August 18, 2013 by nbgarrett
It’s been almost 4 years since God called Nathan and me to spend our lives taking the Gospel to the darkest areas of Romania. At the time, we’d been married for about a year and a half, there were no kids in the picture, and I hadn’t even graduated college yet. We were young (we still are, can I get an amen?!) and passionate (again, we still are!). We live in a community of faith, surrounded by people who love us and love the Lord. The result is that there are a lot of Godly people pouring into our lives and giving us advice. One particular piece of advice during that time stands out in my mind.
“That’s great that you want to give your life to missions, but I want to encourage you to not be one of those families that spends forever getting to the field. If God’s called you, just go!”
Can I tell you how much I wanted that to play out for us? It sounds good. You know God wants you to go, so just go. Honestly, that may work for some people, but it wasn’t what God wanted for us. And I am so grateful! Why has it taken us 4 years to get to the field? The obvious answer is our debt. Foolish decisions and university degrees mean we had quite a financial burden that made it impossible to just jump into the field. But I believe that God used that to keep us here because He had a lot of work to do on our hearts and in our marriage. Had we gone to the field 4 years ago, I can say with fair certainty that we would already be back home and burned out.
This process of paying off our debt has been the means to the end of being ready for the life to which God has called us. Our church has poured into us, we’ve had training, we’ve had practical experience. We’ve practiced living more simply as we’ve lived with family, we’ve expanded our sending community as we’ve gotten to meet so many incredible people, we’ve learned over and over again what trust looks like and how amazing, awesome, miraculous is our God!
Just like you would never send someone to do brain surgery just because he’s passionate about it or allow someone to fly a plane because he collects models, it would be foolish to move our family to rural Romania without any preparation.
This time that God has given us has been sweet and we are so thankful for who we are today. Not that we are fully equipped for what lies ahead. Not that we are any better at the whole “missionary thing”. But our eyes are more opened to our absolute dependence on God and our experience in walking with Jesus has grown.
So here we go. We move our family to Romania in God’s perfect timing resting in the plan He has for us.
*Disclaimer: I realize that preparation will look different for each person based on the specific call/plan God has for you. This is simply what God designed for us.*