Monday, October 28, 2013

Through the Valley

Well here, it is - our first official blog post... ever!  What God has been doing in our lives recently, and where He's directing us to go is something we want to tell the whole world.  Over the past 3 years, God has been actively molding us more than we've ever encountered.  But just like clay in the Potter's hand, it has been and will continue to be a stretching journey of faith for us.  So we invite you to follow us on this journey by staying tuned to this blog.  We have no idea where this journey will take us, but we know the One who has every step of the journey laid out in advance.

But before I tell you about where God is directing us, let me tell you about how He has brought us to where we are right now.  It's always interesting, as you journey through life, to look back over the valleys (or lowpoints of life) that you've come through.  While it is difficult or unpleasant to go through those tough times, it's at such times that God is closest and most at work in us.

In the summer of 2010, I (Jason) somehow managed to rupture a disc in my back.  I have no idea how I did this - I don't recall any injury or doing anything abnormally stupid.  This injury was causing a tremendous amount of pain – so much so that in the end, I couldn't sit down for more than 5 minutes, and was only getting 2 to 3 hours of sleep a night.  But after 2 years of trying every medical fix and finding no relief, it became clear that our last option – surgery – was the only option.  So in June 2012, I underwent a microdiscectomy surgery to fix the issue.  Praise God that the surgery was successful and corrected the problem.

Jason and the kids on the morning of surgery

Leading up to surgery, I really had to depend on God for a source of strength.  Only by His strength was I able to survive for months on only 2 to 3 hours of sleep per night.  We also learned to rely on God to sustain us through the rough times.  As Christians, we are not promised an easy comfortable life, but we can be assured that God will be with us “for better or for worse.”  We also saw God provide for our needs in some amazing ways.  With high medical bills and extended time off of work, we had no idea how we’d make ends meet.  But we saw firsthand that we can trust Him to take care of us and provide for our needs when the math doesn’t add up.

Then after surgery, I was required to take a month off work for recovery.  I was able to get some much needed R+R during that time, but most importantly we were also able to spend a great deal of time in Bible study and prayer.  This was such a beneficial time in our life because it gave us the opportunity to evaluate if we were where God wanted us to be, and doing what God wanted us to be doing.  We began talking about the passions God has given us and the skills that He’s blessed us with.

God has given both of us a real passion to minister to those who are in desperate need of His love, grace, and mercy.  For over 15 years, we’ve been using this passion in Youth Ministry at our local church.  In the past several years, He’s also given me (Jason) a real passion for flying – particularly small airplanes.  Combine those 2 passions with the fact that I studied 10 years of foreign language in school, and that equals missionary aviation!  It’s a wonder we didn’t see it before, but God’s timing is perfect and He knew that we had to go through that valley in order to be prepared for service as missionaries.

In our next post, we’ll share about our process of discovering what exactly missionary aviation is, and what we needed to do to be a part of that.