So this year has been pretty weird. Last August 2013, I clearly heard the call on my life to leave the world as I know it and start living differently. I felt called to quit my job and go to Haiti, El Salvador & Mexico bringing love, joy and hope to every person I interacted with. Some people have sarcastically asked, “So God told you to quit your job and start going on Mission trips around the world?” To which I answered, “yup”. Did i hear echoed words that boomed down from Heaven? Was it like a dashing whisper on the outskirts of a cornfield? No and No. First of all, I’ve never been to an actual cornfield. Secondly, when I said that God had told me to do quit my job and do Missions it wasn’t a one time sit down “come to Jesus” talk (pun intended), it was a process of slow, God inspired life corrections that led me to a new heading in life. Occasions that grabbed my attention in ways that caused my soul to lean toward them and anchor in. I would come home from a Mission trip and not feel like I just wanted to go back, but that I had to. So I would. The last year of my life was a great example of how God provides. Every month, without an actual job, God provided for everything I needed… always at the last possible second. Whether I worked as a day laborer, held a fundraiser or through monthly supporters God always came through! It was exciting and taught me to trust God with my life more than I ever had before. Just about every month over that year I was out of the country. I believe I was living in Gods Will for my life, finally doing what I was made to do. I was so happy and knew what I was doing with the rest of my life until my church started a series on Leap of Faith, and it all changed.
I know, your thinking “wait a second Josh, You already took a leap of faith and quit your job! Whatever could you be asked to do next?” Great question, glad you asked. So in the beginning of the Series, where we were studying the Book of Mark, our Pastor charged us to pray. He always does, but this time was different. In addition to praying for the church, for friends who we would like to see their lives get better, he instructed us to pray for something big for ourselves for 40 days. That seemed weird to me but I was in. I was living with a roommate in a two bedroom apartment for a couple of years. I have four boys and it was a cramped and uncomfortable situation which was fine and worked for the time of life we were in. I decided that would be my prayer. That God would provide housing in Santee for the boys and I. Close to their school and moms house so life is just easier. Throughout the 40 days I prayed everyday that my eyes would be open to the opportunity God would put in front of me for an answer to my prayer. I was expecting it to happen I just didn’t know how. On day 38 I got a random phone call from an old boss that I hadn’t talked to in a couple of years offering me a job. But I didn’t want a job, I wanted to do Mission trips so my instinct was to decline but my soul tugged on my like a kid tugging on my shirt because he wants ice cream. So I entertained the offer, sat with it for a week while I asked God for clear direction and wondered where I could see Jesus in this deal. The word I kept hearing everywhere, seeing everywhere and even dreaming about was “choose”.
CHOOSE??? How lame was that!!? I’ve made a lot of bad choices in my life and some not super long ago! I wanted an answer! But God wanted me to choose. Jesus was in the freedom to make whatever choice I wanted. Through that one word I knew that He was saying that He was going to be anywhere I put Him. That He can utilize me anywhere I am If I am willing. I wasn’t scared when I quit my job in 2013 because it was clear, if I didn’t do it then I never would. I was terrified to take a job again so many “what if’s”, how could I know!!?. The job offer was right at the 40 day mark… that would provide me with what I prayed for, just not how I thought it would be.
I prayerfully accepted the job and got an apartment in Santee. As I returned to the work field I looked forward to the balance of Work and Missions, but all the trips just kinda dried up. Nobody was going. With no trips on the horizon I felt like I perhaps chose wrong and made a mistake. Then a position at my church opened up on Friday nights to head up the kids ministry. I took it and am still figuring out my way. Work is starting to show signs of progress and there are some scattered trips on the horizon that I am looking forward to. God has shown me that He will show up wherever we trust Him to be. Right now I see that Im meant to be home with my kids more than I’m gone & that my kids are Mission Field #1. What I learned this year is that when I want God to affect an area or direction of my life then its up to me to choose to put Him in it, no matter when, where, how or with who if I put God it in then He will work through it.