Monday, July 27, 2009

Along His Path

"In his heart a man plans his course, the but the Lord determines his steps" - Proverbs 16:9

As a family, we are in the midst of a journey. A journey of God's leading, obeying as He determines our steps.

It has been a delight to serve in many nations, sharing His love, and learning to hear His voice and obey. To be sure, we have been ruined for the ordinary and rejoice on the path that God continues to lead us on. And it’s just the beginning!

On our recent visit to the US, the Lord began to tug on our hearts. In the past, we had told Him that we would serve Him anywhere, except back in the US. Our hearts were closed, but God delights in changing hearts. Laying down all of our dreams and plans for the future, we finally surrendered everything, even being willing to serve on the mission field in the US.

Once we opened our hearts, the Lord started to pour into our family, directing us down a new path. We absolutely love serving in Costa Rica and we spent countless hours in prayer and sought godly counsel. I struggled, threw tantrums, and finally sat quiet enough to hear God's gentle whisper to my heart.

In a time of intercession, I cried out to God, "We will have nothing. We will have nothing." over and over again. My flesh screamed reminding me of the friends, the ministry, the children, the country that I would leave behind. Exhausted from simply pouring out all my heart, I finally listened.

My gentle Shepherd gathered me into His arms and spoke. "Sarah Dawn, you will have everything, you will have me." I love missions, I love Central America, I love Costa Rica, but I love my Lord even more.

Honestly, it is hard to leave Costa Rica, but we have committed to hearing God’s voice and radically obeying, despite the cost. Moving back to the United States is something we never thought we would do. Only God could touch our hearts in this way and guide our path. Many of you truly know our passion for Central America and missions, what must God have in store? Something beyond our wildest dreams I’m sure.

Lord as I walk on this journey, thank you for determining my steps. Teach me not only to walk in obedience, but to dance with joy along the path.
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Denise said...

"radically obeying" now that is something to ponder!

This world is so thirsty for Him! Keep splashin' wherever He leads!


christy rose said...

Oh Wow! Sarah Dawn! Shat has God got in store? This is so exciting!

Sarah said...

Oh wow! I just found your blog and I have to say that this post definitely speaks to my heart. My husband and I KNOW that God has called us to minister within the church in the U.S. The church is dying here without love, without commitment, without Jesus in so many ways. But, sometimes it goes completely against my desire to remain in the U.S. But, like you said, I love God more.

We have been blessed to have found a body of like-minded brethren who long to see the church restored in the U.S. We keep pressing into loving Him more and loving His people more. He is good and He is worthy!

Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

Sarah Dawn,

How beautiful…to follow Him, dancing with joy in your heart.

May God’s peace be with you as He guides you today.


Beth Herring said...

Sarah Dawn, This is something that has been on my heart lately too and I just posted today about the Lordship of Christ and do we truly allow Him to be our Master?

I will pray with you as God gives you direction and confirmation of what He has for you.

Many blessings!!

Sharon said...

God's ways truly are higher than our ways. Obedience is not always easy, but it is always best. May God strengthen you as you follow Him.

Barbara said...

Thank you for posting this! I needed to be reminded that it is not going according to our plans but according to God's, even if we do not particularly like His plans in the first moment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by My Home of Five! It is truly exciting to follow where God leads. My family hasn't been out of the US, but we have in the past few years went from one church to another when God spoke to us. We have never been stronger in our faith and our love for Jesus Christ! It is amazing what can happen when you truly follow Him! I hope that you are truly blessed in your new journey!

Who am I... said...

Ahh...the journey...Psalm 84:5!! We just moved from Seattle to Georgia because of the call of the Lord...still no clue why we are here other than to live each day for His glory!!:)Fun times! May He fold you in His wings for comfort during your talks with Him!:)

Daveda said...

Wonderful! Looking forward to hearing about what god will do through you!

I feel God moving us as well, no idea when or where, but looking forward to the journey ahead!

Shonni said...

Your faith is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

AtlantaMama said...

