When Life starts unwinding around you, it’s not just a single thread that you can follow around and just wind back up neat and tidy. Typically, at least in my life it was a myriad of threads that were unwinding in succession, tangling even more as they crossed and connected.
Let me explain… We had been running our business with some of our kids. When we started the business, our plan was that eventually, they would take over so that we could go and travel or serve more in mission related activities.
This in fact is where the trouble began, not because it was a bad plan but because the kids didn’t and couldn’t understand it. Sadly, at this time, none of our Children are walking with the Lord, so the concept was not only strange to them, it was actually absurd. Why would anyone do that?
We can look back now and see how we were unevenly yolked, but at the time it was so easy to justify and tell ourselves that “they would see Jesus in us”. The problem was, we were not always a shining example of Jesus in their eyes, as we tried desperately to balance two worlds; one with Jesus as the center, and one where we didn’t offend our children.
We thought we were managing the balancing act until it actually started affecting work. Once that began… they began to rebel and complain. To understand, I have to take you back a few more years.
In 2012, Mike & I went on our very first mission trip to Costa Rica. Mike had travelled extensively though Mexico, and I had traveled to Mexico & Dominican Republic on a vacation, but neither of us had ever travelled with a mission focus. We came back from that trip with our eyes wide open and our hearts desiring more. I in fact, had been so deeply impacted by what I saw and experienced that it made it difficult to reconcile the type of work I was currently doing for a living.
I was an Interior Designer, I had spent years working towards my dream and had Big plans of what I wanted to achieve with it. It was all about me and my success in my abilities. I was also training my Daughter-in-law, as my assistant and we were doing very well. Yet… somehow it now felt less fulfilling…in fact it started to feel a little futile.
A year later, we were offered an opportunity to go on another Mission trip, this time to Senegal, West Africa. We were thrilled, but our kids were not… we should have seen the writing on the wall then, but sadly we were still too busy trying to balance everything, hoping that they would eventually just “get it”.
This trip changed the trajectory of my entire being. Serving with like minded people, Loving those that God put in front of us, seeing how majority of the world, outside of the comfortable Western Hemisphere, actually lived… this flipped my world upside down. We arrived home from this trip and days later found our city in the middle of a massive Flood.
With a heart sensing Gods call and Spirit so strongly, it took no time at all and we were both volunteering with a Christian disaster relief organization, coming alongside the people impacted so terribly by the flood. This clean up took about three months and by the end of this clean up, I was ALL IN. We continue serving alongside and working within this disaster relief organization as God just continued opening doors as fast as we could walk through them.
This was just the beginning of a life chapter that was changing faster than we could keep up, God had a hold of us in a brand new way, and we were receiving opportunities for personal growth and outreach ministry… and I was loving every single minute.
Sadly, we can see so clearly now how this new found passion impacted the kids. I was the face of the business, I was the one that made the connections and I was the one who was expected to keep that going. Problem was, God was regularly showing me that HE had a different plan for us.
My heart longed to spend time with Him, to go wherever He called me to go, and as a couple, we made that decision that we would do just that… We or I (if we both couldn’t) would Go. And go I did, since that time I have travelled to so many Countries, and served in more places than I can keep track of, ministering to people in the name of Jesus… I am beyond thankful for the opportunities I have been given.
This is where things started to getting really difficult. You see, the kids were not nearly as excited about these changes. They had no intention of staying back and working on building a business if we/ or I was off “playing”, so although we had poured our life savings into our business, did everything we could to set them up to continue, they would not come around. In their minds, I had abandoned them.
It took a long time for me to understand why this was so difficult for them. They always knew our faith, they would even come to Church with us.. that is, until we started chasing God’s plans over theirs. It took time, but God has just recently shown me that while we were trying to do a foolish balancing act, we were nothing more than a confusion to them.
