Wednesday, November 12, 2008

God Didn't Tell Me

I was asked to write something for our church bulletin to explain my transition. For the majority of you who aren't part of New Covenant, here's what I wrote:

When talking about knowing God’s will, a very wise teacher told me years ago, “Never say, ‘God told me…’ You could be wrong, and then it makes it seem like God was wrong. Which, of course, he’s not.”

Hence, I make decisions based on several factors. I pray about options. I study the Word. I talk with advisers. And I trust God to give me peace about the process. Because he’s not yet spoken to me in an audible voice, I simply need to trust him to give me peace regarding choices I make.

Fourteen years ago I chose to leave my homeland to serve God abroad. Six years ago I chose to accept the option to continue my studies. Three years ago I chose to follow what I believed was God’s invitation to return to the continent of my birth.

When I found myself struggling to adjust to the extreme challenges of living without strong community at ELI, I followed the advice of counselors and chose to move to our base at Kipkaren. I chose to love my new community. Daily, I chose my attitude. I chose to pour all of me into the work before me while looking forward to doing more teaching, what I believed God had wired me to do.*

This summer, I was thrilled when conversations with the Kenyan board of ELI opened the door to doing training. But early in October, conversations with the U.S. board proved that they still wanted me to focus on teams and writing, that it would be a while before I could focus on teaching.

Thus, I was faced with a difficult choice. Do I stay on, or do I find someplace where I could serve God in a role where I can thrive? I spent time reading the Word, reading several papers I had written the past few months, and praying. I felt compelled that the time is right to move on, despite not yet knowing where I would be moving.

This may not make sense to you. I cannot justify the decision by saying, “God told me to resign.” He didn’t. But as I prayed and considered the choices, I had immense peace that moving on was the right thing to do.

During this time of transition, I’m sure of one thing: God is by my side. He will guide me. He’s never let me down before. He has reminded me of that over and over.

I choose to trust Him.

I choose to step out in faith and follow the One who calls me His.

* Paul Stevens says it well: “Normally God calls us to himself and leads us into particular expressions of service appropriate to our gifts and talents through our passions, abilities and opportunities.” (R.P. Stevens, Doing God’s Business, Eerdmans: 2006. p.36)


  1. When talking about knowing God’s will, a very wise teacher told me years ago, “Never say, ‘God told me…’ You could be wrong, and then it makes it seem like God was wrong. Which, of course, he’s not.”
    I agree. I've known quite a few people that say this...and I've always thought, they shouldn't speak for God. Anyway, love this article for the bulletin.
    I'm thinking of you and have prayed for your continued direction.

  2. Thanks for your prayers!

  3. I just read this entry and want to thank you for describing the process you went through. No matter where we are in life, we are always facing decisions and personally I wish God would give me a neon sign telling what the right decision should be. God doesn't use "neon" signs, rather He uses the things you described-his Word and our community to help us understand Him and what He has for us. Like most things, it is more about the process (of seeking God and His plan for us) rather than the destination!

  4. I have been so out of touch with you. I had no idea. I pray that all things are well.