God is good and His plans are PERFECT! We all love Jer. 29:11 but I love the part after that even more... because he says You will find me when you seek me with all your heart. And I love that. That is a promise that says to us that the Lord wants us to know Him -- He wants us to seek Him out and seek out what HE WANTS. He does not want to be hidden or keep his thoughts as a mystery from us. He loves to love us. He loves to spend time with us and to reveal Himself more fully. It's awesome that you were willing to listen and obey. And even to give up something you love. That's not easy at all. What a lesson for your boys too. WOW. I know that since this is a God lead Move, it will be deeply and richly blessed. He has a new season for your family. That is exciting!! That's always more..........

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

Praying for you as you dance with joy in obedience :)

I'm curious and excited to see what He is unfolding.

Andrea said...

What an awesome journey you are on. I am thankful GOD directed our paths to meet. I am privileged to pray for you...enabling me to be a part of your beautiful journey.
GOD BLESS, andrea

Heart2Heart said...

Sarah Dawn,

I pray for you and your family to have peace about this decision that lies in front of your path. May God direct you wisely and give you assurance that you are doing the right thing.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

TinaJewel said...

funny, i just used this verse last week. remember to let Him lead in the dance of life and even though we don't know the steps of the dance, He will not let us fail. keep dancing. ps thanks for visiting me, and for the nice comments. visit often! have a great week.

~Sandy said...

Beautiful post!!!

Amy said...

I will be praying for you and your family and your new journey for the Lord. Blessings to you friend.
In Him,

Collette@Jesuslovesmums said...

A turbulent time for you and your family but in all of this God knows his plans for you all!
Love Collette xxx

Pilar said...

A friend told me yesterday about a saying she has heard before "si quieres contarle a Dios un chiste, cuentale tus planes". I laughed but it is so true.
God´s ways often surprises us, but it is always the best way!

can´t wait hearing about what God has in store for you and your family

Leah Adams said...

Eager to hear what the Lord has for your family! You are an inspiration to me.


TanyaLea said...

Oh Sarah Dawn~

Your faith and purposeful love for our Lord has been such a sweet inspiration to me in the short time I've been following you. Sometimes it is SO hard to be obedient when we don't understand His ways...but I know you are just that...OBEDIENT! And because of your faithfulness to be led by Him, He will bless you abundantly, where ever it is that He places you. There is a place that it pleases Him to put you for such a time as this, and when you follow that calling, you will be blessed! And I know that your heart isn't longing to be back in the US...but what I can tell you is that the US needs you! We need to take back the church and fall back on our country's Godly roots. It's a scary time to live here, and I often feel like I just want to bail outta here myself, as it saddens my heart so much to see godliness disappear in our nation...but I do believe that Believers are beginning to rise up from the ashes and speak out, joining together "in one accord" for our Lord. Know that we will be praying for you and for clear direction from God. May He bless you for your unwavering trust in Him! <><

Blessings and Hugs,

Sandy said...

I will be praying for you and your family, and will be watching to see what God's plan for you is.
Thank you for sharing.

Sarah said...

Sarah Dawn,

Sweet sister, I just had to leave another comment. I was in a bit of a rush this morning when I found your blog, so I came back to read some of your old posts, etc.

You sons seem absolutely precious. I loved what your beautiful boy said at his baptism. I'm so looking forward to "meeting" your new one(s) from Ethiopia.

You must have spent some time at IHOP!! Our good (college-aged) friend is leaving on Wednesday to study and worship there for a year. We'll miss him, but are excited to see what God does. I LOVE Mike Bickle. I'm listening to his teaching series on Song of Solomon for a second time. Incredible stufff!! Our church has been blessed for the past year to have 1 week per month of 24/7 prayer in the prayer house that we have rented. God has been doing wonderful things in the hearts of His people! Next year we are praying to be able to have 24/7 prayer 2 weeks per month.

I've been listening to Misty Edwards, and am constantly convicted and encouraged and inspired! Her worship truly touches the heart of God.

