In French, le coût = the cost.
Over the recent Labor Day weekend, we traveled up to the Bay Area to visit some of my relatives. I was dreading the potential 6+ hour drive, especially with a toddler, but Toby did really well (many thanks to all the prayers and my brother -- Toby loves his Uncle Dave!). We had a really great time reconnecting with family and even had a couple of opportunities to share about our upcoming journey.
One of the evenings, we were at a restaurant for a family dinner. We were in a semi-private space, so it was relatively "safe" for the kids to roam around. Those who know Toby know what an active kiddo he is. He's curious, adventurous, and an extrovert. With so many adults around, I must have turned my "mom alert" sensors down a notch. Ted and I were engaged in a conversation with my cousins when I decided to look around the room for Toby. I casually asked, "Where's Toby?" He wasn't within our space. I got up and peaked out at the rest of the restaurant...no Toby. Hmm...at this point, a few more of us got up to help and look for Toby. While they looked in the adjacent rooms, my eyes immediately zoned in on the front entrance: the doors were wide open...open to the streets, the darkness, strangers. I ran outside. I called out for Toby. I did a quick sweep. No Toby. I looked back inside and my heart sunk. I could tell by the looks on their faces that they hadn't found Toby yet, either. This was probably the moment when I started to panic inside. I looked back outside and yelled for Toby again. Now, I'm sure it hadn't been more than a few minutes (although it felt much longer). Then all of the sudden, my cousin came out from the back of the restaurant with a look of relief -- he had found Toby in the men's restroom. Toby had followed Uncle Dave to the restroom. He wasn't lost. He was safe. In fact, he was very happy and washing his hands...he had no idea what had been going on. Me, on the other hand...well, I was a bit frazzled inside. I tried to keep it together although I'm sure Ted and family sitting nearby could tell that I was worked up inside.
When I finally laid down to go to sleep that night, I remember looking out into the darkness with tears streaming down my face. I felt pretty traumatized. I was trying to process what had happened, what I could/should have done differently, and well...I had to stop myself from thinking about what could have happened. I simply prayed a prayer of thanks. Thank you Lord for saving Toby. Thank you that he was in safe hands. It's been a week since that night, but I've thought about it everyday.
We're still in the comforts and familiarity of the states. We haven't moved overseas yet. Can't I change my mind? Aren't I afraid to go? Why am I taking my toddler son and newborn baby to a foreign land? What about their health and safety? They won't have the same access to health care and pretty much anything like we have here.
When God called us, He called us as a family. While He didn't call Ted and me at the same time, He did call me just as much as He called Ted. I knew that I couldn't go simply to "accompany" Ted since he's my husband. That wouldn't be enough, and we would not be able to stay on the field long-term.
Does that mean I'm not afraid? Of course not. Fear is normal, a natural expression as fragile beings. But, my God is big. He's a great, big God. And, I am a child of this great, big God. He's here with me; He's there in Burundi. And believe me, He has been working on my heart in the areas of my fears and concerns for years now. I am confident that He prepares you for whatever He has called you to.
During our orientation in late July, we were challenged to think about our fears. What am I most afraid of? Sure, I always pray for Ted, my family, those near and dear to our hearts. But, one of my deepest fears? It is that my children will get hurt or sick and/or will die in my arms. We were challenged to acknowledge our fears, AND THEN...proclaim that God's grace is and will be sufficient if and when those things happen (2 Corinthians 12:9). The truth is, there is a cost to being a follower of Christ. When we accepted His call, we died to ourselves. When we became children of God, we died to ourselves. Each day, we need to die to ourselves as this world constantly tells us to do otherwise.
The enemy will try to place lies in my mind, our minds -- he knows our weaknesses just as well as God does. He is the master of schemes and will daily try to distort what is true. BUT, we were reminded that there is always an attribute of God that can counter each and every lie. How awesome is that? We can find these truths in His Word.
I still have fears, some big and some small, some related to the unknown and some for just life here in the states. But, I pray to be like those in Hebrews 11. I pray to be like Abraham, who, "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." He considered that God was able to even raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back."
God knows us so well though, doesn't He? And His timing is always perfect, isn't it? During service today at church, we sang a song that really touched me. Here's the chorus (and the entire song that you can hear at the end if you're interested):
I'm no longer a slave to fear.
I am a child of God.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers. It's what we need more than anything. And please let us know how you are doing, and how we can be praying more specifically for you!