed your changing heart, so as a blog reader, knowing you only from the words you write here, I am not surprised. I am excited for you!!! God is so good!

Popular Posts