I haven't read Beni Johnson's book, but we LOVE Bill Johnson. My favorite is Strengthen Yourself in the Lord. We keep buying copies because we find so many people to give them to.

Many blessings to you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your life here.

Adeye said...

Wow--what exciting news. I KNOW how you feel though. So completely understand, having been on the mission field for so long too.

Our pastor said something very interesting last Sunday..."America is now the greatest mission field in the world". mmmmm---I'm beginning to agree.

Unknown said...

You are and will be an inspiration to anyone who meets you. Welcome Home!

Kristen Love said...

I have total faith that God will provide for you and your sweet and precious family!
It is very hard to be obedient sometimes, but I KNOW that God will do great things through your family- wherever He leads you :-)

Unknown said...

Oh precious friend - my heart is bursting with joy as you share His plans with everyone here - to come alongside of your family in prayer and worship!

I love you and can't wait to finally be face to face!!!!! Hug your precious sons for me!


Sharon Sloan said...

Hi, Sarah Dawn. I read this yesterday and was praying for you...that God would fill your heart with His delight. We Americans are glad you'll be coming to the US!

This morning, I read this scripture and thought of you. I pray it encourages you:
"The LORD will be awesome to them
when he destroys all the gods of the land.
The nations on every shore will worship him,
every one in its own land." Zeph. 2:11

The nations on every shore will worship Him...everyone in its own land. He will bless you so much for your obedience.

Zeph 2:3 -- "Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility..."

Karen said...

What a beautiful and inspiring message of hope! Loved your closing line...may we always remember this....

Kim said...

Expect the unexpected with Jesus! Thank you for showing us how to trust and obey. Cannot wait to see how the Lord blesses you and your family for keeping your hand in His.
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

He & Me + 3 said...

That is awesome and I cannot wait to hear of your experiences & what the Lord has in store for you and your precious family because you are following His leading!

Yolanda said...

Sarah Dawn,

I thought about as I read this that God's ride is a journey worth riding. I love ya and I know that He does too!! Keep splashing.....

Ike said...

I can see that your "mission" is first and foremost for the glory and good pleasure of God.

fixedonHIM said...

We are transitioning into a new season too, one that we have been praying about for a while. We are still unsure of what it looks like or what our role will be. Our flesh wants to take the shortcut yet we know in our hearts that God is truly in control and we have peace & excitement for what HE has in store for our family. He has been preparing us for a while and gently leading us to let go of some things too. It is our hearts desire to trust Him daily in all things...oh, what a fun battle that is! :)

I can relate to the tantrums and I am almost to the point of sitting quietly before Him. When I feel like I am being surrounded in these seasons of "change"... overwhelmed & even disruptive to those around me...I must be still and remember it is His voice & truth that can quiet me.

I don't remember how I found your blog Sarah, I am just grateful that I did. Your devotion to our Lord has been an incredible blessing to me. You have encouraged me to press on and hold on to the truth...not letting go of those whispers that have been spoken.

God is so good & faithful. The path that He is leading your family on in the US will be just as faithful & fruitful as your last. I agree that you all will make a huge splash for the Lord back here...we need you. So many of us have forgotten how to swim. :)

God Bless your days ahead!

With eyes fixed on HIM,

Michele said...

This was a Beautiful Post, Praying for you and your family as God leads your way

Anonymous said...

I love that phrase of yours "radical obedience". Indeed, as you commented on my blog, you and I have been led to radically obey in similar ways (ie not watching television for the past few years and soaking in the Word absolutely daily with no limit) You are a true soul mate of mine and I love to come and splash with you!

Jen said...

What an adventure it is to follow God, wherever He leads! Sarah Dawn, He has a mission field waiting for you that will surely be as dear to your heart as the one you may have to leave. How wonderful that you have a srervant's heart that is willing to follow where He says to go. Our move last year was not nearly as far geographically or culturally, but I remember the resistance, the tears, the fear to trust. Then the yielding came and He has blessed us abundantly. I camped out in Genesis and read of Abraham's obedience and faith, all the while recalling Hebrews 11:8 "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going." God will bless you, my sweet friend!

