Kevin left for his mission trip to Romania this morning at 3:30. The kids and I will miss him terribly, but I am so excited that he's getting to be part of this trip. I cannot wait until our whole family can go on a trip like that together...but it will be awhile, so until then...I'll have to find the courage to go to nursing homes and such, since that's much more compatible with young children!
After he left this morning and I was praying for him, the trip, and the team, I was reminded of the first big mission trip he took after we started dating. It was in the summer of 2002 and he spent a month in Uganda with Awe Star Ministries. We had been dating about a year at this point and I was still living in Dallas at the time. Even at first mention of the possibility of the trip, I knew without a doubt that he was supposed to go. As I spent time praying about the trip, and praying for his safety, it's the only time I really feel like I audibly heard God speak to me...and I think it's the hardest thing I have ever heard. He said, "I will take care of him, but taking care of him does not necessarily mean bringing him home." I really felt in my heart that he would not be returning from the trip, and I was at total peace with that. I knew God was in control and had both Kevin and I in His hands, no matter what happened. I have never felt such a calming reassuring peace in all my life. As I am sure you know, Kevin did return from that trip and I was very joyous and thankful! But, as I thought about that this morning, I had to be honest with God and tell Him that, this time, there was no peace thinking that there is a possibility something could happen and Kevin might not return. I had to tell God that, even though I still believe He is in control of ALL THINGS, I could not honestly say that, whatever happened, I would be OK because He was in control. I wanted to say that I trust Him and trust His sovereignty in this instance, that I want Him to do whatever will bring Him the most Glory and lead the most people to him...but I know that, if taking Kevin Home is what will do that, there is nothing in me that wants that to happen. I was then reminded of our study last night at small group where Jesus led the Last Supper, left singing the psalm "This is the day that the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it", went to the Garden in agony over what was to come, still prayed "not my will, but Yours", then was crucified shortly after. Can I say, "This is the day that the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it" no matter what happens? Can I rejoice in the LORD for all he has done, will do, and all he is, even if Kevin never makes it back? Even if His will is that one of my children, family members, or friends must perish for Him to receive the most glory? No, I cannot say, right now, that I can! I want to feel that way. I want that to be the honest cry of my heart, but right now that is not true! I will be praying for the team while they are gone...and praying that the LORD will change my heart so that I can truly say that I can rejoice in Him, no matter what happens! That I can have that peace that passes all understanding, the peace only the LORD can give, in all circumstances!