Monday, September 2, 2013

Mission Alaska: Life Lesson From Our Near Arctic Adventure

As I sit here trying to put into words what I am feeling right now, I am worried I won't get it right. I have so much going on in my heart and mind and am unsure words can do it justice. But I am going to try. Forgive me if I fail.

Okay now that I have got that out there I have to decide where to even begin. See in reality I am probably talking about 2 years of our life but its more than that. I think its a culmination of everything that has happened in my life at all. We recently moved from Alaska. Two years ago God rocked my world and opened the door for us to go to Alaska. At the time I was hesitant. Alaska is cold and far away. Not for me. But I obeyed. See He dangled the chance of Ryan's dream being fulfilled. It was too much for a good wife to say no to. For those that don't know we left for Ry to become a military pilot. He had interviewed that Spring and got denied. The panel suggested he would do better next year if we made the leap and moved. So that was the mission. Move so Ry can be in the military. Or so we thought.

We got to Alaska and even with a record breaking year of snow- I fell in love. Alaska became home. Spring came and Ry interviewed. He got the call that he was selected to pilot a C130. We were ecstatic. We felt all our lives had led up to that moment. Ry had dreamed of being a military pilot FOREVER. He went to mechanic and flight school for that purpose. We met amazing professors that gave him great recommendations- for that purpose. It was the dream and it was becoming real. Things were going well and then we started hitting hurdles. Weeks turned to months and a year later we still hadn't gone anywhere. We started questioning. There was a range of emotions from anger to fear to depression. Then one day Ry told me I think I want to apply to Africa. I was floored. WHAT! NO! That is not the mission. That's what I thought but I said okay. Maybe it would make him feel better. It wasn't the plan so it was not going to happen.

We waited a few more months with no word from anyone. That was a tough time for us. But I have to rewind a little. We became foster parents while we waited on the military. I've wanted to be a mom FOREVER. That is my dream. It wasn't happening naturally. We sought God a year before about foster care. He said no then. That summer, not long after we started the military process, God gave us the green light. We had 2 kids. These kids had it rough. Their stories are heartbreaking. They came into our home and became our kids. We were a family. Well we were for a time. God took little girl away first. She went with family. Oh how that broke my heart. Then around the time we started seeking God about Africa we noticed a change in our boy. It was like a switch went off in him. He went from calling me mom (not to my face- just to his friends and teachers) to intense hatred toward me. Things spiraled and he left us too.

Right after he left we got the calls. With in an hour God opened the Africa door and closed the military. Shock cannot begin to describe what I felt. But it was God's plan not mine that wins out. I know we are supposed to go to Africa and I am excited to go now. What happened? I cannot fully explain it but I'll try.

Today I got closure about our foster kids. For months I have heard from friends "You did the best you could." "You did your job." "God is proud of you for taking care of those kids." Those words were encouraging but I still had that doubting voice in my head. Did I really do the right thing for those kids? I was a far from perfect mother. Maybe someone else could've done better. Today I heard from a friend who saw our boy and said he was doing well. When I heard that I felt closure. I felt mission complete. That got me thinking about our whole time in Alaska. We thought we were there for the military but we were so WRONG! The military wasn't our mission. Our mission was to be there at that time for those kids. I know God sent us there for other reasons too and we'll never know the full impact we had. But I believe even if it was just for them- God would have sent us. The Bible says that God is the father to the fatherless. Their heavenly father loved those kids enough to send 2 crazy young adults 4,000 miles from home to take care of them for half a year. That is insane. Talk about love. And God loves us all with that intensity. Sorry I am just overwhelmed right now with joy and love. It is so hard to explain. I hope I'm not messing this up.

So how does Africa tie into this? Africa is our new mission. I don't know exactly what it will look like. We got Alaska TOTALLY wrong so I am scared to make any predictions. I just know its something. Something that I will hopefully 2 years from now be overwhelmed trying to explain when we come back to visit. All I know is we have closed the door on our Mission Alaska and are proceeding in faith toward Mission Africa. God has a plan and I can't wait to see it unfold. Maybe we will see people get saved. Maybe Ry will love it and never want to leave. Maybe we'll get to impact kids or even have our own kids. Maybe I'll open an orphanage (FYI- I'd love that). Who knows? All I know is I want to complete whatever mission God has for us there. Big or small. We want to make a difference. God has us in the place we are, for the time we are, for a reason. Are you ready for your Mission?

2 years ago when we first got to Alaska
Leaving Alaska 

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