You know how I love to tell dramatic, suspenseful stories that LEAVE YOU HANGING at the end? Oh, so much fun. Well, guess what? It’s your lucky day. Not even gonna drag this out until the 3rd paragraph.
Our family is moving to Cambodia.
I know! Insane! Except some of you are thinking, “Wait? Why is this news? You’ve been saying, ‘Cambodia or Bust!’ for months now. I’m so confused.”
Well, back in March, we decided to start saving for another short-term (most likely 2 months) trip to Cambodia, but not a permanent move. Backing up some more to January 2012, we came home from 5 weeks in Cambodia, pretty sure God wanted us back there for good. But then Gabe’s anxiety/panic started, and everything came to a screeching halt. Two-plus years later, Gabe felt ready to try another trip.
So, we were just plugging along, selling one pack of cards at a time, saving up money for our trip. Life at Abbey Lane was rolling along, and we were content. Maybe we’d never move to Cambodia (oh, but we still hoped we would!). Maybe our new ministry was here in Africa (our apartment complex is predominantly East African refugees) instead, and we’d just take occasional trips back to the country of our hearts.
Then two weeks ago (Sunday night, July 13th), I got an email that would change everything. It was from my middle daughter. In the next room over. Here’s what it said:
We should move to Cambodia!! It’s awesome there! And when we live there we can see if that’s where God wants us! What do you think? And it never snows! And if we can find out where God wants us, he can tell us JUST as well (maybe better because we are happyer) in Cambodia. Right? I feel like we should move. I always think why are we here if we can raise money, go for a trip, and come back, why can’t we raise money, go, and hardly ever come back? I love this thought. I know we don’t know where God wants us, but I feel like we could figure it out better in Cambodia, cause if we are in Cambodia to figure out where God wants us, then we won’t have to move, cause we’ll already be there!!! LOVE YOU!!!
Well. What do you say to that? We had told the girls that part of the reason for our trip this coming January (Lord willing) was to find out if God still wanted us to go there for good. They said, “Um, didn’t he already tell us that two years ago? You’ve been there twice. How many more times do you need to go before you listen to what God said?”
We sat down with Gabe, and his reaction was much like the one he had when we all ganged up on him back in October with, “Hey! Whaddya say we sell our house and move to Abbey Lane??”
He didn’t jump up and down and say yes. But he didn’t say no. He said, “How about we just simmer?” And by simmer, he meant, “Stop all your carrying on, and let’s just pray quietly about this for a bit.”
So we did. We simmered. And by simmer, I mean we prayed a lot and the girls and I wrote a million emails back and forth to each other. They were beyond excited. Especially Ava. Until a couple nights later when she asked to sleep with us. She was crying. What’s wrong? “I just feel like this is moving so fast. I’m scared.”
Me too, sweetie. Me too.
So, slooowly (except not really, because this has all transpired in two weeks’ time), Gabe started saying things like, “You know, I think God wants me to trust him with my health. I think he has a plan for us in Cambodia.”
The one thing that held me back (besides the thought of leaving dear family and friends) was that I wasn’t sure our time at Abbey Lane was over. Were were leaving a good thing here before it was completed??
And I kept stumbling onto this chapter in Mark (seriously, it came up like three different times in a week) where Jesus heals people and does all this stuff, then goes to rest, and his disciples come to him the next morning and say, “Dude! Where have you been? Everyone’s looking for you! There’s so much work to be done still!” And instead of getting back to work, he moves on to somewhere completely different. What the what??
So, my biggest prayer was, “God, if you want us to move to Cambodia, will you please release us from our ministry at Abbey Lane?”
And, um, be careful what you pray for, because holy cow. (Part 2 coming tomorrow.) Wink.