Right now, it feels like I am on the precipice of another big step, another big decision, a critical turning point in my life. A point where I really need to seek out God, hear from Him, and make an obedient decision according to what He’s staying. So what exactly do I hear Him saying?
If we rewind a little bit, over a year ago now, I had given up my tech job, sold all my possessions to come out here and serve the children of Takua Pa, Thailand. At the time, I felt that selling all my stuff was both necessary and practical. Necessary, because it helped address my attachment to things. Practical, because quite honestly, I would have no use for a snowboard in Thailand.
I had also made a conscious decision to give up my tech job. The decision to come here and seek support from friends and family was one of the tougher decisions I had to make. There was a possibility easing that awkwardness by being self-funded and working half-time with my company remotely and half-time with the children here. But I knew that that wouldn’t have been fair to either my bosses nor the children. I would’ve been divided. So I had given my identity as a tech guy up to God. The only identity that I had known for the past 10 years.
But something interesting is happening right now; something that I would have never expected. After giving up that life and identity as a tech guy, I feel like God is calling me back to it; calling me back to the life that He had asked me to leave.
So the natural questions to ask are, “did God changed His mind?”; “did you hear correctly in the first place?”; “is God bi-polar?”. I would argue that it’s none of the above; that in fact, He did ask me to leave it, I did hear correctly, and He’s definitely more emotionally consistent than I am. But, what I would say is that it was a necessary journey for me to make in order to get to the place I am at now. I felt that God was telling me this weekend that it was necessary for me to give up the identity of being a tech guy because that’s not who He created me to be. He had given me the amazing opportunities and passion to thrive at what I loved to do but that’s not who I was. He created me, us, to be more than just our careers, joys, and passions. He created us as His sons and daugthers. That’s all and it’s more than enough if we stop and process what that really means.
Along with giving up the identity though, it was also a matter of me giving up the financial stability and job security that that identity provided me. Relying on those things didn’t allow room for God to provide for my needs.
The beauty of this journey is that now that I have been able to give it up that identity, God has graciously allowed me to pick it back up except now I’m approaching it as a skill set rather than an identity. Seeing it from the point of view that God has helped me gain valuable skills over the past 10 years versus the idea of me being a tech guy. It may seem subtle to some and perhaps a matter of semantics to others but I would argue that it’s a lot more than that. That it’s the difference between what skills and passions you possess and who you ultimately are. It reminds me of the common saying that parents use, “no matter how old you are, you always be my child.” I feel like that’s what God is wanting to tell us, “no matter what you do or can’t do, what your skills are or lack thereof, what you’ve accomplished or failed at, or what your passions are; you are, ultimately, my sons and daughters.”
So what’s next? I’m not exactly sure as more thought and prayer needs to be invested into the process but the next step makes me both excited and extremely nervous. So far, I’ve only committed 2 years to this current project but I’ve always had in the back of my mind that there would be more. Before I started this whole process, I distinctly heard God say to me that, “Thailand is just the beginning.” When He’s that clear with you, you can try denying it but ultimately you know He has a plan for you and it’s up to us whether or not we want to obey.
Here are 2 things I know for sure and 1 thing I’m slowly coming to grips with. One, is that He has given me a passion to work with kids. Kids will be my future. I want to invest in kids. Two, I feel like God wants me to invest in the area of education with respect to kids. To give them opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have. The third thing that I’m still working through is that I’m starting to get the feeling that the former two will be done in the context of South East Asia. It appears that I may be committed to a life of constantly sweating after all.
One of the reasons why I feel like God may be asking me to stay in South East Asia is because every time I hear stories of the Burmese migrant children or the situation in their own country, my heart breaks for them; I mean, my heart literally hurts. And not in a way where I feel sorry for them but in a way where I want to use everything God has given me to help in whatever way I can. So if I’m being sensitive to that, I should recognize that perhaps God is trying to draw my attention to these issues.
All sweating aside, it is this last prospect that scares me to death. The idea of staying in South East Asia challenges all my ideas of physical safety and comfort, causes me to relinquish any hope of seeing my friends and family on a regular basis, and forces me to live in a culture and context that I am constantly struggling with and learning from. And yet when I read the paragraph that I just wrote, it sounds exactly like something that God would do.
I suppose it wouldn’t be a precipice if it didn’t scare you a little bit though. Every time you’re at a precipice, be it literally or figuratively, there are elements of the unknown which makes us uneasy because we like knowing. We like control. And when we don’t have control, it makes us nervous.
So as I approach these next steps, I need to do so humbly with a discerning heart but ultimately with an obedient heart.
My mom sent me this verse 🙂 and it’s really starting to resonate with me as I begin to see what God is doing through me. I feel that I am on the precipice of something that is so beyond me and my abilities; this both excites me to action and yet scares me to my very core.
"You did not choose me, but I CHOSE you and APPOINTED you so that you might go and bear fruit—FRUIT THAT WILL LAST—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you." John 15:16
Originally posted to Life Passions