Last summer Don told me his brother invited him on a mission trip to Liberia with a ministry his brother directs. He asked me, “Should I go?”
I don’t know if it was selfishness, conviction, or fear that made me say, “No, I don’t think you should go.”
Selfishness. I didn’t want the trip to cost me anything—time, money, or energy. As the wife of a pastor (and a man who travels on mission trips regularly), I knew some responsibility would fall on my shoulders.
Conviction. That’s a hard one. I enumerated many valid reasons I believed Don shouldn’t go—some of them were even spiritual and biblical. Besides, I didn’t “have a peace” about it. I rallied behind this particular reason for several weeks.
Fear. Ah, the root of many bad decisions. Fear is really a lack of trust and, at first, I didn’t trust Don was hearing from the Lord. Nor did I trust that God would allow Don to come home in one piece, if at all. As a friend of mine recently said, “Being in the center of God’s will is not always safe.” She referred to our physical well-being. God does not promise we will live our lives of faith without harm.
To my husband’s credit, he did not want to say yes to the trip until I gave him the green light. Unfortunately for him that didn’t happen. However, he wouldn’t say no either. So we came to a standstill.
The last time Don brought it up, the deadline was fast approaching and a decision needed made. I finally relented. Actually what I said was more like,
“You are never going to convince me you should go on this trip. But I won’t stand in your way. If you believe God wants you to go, say yes and I’ll be okay.”
And I am okay.
I realized I could not keep him from going, nor should I. As head of the household, he could have forced my hand at any time. I’m glad that’s not how our marriage works. However, as his wife, I have an obligation to trust his leadership. God has spent years teaching me this lesson.
Don agreed to the trip, raised his support, and left for Liberia last weekend. He is due home March 2nd. While I haven’t felt the “peace” I seek, my fear is slowing dissipating and my trust in the Lord is strengthening. I have no knowledge Don will come home unscathed. But I rest in the knowledge that God is in control and knows what’s best for each of us.
If you want to check out Hope 2 Liberia, click on the picture below.