Does it ever seem to you that right when you have life figured out, things change on you? After spending one year in America, last year I moved back to a new house and a new ministry in the Middle East. Talk about change!
Last week I turned 47. For me this birthday is a natural turning point to reflect on my calling, recent changes, and the future.
My calling and passion:
I discovered my calling the year I met an Iranian girl named Fariba. I was a student at the University of Texas. She introduced me to about 20 Iranian friends. I shared my faith with them, had an English conversation club for women, and lived through the horror of accidently serving pork lasagna to Fariba’s M mother! That year God gave me a passion to share His love with M women.
Fifteen years later my husband and I brought our family to the Middle East. We grew into a mentoring/discipleship ministry in a local church. God gave me many opportunities to use my gifts to encourage women. It was a fruitful time, and I settled into feeling secure. I felt like I was in my element.
Last year God called me to leave that security to step out of the boat with my husband and start a new church plant. He gave us new ministry partners. Although we’ve been working seven months sharing the good news with M friends, we don’t see many results yet. Others who have planted fellowships in this country tell me I’d better dig in my heels and keep my eyes on Jesus for the long haul.
Walking by faith:
I know God is calling us, but things don’t feel so safe or predictable right now. This is a new level of walking by faith. We’re on the road to discovering how God can use our gifts in evangelism and church planting. I have questions: What if we fail? How can I use my gifts to reach M women? This is an in between time when I need to keep taking steps towards our new vision.
Three years ago God gave me a new life verse, and it gives me a great lens through which to look at life in the midst of change.
But I am like an olive tree
Flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever.
I will praise you forever for what you have done;
In your name I will hope, for your name is good.
These verses show me several things to hold onto right now:
- Hope for the Future
- Trust in God’s goodness and love
- Praise for what God has done
Have you gone through any changes lately? How are you coping?