When I was a college student, I used to often love the quote, “Don’t stay until God calls you to go, but instead go until God calls you to stay.” I’m not sure where I first heard that quote, but it is a biblical statement. After all, the original text of the Great Commission actually states to make disciples as you are going instead of the literal “Go” that we read in our English Bibles. However, while I loved the first part of that quote, I never thought that the second half would apply to my life. When I planned my life out in my early twenties, I pictured myself as the girl that would Go to the nations and live a life of adventure on mission for God. I never stopped to consider if I would be equally passionate about staying and making disciples right where I was. Little did I know, that God was preparing me for such a time as this.
When He sent me to Virginia to go to college, my pride as a Kentuckian increased so much. I fell in love with my roots and all things Kentucky. I even had my roommates, from all around the country cheering for the Wildcats for the years to come. Then when He moved us to Guatemala, I longed for the open spaces and rolling hills of Kentucky. I was so excited to visit and let our son run free in the backyard. My love for Kentucky wasn’t an accident, God was preparing my heart for the day He would call me back. He was equipping me for such a time as this.
When God sent me to Guatemala to study abroad, having me spend my afternoons seeing the ups and downs of the lives of orphans in institutional care He was instilling in me a deep conviction that orphans belong in families and that foster care is the answer to the global orphan crisis. When God sent three-year-old Marcos into my life to fall asleep in my lap and scream my name each time I told him I had to get on an airplane and go back to the States, He was ensuring that my life would be dedicated to fighting for the broken just like Marcos. He was giving me deep convictions for such a time as this.
When God brought three sweet children to live with Brad’s parents while we were dating, giving us a front row to all of the trauma they had suffered he was preparing us. When we watched and played an active role in their healing, we were learning. He was teaching us for such a time as this.
When God had us raise support to be full-time missionaries, He was giving us the connections and support system we would need to minister to the people of our own town. When God had Brad initiate meetings and speak in churches, He was teaching him the boldness he would need to advocate for foster and adoptive children in our own backyard. He was arming us for such a time as this.
When God ordained for Brad and me to attend an orphan care conference as preparation for our long-term ministry in Guatemala, he was giving us tools to use when He would call us to stay in Kentucky. As we attended the breakout groups that discussed how foster care was the answer for the orphan crisis in countries such as Guatemala he was radically changing our hearts towards foster care in our own backyard. He was preparing us for such a time as this.
When God orchestrated for us to meet with a Children’s home leader in Guatemala that would tell us that there were only five foster homes in the whole country of Guatemala, He was causing us to question if we had done our part for fatherless in Kentucky. When God gave me a longing for someone to serve the foster and adoptive families of our town, He was preparing me to be that person. God was beginning to call us for such a time as this.
When God allowed our baby to be born with High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), He called us to stay. Before he called us to start a nonprofit, He had already given us the skills we would need. Before he called us to foster children in our home state, he had already prepared our hearts. Before He called us to serve foster and adoptive families in Kentucky, He had already written the need that we would fill on our hearts. He prepared us for such a time as this.
At the moment, we didn’t see anything that God was doing. In fact, we thought He was writing an entirely different story. But this story is far better and far more intricate than the one that we could have written.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that God is never mentioned in the book of Esther. He wrote every detail of her story and prepared her to have a hand in saving her people, but in the moment we don’t always see that God is the one writing the details. The same was true for us, and the same is true for you too, friend. He is behind the scenes writing every detail of your story, preparing you for the great calling He has for you. Maybe you are living your calling and looking back on all that He did to prepare you. Praise Him for that. Maybe you are pursuing a calling that seems to be taking forever to come to fruition. Trust Him as He writes your story. I promise, friend, He is preparing you for such a time as this.