World-Stop moments seem to happen at the most unexpected times. Tonight, I had such a moment during the kid’s bedtime...
I was tucking my two-year-old, EvaLee, into bed and reminded her that her daddy, me and God all love her. She squeezed shut her bright blue eyes and in a little voice sang this made up song, "Praise God, praise God that wuvs me, He is so nice, my Mommy told me so."
I pushed aside the soft mess of her blond curls and kissed her forehead before I walked out of her room, with the memory of her sweet voice still ringing in my ears. As I wandered through my strangely quiet house, picking up a stray toy here and a book or crayon there, my heart felt heavy as I thought about the many little children sleeping under the same God-given starry sky as my daughter. She is snuggled in warm covers up to her tiny chin, with her face wearing a peaceful expression. She is also resting in the comforting love of her parents and the even greater love of her Creator. Yet there are many other children out there who are cold and lonely who have never been told their parents or, more importantly, their Maker loves them.
All this made me wonder, Do the things that break God’s heart break my own? Do I strive to think outside of my own little world or find contentment in the safety of the known?
WHAT IF? ... we yearned more for God’s calling (be it dangerous or uncomfortable) than for our own complacent self-made life?
WHAT IF? ... we said “YES” to God and whatever He has for our family...even before He revealed exactly what that may be?
These were the very questions my husband, Bob, and I were compelled to ask ourselves the fall of 2010 (see my previous blog from that time, "What If?!"). The answer to those questions came to us only after we both said with determination, “Yes.”
“Yes”...if it means God is calling us to a foreign country (coming from a girl who lived in third-world countries when I was single, I was NOT dreamy-eyed in the least about what this could mean for a young family. My kids are pretty typical and prefer mac n’ cheese to roasted crickets or pig-skin soup!).
“Yes”...if it means a career with less money, a home with less space or a car with more rust!
After Bob and I gave God the thumbs up to WHATEVER He may have for us, we felt impressed to put our home on the market and make plans to move to a nearby town (my Mom is still breathing a sigh of relief that we’re moving ten miles away instead of ten thousand!). A few weeks after we hammered a “For Sale” sign into our front yard, the next step in our faith-journey with God was suddenly illuminated.
That World-Stop Moment came during a regular evening when we had unexpected guest. A couple that we had begun a friendship with the previous year stopped by with a pie and a shocking question. They excitedly shared their story from the last two years of planting a church in the same town we were wanting to move to and how God has been blessing their labors their with a great building, a growing congregation and thus a need for more help.
“Would you consider joining us to be the youth and children’s pastor?” The question hung in the air for Bob and both of our eyes grew wide. My husband has a love of people and has been involved in volunteer ministry through out most of his life; but, his college training and years of experience have been mostly specialized in real-estate appraising...but What If God was calling us out of our comfort zone to be pastors at this church?
The next few weeks were spent on our knees and on the phone as we sought the wisdom of our Big Boss and the advice of godly mentors, family and friends. The answer we continued to receive was no longer a big surprise to us, “YES”!
So, over six months later and countless hours of meeting people, strategizing and planning, we are ready to embark on the next phase of this amazing adventure. Our hearts are bursting with anticipation at the possibilities of what God will do in the coming years while we work together with the church-plant pastor and his family as God shakes us out of our own little world to do BIG things through HIM.
I want the things that break God’s heart to break my own.
I want the things that bring God joy to bring great satisfaction in my own life.
I want to ask “What if?” and not be afraid of the answer, even if it’s uncomfortable.
I want to answer “Yes” before I know the question if it’s God that’s doing the asking.
I expect many more World-Stop moments to come. I’m also thinking World-Stop moments shouldn’t stop us at all...they should propel us to START something that could change the world, one life at a time.
Editor’s Note: MANY thanks to our amazing friends and family who have been with us on this journey and been a constant support of love and encouragement. We definitely need your treasured friendship and prayers to continue in the coming months as we go through many changes (including our new baby that’s due in a few weeks!). We REALLY couldn’t do this without you all and can’t say in words just what you mean to us.
Love, the Cole Family