I've been thinking about starting this blog for a while... Jacob and I feel like our lives are on the brink of a significant change in direction, and we know we want to be held up by our family and friends as we go through this transition. However, since we also are facing a lot of uncertainty, and since (as fairly private people) we generally wait until we have all our "t's crossed and i's dotted" before we announce things, we have elected to stay mostly quiet for now. Well, all of that's changing as of today... all because of a man named Bradley in Wendy's who listened to God's prompting. (If you read this Bradley, thank you.)
Today I was having lunch at Wendy's by myself. I was sitting at the table, munching on (lousy) fries and thinking about the next few months and all that needs to come together before we can move to China. We need to sell a car, move out of our apartment, and store our stuff (among other things), and right now we aren't even living in our home! We are living in Minneapolis (except for a weekend now and then), so I'm not even in a place where I can work on all of these projects. Jacob is incredibly busy at work... he's been working 70+ hour weeks for the last few months, and we don't really know when this project will end. At this point in time, he wants to finish the project before we move to China, so everything seems like it is up in the air since we don't know when that will be. Furthermore, everything could still fall through with these plans, I suppose. And both of us struggle with sharing our plans with everyone when we know they aren't set in stone yet, since we'd probably feel like a couple of flakes if it didn't work out. (I know that isn't a good reason not to share, but I'm just being honest.) In short, I never did very well with a lot of uncertainty...
What does this have to do with Bradley in Wendy's? Well, as I'm eating lunch and contemplating all of this, this man who had been sitting a couple of tables over walks up and starts talking to me. I don't remember his exact words, but it went something like this: "I don't mean to intrude, but I feel like God wants me to tell you that you are going to have a big impact on this world. In Jeremiah 29:11, it says that God knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Plans for a hope and a future. I just feel like God wants you to remember that."
At this point, my mouth was hanging open in shock, and the only thing I could think was that if I were in his shoes, I'd want some feedback from the person I was talking to reassuring me that they didn't think I was crazy. (Perhaps he didn't care about this at all, but I would if I were in his shoes and brave enough to walk up to a complete stranger and say something like that.) So, I told him: "Wow, thank you for telling me that. Right now my husband and I are planning to move to China in the coming months and work full-time with an orphan ministry." Bradley responds, "You will be a blessing to many people. When things seem uncertain and like they aren't going smoothly, don't worry. God has a plan and everything is in His hands."
That was pretty much it. We both went back to eating our meals at that point. It was an incredible experience, though, and the first time a complete stranger has walked up to me and shared something like that -- and it completely spoke to what I was thinking about at that moment! What a blessing from God! I felt so loved, so watched over, so reassured. I still feel that way, actually. I called Jacob to share the experience with him, and he agreed that it is very encouraging and reassuring!
So, in closing I've decided that I need to share this journey with you even though we don't know where it will take us. God has placed us in a community of incredibly loving and supportive people. We know that even if these plans don't work out, you aren't going to think poorly of us; so we shouldn't let our prideful fear of failure stop us from sharing. And, we know that God might use our account of our experience to open doors for someone else to follow His leading into their own unique area of service (others have had this impact on us). So, if you want, join us for this journey! We don't know where it will end ultimately, but then again -- I guess none of us ever know where our life's journey will take us. However, we'd still love to have you join us for the ride!