Don’t worry we really were joking when we posted the “mugshot” pictures on Facebook the other week they actually were our passport pictures. We assure you we haven’t done anything to warrant mugshots or to get kicked out of Guatemala. We’ve run into some snags with our visa process and are still waiting on one document from the Guatemalan consolate in the States. Due to this we can only be in Guatemala for 6 months before we have to go to another country to “reset” our passports. Then we found out there are only certain countries that count to reset your passports and the 2 countries closest to where we are in Guatemala don’t count. Since our 6 months hits on our last day of language school and we have a team coming down the very next week we decided to take advantage of our upcoming final break from language school and “flee” the country. So on May 31 at 6:30 p.m. we’ll be getting on a bus and starting our 22 hour bus/ferry trip to BELIZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh how I wish that I had the excitement that all those exclamation points indicate when I found out about the necessity of this trip but to be honest I wasn’t happy about it at all! I know you all must be thinking “what the heck in wrong with you, why wouldn’t you want to go to Belize??!!” Ok confession time…and I ask for your grace as what I’m about to share is a continual struggle of mine. However, I know there’s freedom in sharing these things and if I can’t share with my family and friends who can I share with? It’s my hope that this blog post will glorify God for His continual faithfulness despite our weaknesses/insecurities and that it will encourage anyone else who struggles with things repeatedly. So the reason I didn’t want to go on this trip is because going would require us to spend some of the money we had put into savings from when God gave us the blessing of selling our car and truck. You see with us still not being fully supported financially I had a mental calculation of how many months that savings would carry us and going to Belize threw that all off.
Dylan, on the other hand, was very excited! He’s never seen the Carribean Sea before and he was looking at this as a great chance for us to relax a little and recharge before we finish language school and start serving in the ministries God has called us to in Guatemala. He also pointed out to me all the other reasons this was a blessing such as: not having a vacation together since our honeymoon almost 3 years ago other than the occasional weekend away (because our sole goal was working towards getting to Guatemala), it’ll be a great way to celebrate our upcoming birthdays and anniversary (also something we haven’t done much of because of working towards Guatemala), this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity, we’re blessed because we have enough traveling points accumulated to get 2 nights free, and we HAVE to go somewhere and this place in Belize was recommended to us by fellow missionaries as a cheap/safe place. I realized that everything he said was correct but I was still struggling.
Even my friend April tried to talk some sense into me the other night by telling me if she had the opportunity to go to Belize she wouldn’t worry about the money she’d just go and enjoy it ESPECIALLY since we had to go somewhere outside of Guatemala anyway. “Maybe God is kicking you out of Guatemala because He wants you to rest so go enjoy it and if you can’t enjoy it for you enjoy it for me” she said to me in her best “I’m trying to say this nicely but you’re being ridiculous” tone. I knew she was right and that I sounded completely ridiculous being frustrated about going to Belize but again I was still struggling.
You would think that after having all MY plans for my life completely changed to “you’re selling everything and moving to Guatemala to serve” having my plans for some of the money in a savings account wouldn’t really throw me for a loop. Then on top of it there are all the security issues that God and I have worked through together in Celebrate Recovery over the last 4 years and all the things we’ve worked through in the last 2 years like my fears of giving up our “good jobs” and the financial security that we convince ourselves comes with them. It blows my mind that I still have to keep surrendering these things to God but as with all recovery it’s a continual process.
I just kept praying “Jesus you know my heart and all my insecurities and if this is what you really want us to do with this money please take away my worry and replace it with your joy and help my heart to feel that this is the blessing that my mind (and my husband/friends) know it is.” Finally, the other night Jesus and I had “a moment.” He reminded me that nothing in my life (and specifically everything with Guatemala) had anything to do with my plans, it’s ALL about HIS plans. He’s going to continue to provide for us to be in Guatemala for as long as HE wants us here and if a time comes when HE doesn’t want us here even if we have a huge savings account it won’t change His plan. He reminded me that HE is the one who sold our cars and provided that money and of course He has different plans for it than I do because His plans are better than my plans. So the question then became for me “Am I going to trust God or am I going to trust my savings account?” Thankfully, I’ve been through this enough times now to know that trusting Him is the best option ALWAYS!! So that night I just surrendered it to Him (I know, I know it took me long enough) and for the first time I actually started to feel a little excited about Belize.
The next day I was checking my e-mails during our break at school and we received an e-mail from Belinda, the woman who handles our finances (and many other things) at Servants. She was excited for us and wanted to share with us that we had just received a new financial partner and she told us the amount. It literally brought tears to my eyes when I realized that the amount that was given was almost exactly what we would be taking out of savings to pay for the bus/ferry travel and hotel for Belize. Once again I was left thinking “Lord why do I ever worry?” As we were walking home from school that day I told Dylan “I’m so grateful for God’s constant grace, mercy, and patience with me. I just hope that one day the worry and fear that sometimes takes over first will stop and that my first response will just be to KNOW that God’s got it taken care of whatever IT may be.”
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7