They never really got to see our hearts, the fact is, they really didn’t want to. It took us a long time to understand that like so many of the adult children of this day & age, all that was truly important to them is how it affected them. In this we let them down, and we were even unwittingly sinning in our disobedience to God, although we also could not see it so clearly at that time.
What I have come to learn is that when Unbelievers see us, they can only see us through the eyes of darkness, because they don’t have the light of Jesus in them. IF in fact, we had made a clear choice of where we stood early on without the fateful balancing act… they might have actually had a chance of seeing the glimmers of light shining through.
But the truth is, darkness is opposed to the light and the enemy of our soul uses that for dissension. When we had one foot in the light and one foot in the dark, they couldn’t actually see the light in us, because Jesus could not be in the dark. We were inadvertently voiding him out.
So where do we go from here?
We recognize the difference between light and dark. We make a CHOICE as to which side we stand on, even if there is a cost. We pray constantly, that our kids, ALL of them would find their way to the Light, and trust that Jesus will reveal himself to them in due time. Finally, we trust that Gods plan for our lives is exceedingly better than what ours was for ourselves… and we surrender to that.
Thank you for your Word. Your Word speaks to me and challenges me to grow while correcting me when I fail. In your Word, Jesus tells us that God is Light and has no darkness in Him.
It tells us that when we follow the Lord and give our hearts to him as our Lord and Saviour we are not to keep willfully sinning. Because when we sin we are filled with darkness and God the Father can have no darkness in him. It tells us that if we continue willingly sinning we are lying to ourselves, and because God is light not darkness, he cannot be in correct relationship with us.
Lord Jesus, these are difficult words. Your Word reminds us the “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God“, O how I want to live in the Light of God, to be filled with His Light to walk in that Light Lord.
Thank you that by the blood of Jesus we can share unbroken fellowship, even while we ourselves our broken creatures. Thank you that Your Light Lord exposes my sin and brings it out of the darkness forcing me to see it for what it is.
Forgive me Lord, for not recognizing the division my sins cause between myself and the Father, Lord I repent of these sins that cause me to fall and keep me divided and separated. Teach me Lord to walk in your ways.. in the Light.
Thank you that your Word promises that when we fail, which we ALL will, then Jesus will go to the Father and plead our case for us…for me!! Lord God, teach me how to Love you more fully; body, mind and soul. I desperately want to obey you and be your child.
Help me Lord to follow the examples of Jesus as I live out my life for You each day every day. Pick me up when I fall and re-set me upon my feet with Your Light flooding my path… walking with me in this journey called life.
In Jesus name ❤️ Amen
Have you, like me, tried to live with one foot in each world? Maybe you like me, have children that are not following the Lord, and your heart breaks as you desire them to see, so you do everything you can not to ruffle any feathers or cause them to lash out.
Or maybe, it’s an unbelieving Spouse or friend that wants you to be part of things that you know God would not approve. Maybe it’s a bad habit or even an addiction that tethers you to this world… there are so many examples of things that would or could cause us to live in duplicity, one foot with God and the other in the world.
I certainly don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do know that in all our efforts to NOT offend, we likely did more harm in the long run. Our purpose is now very clear and we are forging new roads ahead, praying that God will redeem the time the locusts ate.
What I would suggest, is lean in close to God. Be honest with your failings and your desires. Ask Him to help you navigate the waters and listen for His answers. Repent from the ways you have been trying to balance the two worlds… Ask for forgiveness and make the changes necessary, even the hard ones.
The thing I have learned more than other in this journey, is the deeper you reach out to God… into the Light. The more He covers you and guides you shows you new paths and reveals alternate ways forward.
If you have unbelieving Loved ones, find a few trustworthy people that will join you in praying for them to have “Eyes to See and Ears to Hear”. Don’t give up, God Loves them even more than you do and He wants none to be Lost. In the meantime, Love them as a servant of the One Most High, showing them the heart of the Father, and trusting that God has a plan for them just as He did you…
Blessings, Janet❤️ Journey4Jesus
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