She couldn't have been any clearer about the decision. Our Father's validation of the choice had been the result of prayer, vetting in practical ways, and uncompromising affirmation at every turn. She was inspired and convicted and so were we. She was breaking rank out of a culture where you don't break rank in the manner she was doing so. She was stepping out of the line that virtually every person she knew was standing in. That was their story, this was clearly hers. The initial response to most ranged from uncertainty to outright concern.
A woman of beauty and grace. A thoughtful and gentle soul. She rarely felt the need to make much noise about her life or decisions. But on one fateful day, she spoke. When challenged by a couple of new acquaintances about her life, she effusively explained the path and plan of her going to Spain in place of a freshman year in college. The women were overwhelmed by her proclamation and said she was glowing and that God's intentions and joy were "radiating" from her face.
On this day, within only a few days of departure, the hammer fell. Our enemy hates God's glory and despises our expression of that (as image bearers of such). For the first time, in the almost year-long journey to the decision, she doubted. She questioned herself, God's intentions, and the role my wife and I played in coming to this decision. As quick as a whisper, all the glory, inspiration, and validation was robbed.
She was sad and unsure and I was heartbroken and conflicted. Everything in me wanted to call the whole thing off. Hold my precious one close and keep her from all that she feared. Shouldn't I rescue this beauty?
God's answer was clear, quick, and uncompromising...you don't keep her from adventure, glory, and purpose...you help her fight through fear to find it. I am to hack away the jungle, machete at hand, of all my control, our fear, and the misdirection of the enemy...help clear her path...to glory.
We fervently prayed that:
- God would provide waves of deep and penetrating confirmation of His intentions in her.
- He would come alongside here in tangible ways in the adventure He had called her to.
- It would be unmistakable to her and everyone who witnessed her journey.
- Transformation she is finding would call others to transformation.
- She will forever steadfastly refuse to be tempted by any "less wild lovers" the world throws at her.
The photo she Instagram'd on her first day of class (teaching Spanish children English as a second language at a missional academy in Mijas) revealed overwhelming answer to all our prayers. I was reminded of Moses...her face in the photo almost needed to be shrouded. The reaction and affirmations out of that glory revealed, were overwhelming. God was speaking and it was impossible to ignore.
One friend, a freshman in college in Oklahoma, said, "Wanna trade places?". Give up glory, purpose, and getting clarity around her place in the larger story of God? Not a chance. May I have the courage to do the same.