Have you ever yearned for something with all of your being? This mighty weight on your heart that can only be described as something you MUST do?
I’m not talking about wants or even dreams. This isn’t one item on a bucket list.
This IS the bucket list.
When I was 22 I had just graduated from a christian college and was doing my very best to live my own plan. I had a dream, and that was to be successful in a career (which by the way, isn’t in and of itself a bad desire).
I won’t re-hash my entire “call to missions” moment, because you can read it here: A highway entrance ramp.
When I married Stephen I knew we were destined for Japan, though my heart hadn’t caught up with me yet. I trusted that if God wanted us together, He’d give me that desire. Little did I know that when two became one, when two desires become one, it’s possible that your callings become one. Some have said that we’ll never go to Japan, it’s just some daydream or something on a wish list. (And since we’re not there yet, it’s quite possible one might say they’re right – although we trust differently!). But I know the ache in my heart for this country and its people is not a dream and it’s not an item to be crossed off on a list.
The Lord has wooed my heart for this country, He has allowed me to become inexplicably drawn to His people there. Their country is my home.
We visited Japan in May of last year and it had been 17 long years since I first stepped foot on Japanese soil. When we stepped out of customs and walked into the airport lobby, I was home. With ever fiber of my being I felt it. A wave of emotion and longing hit me in the face and I knew I was meant to be there.
As I sit here typing this there are tears in my eyes. What a beautiful and long journey it’s been to get to this point. I could compose a novel and share it with you, and you still wouldn’t understand quite how I feel about this moment.
We are so close. Ages and ages of longing are finally becoming reality.
Lord, you know our hearts. You know we’ll sweat, work, toil, lose sleep, do anything it takes to finish what you’ve called us to do. We know in our hearts that you want us there. We are just taking one step at a time, one call, one email, one prayer, one church visit, everything in your timing Lord, to help bring this longing to a reality. We’ll bring our family, take our children away from their grandparents and family, we’ll leave our church and friends, we’ll learn a new language and customs and entirely new way of life, if that means we’re serving you where you want us. Because it’s not even a sacrifice if it’s from you. It becomes our joy. You give us the strength to do this, and we will do it for you. Your desire is ours Lord. Please bring us there in your timing, and give us your strength.
Lord, I think of this verse from Isaiah 6:8:
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Lord, send us!