I’ve come to realize that one of the most difficult things we are faced with in this move is deciding. I am typically pretty good about making decisions. Sometimes I get buyer’s remorse and sometimes the decisions are hard, but for the most part I am decisive and can act on my decisions as needed. Actually, I may suffer more from the other extreme… acting too quickly.
Rob and I (and Matthew) spoke with the youth group last night about Swaziland and how we see God at work there and in our lives. One of the things we discussed was how difficult it was to say “YES.” In fact, saying “yes” was one of the hardest things I have ever done because it meant I would have to tell someone. I would have to try and explain that we were choosing to give up a good job, good home, good life here at home to become missionaries. Something of a risk. And for our friends and family who do not share our faith… a really, really, super-difficult thing to explain. But….
It would be far worse in my mind to say no to God.
So we said yes, and I admit, Rob said it way faster than me. Interesting though, that once the decision was made, it was pretty easy to share it and “live it.” It is like the worst part of the process is the decision itself, not what follows.
Here we are again, the point at which we need to make some decisions. Not small ones either. I can handle deciding what to pack, where to store stuff, who to put in charge of our affairs while we are gone… but ask me if we should sell the house or rent it and I am toast. Inquire on when we will attend our training in Colorado and I melt. Try and find out when we are planning to finally leave for Swaziland and I quake in my boots. This is tough stuff!
But the truth is Rob and I need to make some decisions. People work well with dates. Folks who wish to financially support this mission appreciate knowing dates, we certainly do better if there is at least a little bit of pressure to meet deadlines, and for crying out loud… we need to get there already!
Another thing that lights a fire under us is Rob’s vacation for 2012. What you may not realize about the firefighting life is that often fire-departments offer vacation “picks” for their staff. In other words, the firefighters, according to seniority, go through a series of picks where they select their vacation days off for the entire next year based on availability. For Rob, it means he can potentially take off a month of vacation days, providing us with all the time we need to complete missionary training in Colorado all while he is still a paid employee. (Not only income, but medical benefits. Cobra? No thank you.)
Well guess what? He has to pick his vacation this week. We have to choose when we will do training before he picks so that he can get the right days off. Seriously though, how do we know when we will be 100% funded?
Here it is…. decision time… and I feel my stomach turn over at the magnitude of the decisions. It is not small nor can I take it lightly. We just aren’t as flexible as we pretend we are because we have 4 kids to think about. Sleeping on couches for more than a week won’t work and the never-ending answer to their question of “When?” Cannot forever be, “Sometime soon, but we don’t know when.” It’s not fair to the kids. Actually, I’m not feeling like it’s so fair to me either. I want to know when!
So we struggle on. This week Rob and I will develop plan B if the house doesn’t sell by December 1, and we are preparing as if we will attend the training beginning February 6 in Colorado. We have many advisers to consult; folks who know a lot more than us in these areas and they may have a different opinion, so we ask you to prepare to hear (once again) that the plan has changed. As for now, this is how we proceed. We are also asking that you pray for us as we make these decisions because they are hard for us and more than anything we want to remain in God’s will through all of it. If we don’t make the February 6 date, the next training session begins March 26.
Stay tuned … the decisions will be made by the next time I post.
In the meantime, if you have not committed to supporting this work on a monthly basis, please consider doing so now. If you would like to commit, but want to hold off until we leave, please complete a commitment card (we can send you one) it will help us TREMENDOUSLY to be able to count your monthly pledge. We cannot go until the monthly pledges add up to 100%. And please, know that we are so grateful for your gifts, for your willingness to give, to pray, and to encourage us. This fact remains: we cannot do it alone! If you would like to hear more about what we are doing and would like the opportunity to ask questions, please come to our presentation after both services at Chapel Hill on November 6. We would also love for our current supporters to come… some haven’t even heard all the details of the mission! If you join us after second service we will be feeding you TACOS! So come have tacos with the Taylors and learn more about how you can be involved in what God is doing in Swaziland.
PS. If you haven’t explored the link to the right for African Leadership Partners, do it! We are now on the website under “staff.” Check-us out!