“I need missionaries in Italy.” The words came to me as clearly as if you and I were talking face to face over a cup of coffee.
My world changed at that moment.
For one, I had never heard God speak to me so clearly. I was visibly shaken. It was hard to breathe. I felt like I might vomit. One sentence. Five words.
For another, He wanted us to go on mission? “But we aren’t missionaries,” I reasoned. “We haven’t been formally trained. We are an accountant and a designer!” My reasoning was to no avail. I couldn’t shake it. Two more days I felt sick to my stomach.
I remembered God had done things like this before.
Remember Abraham? God told him clearly to go to a place he didn’t know, and God would direct him along the way. Abraham, in faith, gathered all of his people and possessions and they started walking toward somewhere, without the knowledge of where they would end up. This is blind faith.
Abraham went, and God was faithful to him through the process. He didn’t leave him or abandon him on the way, even when Abraham messed up. God had given Abraham a good promise: “I will make of you a great nation…” What a thing to say to a seventy-five-year-old man with no children! God’s promises weren’t dependent on Abraham’s ability, perfection, or comprehension.
His willingness to obey God was what counted, and God confirmed his promise to Abraham again and again throughout the journey.
Is the impossible made possible by faith?
In a word, yes. But I won’t lie to you – it’s hard. It’s difficult to hang on to what God said when you’re facing impossible tasks, impossible people, and impossible circumstances.
Let’s look at Abraham again. God promised him a son even in his old age. But he had to wait. 25 years in fact.
After 11 years or so, he and his wife were impatient with God’s timing and decided to take matters into their own hands. (How often do we do that?!) A son was born to them by his wife’s servant, and although there were natural consequences to their impatience, God kept His original promise to Abraham. They waited and believed another 14 years for their promised son. And he came. He was birthed by a woman who was well beyond her child-bearing years. A miracle for certain.
The impossible was made possible.
We can ask God for more faith, and He will give it freely. We can ask Him to intervene in impossible situations, and He will move miraculously. We can ask Him to provide what seems impossible, and He will give generously.
. . .
As I prayed over the next few months, I could see the evidence of inward changes happening in my heart. A love developed in my heart for the Italian people.
My heart was open to obey God no matter what.
On top of the changes inside me, God was making miracles happen around us, preparing the way for departure into our unknown.
Still, my faith didn’t mean it was easy. God confirmed his plans to us over and over, but we had a lot of work to do on our end, too.
Faith journeys have a process
As God was changing and preparing our hearts and minds to move to Italy, we had a number of hurdles to contend with.
We had two small children, jobs we loved, a large historic home filled with antiques, and two cars. Out of all of that, only the kids were coming with us! That’s a lot of practical life to unwind!
In addition to the practical, our church prepared a plan for us to follow if we were to garner their support of God’s calling on our lives. We showed up for discipleship appointments every week for 8 months. We cut our cable to limit distractions as we took online theology courses every night for 5 months after the kids were in bed. We attended board meetings, trainings, and courses.
Through it all, we prayed.
There were moments it all seemed impossible.
We had to raise a significant amount of financial support to be allowed onto the field. God provided all we needed in 15 months! We worked hard reaching out to and meeting with families. We risked it all to ask for their support. And the response to us was overwhelming.
God was doing it!
Throughout the process, we had many ups and downs. Many things changed as we moved forward. Teams changed. People said no to supporting us. The church presented yet another task to complete. We were tired.
God’s faithfulness through the process
When God says to go, He is the One who provides. He made the impossible possible.
Our home sold. For cash. Including our house full of antiques my husband curated.
We gave. We gave away a car, a KitchenAid — anything we felt would bless others, we gave away.
We packed. Our home sold on my last day of work. I packed full-time for two weeks and managed to pack our remaining earthly belongings into 18 bags.
Our visas were approved. We found favor with the Italian consulate in Detroit and our visas we in hand over a month before our scheduled departure.
We grieved. I imagine Abraham also felt some sadness leaving everything familiar to follow God’s instructions. He didn’t know what he would come up against but he chose to follow in blind faith.
We too, followed in blind faith and God was ever faithful to see us through the good-byes and help us face our massive unknown.
What our faithful God made possible
As we sit here on the other side of the ocean nearly 4 years in, we are so glad we took that crazy step of faith to follow God’s instructions for our life journey. We couldn’t imagine being anywhere else in the world. He made it possible.
He is with us through every season, good or bad, and every time we remember His faithfulness, we are spurred on to keep believing and know that our blind faith produces much good fruit in our lives.
What is it that you need blind faith for?
What is God asking you to do?
Whatever it is, He will be sure to see you through the process, no matter what it takes. You can trust Him. I encourage you to follow Abraham’s lead and GO!