As I reflect back around the time that the Lord first called us to Africa, I started to re-read some entries in my prayer journal.
In January of 2015, the Lord began speaking so clearly to me as I sought Him more and more. Daily, I would get up early to spend time in prayer and listen for His voice. Looking back at my journals, it is AMAZING the things that He said to me in those early morning hours before work.
It was right after the first of the year that Jay and I decided it was time for me to retire from the school system after what would be 28 years of working. This was a HUGE step for us. Many emotions were coursing through me daily ranging from fear to excitement. While I
had no job lined up for when I officially retired June 30, 2015, I simply had to let go and put my faith in God that He would put me right where He wanted me.
One of the first times that I wrote in my journal what I felt the Lord was impressing upon my heart was on January 9, 2015. My journal for that day reads " Just as people prune trees, I prune my people. I am pruning you to be ready to go out and do my work. I am making a way for you.
Was I thinking I was being pruned for Africa and in particular Uganda? Absolutely not! To be honest, since Jay and I had decided that I would retire, my eyes were focused on doing something wild and crazy like going to Alaska to work! So I began searching for jobs there. It was so much fun thinking of living where it is COLD since I like cold weather! Jay and I figured we could go and do that for a couple of years or so. We were already researching churches and homes in the areas where I was applying and interviewing for jobs. We were excited that I had an opportunity to possibly work on Kodiak Island as a speech therapist in a pediatric outpatient facility.
On January 19th, my journal reads "Don't be surprised, afraid or shocked at what I have in store for you as you continue to grow in me, learn my Word and live your life as I have
The job had been posted and open for quite some time. I just knew that I would be offered the job and I wasn't going to be surprised, afraid or shocked. I was going to be excited! I had it all figured out! But on January 21, I received an email indicating that the position had been filled by an applicant that "popped up" who was able to begin the job right away rather than myself who couldn't get there for a few months. Whaaaaaat?
So MY plan went out the window just like that. On January 22, my journal reads
"Do not be discouraged. Know that I see it all. I've orchestrated it all."
"Who do you think arranged for another applicant to apply and be selected over you when this job has been open for quite some time? That was me. Because I know the plans that I have for you. And while the plans that I have for you may not seem so clear to you at this time, they will and they will very soon. There is much work to be done among my people. I want you in CERTAIN places at CERTAIN times so that my Word and my light can be shared with others through you. How can that happen if I don't have you where I need you?"
Further in to my journal entry that same day is this:
"Stay the course. Good times in me are coming and when it all unfolds you will turn your face towards Heaven, hands stretched towards me and thank me for it all."
His words spoken to me were so true! I did, however, continue to search for more jobs in Alaska. I think Jay and I were convinced that this is where we were supposed to go.
Another job opportunity came my way which would have taken us to Seward, Alaska. After several phone interviews, the company was ready to fly Jay and I up to do an in person interview with me and allow us to check out the place. I was one of two finalists for the job
and I was proud! The position would be director of rehabilitation at a hospital and while I was nervous about the huge learning curve it would require, I was confident that I could do it. Besides, it was Alaska. This was where we were supposed to go because we like
We were still praying and seeking the Lord"s direction regarding Africa but we certainly felt no huge hurry to go there. I had often thought and said out loud that the only thing that would
keep us here was if we had a grand child. THAT would change a lot! That, however, was not something that I expected to happen for many years to come.
On March 7, our oldest son Kason and our daughter-in-law, Sam, invited us out to lunch. They were using this lunch to "apologize" to us for not being able to go on an upcoming vacation to Colorado. We were bummed that they couldn't go but certainly understood. I should have known that when KASON offers to foot the bill, something is up. At this special lunch, Kason and Sam announced to us that we would be having our first grandchild in October of 2015. Can you say SHOCKED? And can you say IRRRRKKK because immediately, all of my plans to fly up for the final interview were gone!
On March 9, my journal entry reads "I'm blessing you- this baby on the way is a blessing. Pray over this baby's life beginning now. This world needs praying parents and
grandparents who intercede for their children and grandchildren. I can't wait to see what you do in your new phase of life. It's all planned out. I go before you. I prepare the way. It is your job to follow. While life isn't always easy, it can be a beautiful journey with me. And what
awaits you in your REAL eternal home- indescribable."
So, here we were. Knowing that Alaska was NOT where we were heading and knowing that Africa was! I decided I may as well get ready for hot weather, dirt and skirts/dresses because it was certainly looking like it was part of His perfect plan.
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