Kimmie said...

Glad your inviting me to come along in your journey. Exciting to see what God will do and what doors and lives He will open to you.

Loosen your hold to this world dear friend and grab onto the hem of His garment.

mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

Sharon Sloan said...

Just read these scriptures in morning quiet time and wanted to encourage you with them:

" 'I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the desert,
through a land not sown. Jer. 2:2

I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps.
24 Correct me, LORD, but only with justice—
not in your anger,
lest you reduce me to nothing.
Jer. 10:23-24

He is directing your steps beautifully. You may see it as a "desert" now, but remember the awesome things He accomplishes in the desert and the wonderful ways He provides!

Praying, trusting and watching,
Sharon :)

Tea with Tiffany said...

Love your love for God and how your family is willing to give up everything to serve Him and His people.

Can't wait to watch His perfect plan unfold.

Peace in the waiting, friend.

Mich said...

I just got back from vacation that included a missionary reunion of one of the countries I lived in as a child. I was able to visit with both long term missionaries as well as those who followed the Lord's calling to different places.

Hang in there, God has a beautiful plan for you and your family. And it will be full of blessings because of your obedience.

Praying for you.

Margie said...

Love the name of your blog, your pics, and I cried when I read this post.

Surrender is a beautiful thing and I saw it written in your words.

Splashing around the world with you,


Unknown said...

Sarah Dawn... you are beautiful. From someone who has been through the same tantrums and surrender, I reach out and embrace you. I am a Canadian, married to an Italian, we met on the mission field and planned to never lead a "normal" life. And guess where God has brought us. To the quiet Canadian prairies surrounded by quiet Canadian people to live a quiet, relatively Canadian life. But one thing we do see. What He has planted in us has need of being seminated in the fertile soil of Canadian souls. So we live, and move and find our being in Him. Here. Today. He's got great and difficult things in store for you beloved. Keep your chin up and your belt buckled for the battle and the kingdom work is all around.

Anonymous said...

Sarah encouraging each of the entries are!! Yes, we American's are excited and filled with expectancy with what the Lord has for you here. Fortunantely, those of us who live where you are landing...will be able to come along side of you!! AND I get my family back home and mucho grandson time!!!!! BONUS!!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! Isn't it amazing how God speaks to our hearts when we stop throwing our tantrums and just listen quietly? And after all is said and done, when we look back, we see why He leads the way He does. We see His purpose. God bless you and your family! I'm new to blogging and I hope if you have time you will stop by my blog. I don't have many posts, but if you would leave a comment or follow my blog, that would be deeply appreciated! Thanks so much!

Charlotte said...

This reminds me of a chapter in my own life. It wasn't moving to another country, it was just moving to another state, but it was traumatic. We had ministered in three different churches in California and I thought I didn't ever want to live anywhere but California. The Lord led us to Arizona, one of the last places in the U.S. I would have chosen, but miraculously we loved it here from day one. It has been 20 years since we left California and came to Arizona and we haven't regretted a second of it. It's amazing how God can change hearts and change plans. His plans are always the best even though we like our own pretty well.
I've enjoyed my visit here today.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I will be praying for you! I know God has something amazing planned for you! BTW, I gave you a blog nod over at my place!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Great post...It is a rainy day here in La and I have enjoyed some blog reading....So glad I stopped by yours.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family; May God give you peace and understanding as you seek His will.

Mocha Momma said...

So changes are in store for your family. You have listened and obeyed. God will provide. It must be hard not knowing where the money will come from and where you will live, but God knows all.

You have been faithful to serve and God will not fail to take you to the next ministry field.

God bless you all and I'll be in prayer for you.

Take care,

Tara Anderson said...

Oh how God does delight in changing our hearts...and praise Him for it!!! I have NO doubt that our Father will bless you as you return back to the States in obedience to Him. Many Blessings!!!