Thank you for your confidence.
We will tell you if there is an open door.
May God lead it all for His good.
Corine for Evelyne
Confidence? That was something that I could not find on Monday. Anywhere. The above e-mail was from the French Language School in Albertville. After they told us we would be on the waiting list since they were full. Full? What?
I was devastated. I felt like a door slammed in our face. I remembered we discussed other options- a language school near Paris, but it was more expensive. More expensive? What? More support raising? Why? I felt like if our support quota went up even $5 I was going to implode. I was already crying. I don’t know why it was on this day. Our support account hadn’t moved in a while. We still have all this money to raise that wasn’t coming in. At the same time I felt like we’ve raised so much. Sigh. Cry.
We called our team leader, who reassured us that our fundraising wasn’t going to change, but we wouldn’t get the same ‘bang for our buck’ living outside of Paris. Translation: the Brocks will be living in an apartment the size of a closet for our first year on the field. And, believe it or not, that made me feel (a little) better. Pete prayed for us. We prayed for ourselves. I repented for my doubts, doubted some more, and repented again.
I haven’t slept properly in a week. I lay down and this is what it looks like: What if our support doesn’t come in? When do we sell our stuff, when do we become properly transient itinerating missionaries? Will I get to see my family in Florida to properly say goodbye before I leave. If that goodbye isn’t what I expected it to be, will I have peace with that? How much is it going to cost to ship stuff? How do you buy a couch on craigslist in Paris and get it back to your apartment without a car? Is that even a thing?
Big fat ugly doubt. Big fat ugly guilt for doubting. Repent. Pray. STOP.
I, I, We, We. Didn’t we just have training about this? It’s not about me, or us. We haven’t raised any support. God has. We don’t have support left to raise. God does. He has done this all, and if he wants us in France he’ll get us there. I know this. On Monday I couldn’t feel it.
Then Tuesday happened. One meeting. I’ve just finished reading John Leonard’s book called Get Real. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. On Tuesday I had a meeting that I expected to fail. Because I expected it to fail, I shared my testimony and faith with this person without reserve. I just tried to listen, and love them, because I do. My prayer every time I talk to this person is that they would see Jesus in spite of me, and that the gospel would show through. God used this person to knock me off of my feet, with a very generous offer of support. That same day another support offer came through, and a few meetings were set-up. On Wednesday I went to a ladies bible study on grace. Grace.
More repentance, more prayer, more forgiveness, more grace. Lovely, beautiful, amazing Grace.
We need this. We need to fail sometimes (all the time). We need to be small and know that God is big. So big. Huge. Giant, with slap-you-upside-the-head grace, when you need it (which is always).
Monday, I had made it about me. In my mind, I knew that being on the field would be hard. There would be closing doors, opening doors, futile efforts, emotional struggles, dilemmas and tears. I expect those, (and still do), but I didn’t expect them yet. God knows what I need. He knows when I need to be knocked down. When I need to find him, and when I’ll need to use that story for His glory and not my own. I’ve been reading a blog of a woman whose hard is so much harder than mine, and every time she writes it’s a light into my life. She wrote not too long ago that your hard is different from my hard, and that’s okay. When I came to my (God’s) senses on Tuesday I remembered her blog. These words:
I am fighting to live well today from a place of brokenness, won’t you join me? Your broken looks a bit different than mine, but I know you feel those hard edges of today. Can we fight to live in love, in grace- moving towards those that are difficult in our lives? Can we live beyond how we feel, and press into a different living? A living that listens for the Holy Spirit, and waits upon Jesus for direction. Can we live large and joyful, not quiet and getting through. We go, we go, we go, but do we stop to enjoy all the going? … Love another today. It matters. It’s needed. You are not the only broken one today- that person next to you, they are too.
I still don’t know about that last bit of support. I still don’t know if the Language school in Paris even has room for us or how we’ll survive in an 800 square foot apartment for a year. What I do know is that God is Good. Merciful. Amazing. He loves me. His son died for me. There is peace there that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for your prayers and support.