Here's a post I wrote 11/17/10...
I want to thank any and all of you (I don't know who you are) who prayed for me when I shared a couple of month ago how I was struggling with our upcoming visit to Argentina this spring. (UPDATE: who knows if we're even going, everything seems so up in the air right now).
Not long after I wrote that, I was in church - we were singing songs of praise, I don't know what we were singing about exactly - but the message had been on repentance. As we each took a moment before the Lord to search our hearts, I asked the Holy Spirit if there was anything I needed to repent of. Nothing initially was coming to mind. I mean I've been completely set free of all the "big sins" in my life. I don't abuse drugs, or alcohol, or smoke anything. I don't lie, cheat or steal. I'm faithful to my husband, home, and children. There are no addictions that rule my life, or anything really obvious to me. I look pretty good from the outside - in a Pharisaical kind of way. What's there to repent of - I'm good, Lord, right?
But the thing that kept coming to my mind was this trip. And Buenos Aires. And my husband. And that I will. not. go. Forget it, Lord. He can go by himself. Will everybody stop asking me?!
There have been a couple of times in my life where I can say I have clearly heard the voice of God. Not an audible voice so to speak, but His voice nonetheless. It is as clear as the noon day sun is bright. It's unmistakable.
As I bowed my head, and prayed, and waited for some specific conviction to come (because remember, I'm good, nothing to repent of here), I heard Him whisper, "Chris... I want you to GO. I want you to serve ME... Here... in Patagonia... in Buenos Aires. Where-ev-er I send you."
I hung my head in shame, tears falling. And repented. Forgive me, LORD. So rebellious..., I'm still so rebellious.
I was greatly convicted of my selfishness, of wanting things my way, of not wanting to follow the Lord wherever He leads - even if it's Buenos Aires: a place I can't stand, is very dangerous, and I try to avoid like the plague. I was convicted of not trusting Him, of taking my eyes off Jesus, of lack of faith, of unbelief, of putting conditions on following Him; which I do. Of not respecting my husband's decisions regarding us (I know better, of course). Of wanting to push my own agenda. Of wanting to nurture my own affinities. Of not believing that God can keep us safe there also.
(UPDATE: talked to Tony's niece in Buenos Aires this weekend and she said, "Yeah, my friends with little kids, when they stop by a little shop to pick something up and their kids are playing right there at the entrance, they can't take their eyes of them because some crazy can run by, pick the little one up, run off before you can catch him, and you never see them again...)
Yeah, going there is a stretch for me. Understatement of the year.
So... thank you for praying.
For strong-willed people like myself, surrender can be the hardest thing. I am being tested again and again and again. I never learn, apparently.
The Lord has much He wants to do in us, through us, if we will just surrender. After I shared with Tony my quite miraculous change of heart (because, isn't it a miracle?), he said, "Yeah, you know, my sister said, 'Tony, if you go to church while you are here, I will go with you. But only if you go with me. I promise you I will go."
I see. Now, I see.
But please continue to pray for us. My kids are so not street smart: one is a space cadet and the other is always running off. My baby is everything to me. I don't know what I would do if anything happened to them.