My husband, TJ, is a devoted husband, father, family member, employee and friend to everyone he knows. He’s spent the past four years in a “commuting triangle” between Chicago, IL – Cocoa Beach, FL and Cherry Hill, NJ. While we’re grateful for this job that provides for our family… let’s face it … it’s not the ideal situation. When he accepted the role in Chicago, our intentions didn’t start out that our family would be separated in three different states spanning 2,300 miles. However, circumstances were beyond our control. We had to make tough decisions. Some people may have thought we were crazy, or worse, getting a divorce!
During this time, there were days we felt like we could barely ‘keep our heads above water.’ Loneliness and doubt sunk in. Our relationship with God suffered. However, there were also good days – cherishing the windows of time we had together, either as a couple or a family. This kept us hopeful that there was a larger plan in all of the craziness.
Slowly, God planted people in our lives who awakened our senses to His greater plan:
- Julia Maria from Ometepe who contacted us in January 2017, to humbly ask for help to attend University (Matthew 21:22).
- A young family with five kids here in Florida showed us what it’s like to truly walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). They abandoned their comfortable life in another state far way to follow a calling into the mission field serving the poor in Florida.
- Madelyn. She is a full-time 23-yr old missionary in Nicaragua, whose love for Jesus and to gather His sheep is so contagious. (Isaiah 40:11).
- Hilder. A young 21-yr. old man supporting & carrying his family in Ometepe. Hilder’s gift is teaching English language and love for Jesus (Romans 12: 6-7)– All are great needs in Nicaragua.
With each encounter, we became more finely tuned to: Ask, Walk, Tend, Gather, Carry, Teach and Lead – all to advance His Kingdom, not ours!
We put ourselves at God’s disposal, and He put more people (too long to mention all the names here) in our paths. What happened in our family and with the ministry have been miraculous. On January 10, 2018, One Body Global Ministries hired Hilder to start teaching English classes on Ometepe for young adults and children. The same day, T.J. received a written job offer from his employer to work in Florida! Now what remains for us on His mission seem more clear.
As Christians, I believe God wants us to know, first and foremost, that we are at His disposal – from our most simple acts as the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians: 27). Sometimes it comes to us through the written word, sometimes through the people or unexpected events in our daily lives. How will you respond when God needs you to be at His disposal?