Serving in Scotland

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How can I find God’s will?

The first time I asked this question I was sitting on my living room floor watching Blue’s Clues. From the ten-inch TV screen Steve of the green-striped shirt and the thinking chair was informing me that I could do, anything that I wa-anna doooooo. I remember wondering if Steve had ever heard of Divine intervention.

Then and there I decided that I needed to find my life goal. By age four I had it figured out. I proudly announced to my parents that I was going to be a missionary veterinarian. (Hey. It might be a thing. Someone had to take care of the pets of those in the field. Why shouldn’t it be me?)

I was politely assured by one and all that I didn’t have to have my whole life figured out. After all, I was only four.

Then I woke up in my senior year of high school. The only headway I’d made in the career department was giving up on my theologic veterinary goals.

I spent much of my senior year face-down, begging the Lord for direction. Should I go to Bible college? Should I go to regular college? Where? Where should I go?!?!?!

My dad once said that when you ask God to choose choice A or B, He often chooses C.

His answer was one simple word.

Stay.

Stay? Stay here? Stay here? Lord, I don’t think you understand. I’ve got goals. There are things I want to do. I can’t just stay.

But He wasn’t calling me to stay and do nothing. After I graduated, I went into full time ministry as well as writing and publishing my books.

And I found contentment. The last two years have been blissful. I’ve published three books, attended the ACFW Conference in Dallas, and found my passion. Staying was more fulfilling than anything I ever could have dreamed.

I found that God’s will isn’t always that sudden bolt of lightning. Sometimes God’s will is simply serving Him every moment of everyday.

But sometimes, every so often, He likes to surprise us with a burning bush kind of moment.

And that’s what happened to me six months ago.

I’d love to tell you that this moment of glorious revelation came while I was deep in prayer.

It didn’t.

But that is what I love about our God. He calls us when we least expect it.

Moses and David were both sheep-sitting when God’s will sought them out.

Elisha was plowing a field.

Peter was fishing.

Nothing exciting. Nothing important. They were just doing what they’d been doing every day as long as they could remember. They were working their nine-to-five jobs. They weren’t freaking out. They weren’t weeping and fasting. They weren’t hunting down God’s will. God’s will came out of nowhere and found them.

God’s will found me on Facebook.

The article popped up in my news feed and caught my attention and made me smile.

“Scottish Castle Sells for Less Than a Manhattan Apartment.”

I messaged the article it to a friend, telling her that if this whole, “being successful adults” thing didn’t work out, we could always buy a castle in Scotland.

As I hit send, I was struck by the strangest thought: I would actually do that.

If I ever went anywhere, did anything else, I would want it to be something like that. The thought wouldn’t leave my mind no matter how hard I tried to shake it.

I pleaded with the Lord to help me move on with my day and leave the daydream behind.

In a flash, I remembered an email I’d received two years earlier from a Calvary Chapel in Scotland, that had been looking for interns. Still on the fun “what if” train, I googled “Calvary Chapels in Scotland.” Within a matter of seconds, I’d found Calvary Christian Fellowship Motherwell and found this on their site:

Time to spare? – Scotland Needs You!!!

 The last two years have seen us launch our new program for those who desire to serve the Lord here in Scotland for varying periods of time, from a couple of months to a year.  There are many outreach and ministry opportunities available for those on the program to help us in our desire to reach Scotland for Jesus, along with training in various areas.  Those who have come have found new opportunities to use their gifts and talents, often stepping out for the first time in worship leading, children’s ministry, media ministry, sharing testimonies and more.

 

And over and over I continued to mutter to myself. “I would actually do that.”

Slamming my laptop closed, I got down on my knees on that Sunday morning in July, and told the Lord that if He was calling me to go to Scotland, I would go.

But surely not. The Lord’s plan for me couldn’t be this crazy, this wonderful. Surely he wouldn’t call me to do something I had always dreamed of doing. Surely He would call me to a difficult life that required more painful sacrifice. This was a hasty and foolish idea, and it would fade throughout the day.

But it didn’t fade. It only grew stronger. It was a fantastic, risky, adventurous plan, and I loved it.

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However, fantasizing over leaving one’s home and hearth to globe trot is one thing. Telling one’s mother is a different task altogether.

So I braced myself, gritted my teeth, and told my mother, fully expecting (and half-hoping) she would talk me out of this insanity. I spilled my story. She said nothing, and I waited for her to veto my ridiculous plan. Then she drew a deep breath. “I think this is it,” she said. “I think this what you’ve been waiting for. I think you should move forward.”

You know, hearing crazy things from the Heavenlies doesn’t scare me, but when my mom confirms them, that’s when I start to worry. Because that means it just might be real.

But I needed one more thing before I launched fully into this idea.

I was not about to catch the first flight on Air Haggis and move to Scotland because it sounded fun.

I knew that if I went, there would be long flights and nightmarish layovers, tearful goodbyes and second thoughts, jet-lag and homesickness. If I was going to bear up under all of that, I needed what I call “a lightning-bolt moment.” I needed an angel/prophet/burning bush kind of moment, something that I would be able to look back on in moments of doubt and say, “God told me to this.”

I was on the church’s website, looking at the Bible studies posted online. I clicked on a recent one, and skipped halfway through the study. The Pastor was reading these words:

 

“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes
And the judgments which I teach you to observe,
That you may live, and go in and possess the land
Which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you.”

Deuteronomy 4:1

 

I felt my heart start to pound. But I could be hearing what I wanted to hear. “The land” wasn’t necessarily Scotland, was it?

The Pastor looked up from his Bible and said, “Scotland used to be known as a Bible-loving nation, now we have a generation growing up with little or no knowledge of who Jesus is. Once famous for missionaries like David Livingstone and Mary Slessor, Scotland now needs missionaries to aid the church to spread the Gospel of Christ. When God says, ‘Go in and possess the land,’ He’s not just talking to Israel about the Promised Land. He is talking to you, and He is talking about Scotland.”

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This coming spring, I’ll be leaving the Big Island and traveling to Motherwell, Scotland where I will serve full-time in children’s, youth, and worship ministry and doing whatever else needs to be done. I am over the moon!

I’ve been seeking God’s will since I was four-year-old. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s that God’s will can find us anywhere. On Blue’s Clues, on Facebook, and anywhere else our attention lies as long as we love Him, serve Him, and follow Him.

To follow my adventures, you can find me on social media. I’ll also be starting a separate travel blog.

To find out more about the church where I’ll be serving visit www.calvarymotherwell.org

As a missionary, I will need to raise monthly support. To give to my mission fund, visit www.gofundme.com/servinginscotland

As I launch out on this new adventure, I am so comforted and encouraged by your prayers. Thank you so much!

 

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