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The Twists in the Road

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.” 

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring 

   This journey towards Abide has had more twists and turns than I ever could have imagined. It has been a five year season of heartbreak and celebration, roadblocks and breakthrough, but above all it has been a season of rejoicing in God’s immense faithfulness and learning to follow His Spirit. I wrote a blog post a few years ago about how this journey was teaching me to follow His Presence like the Israelites did through the desert. You can read it here:

    These past six months of sabbatical have been beautiful, challenging, and surprising. If you remember from my previous blog, sabbatical that it is a time where “we disengage from our regular work, as an act of faith, for the purpose of worship, rest, renewal, and repair.” And sabbatical can be divided into 5 steps:

1. Release & Relinquish

2. Rest & Recovery

3. Reflect & Refocus

4. Realignment 

5. Re-entry or Re-engagement 

    I had expected sabbatical to be a time of rest, refreshment and reflection, but I did not realize that refocusing and realignment would be such a big part of this season for me because I knew so clearly where I was headed in ministry with Abide. However, as I stopped and disengaged from the normal to engage more deeply with the Lord, He began to redirect my steps. “A person’s heart plans [her] way, but the Lord determines [her] steps.” -Proverbs 16:9


   No, the Lord is not leading me away from Abide, but He has redefined for me my role within the ministry…

    Once I had rested and recovered enough to be in a place to really hear from the Lord (around mid-October), all of these overwhelming emotions began to surface. As my time in the States progressed, the desires of my heart had been shifting. I realized (very unexpectedly) that I missed being in the States with family and friends. I began to realize that I wanted and needed to make space in my life for more than just ministry. These feelings honestly shocked me! I had said for years that if Jesus wanted me to live anywhere expect Nicaragua that He would have to appear in the flesh to convince me and suddenly my heart was feeling drawn away from full-time living in my beloved home. I struggled to process these emotions and what they would mean for me and for Abide. I was desperately seeking peace from the Lord and a path to peacefully fulfill the dreams that the Lord has birthed in my heart. 

   Through a lot of prayer and several conversations with wise counsel, I had been presented with the option of taking on the administrative roles within Abide and hiring local caregivers to do the day-to-day care of children in the home. As this idea settled into my heart, peace began to flood my spirit. I know this may be shocking for some of you (it certainly was for me), but I now feel so much rest in this decision. I believe that it is the best decision both for me personally and for Abide. I believe that this is the best pathway to longevity for Abide as a ministry and to better heart health for me personally. Having local caregivers will empower locals in the community, provide training and work for families, and help create a more culturally consistent home for the children. It will also allow me to focus on all of the fundraising and administration that must happen for Abide to run. And it will give me the freedom to return to a life in the States and travel back and forth to Nicaragua as needed. I believe that this will help me to have better balance in my life and make space for things outside of ministry.

   I have shared this with several of my trusted friends in Nicaragua (pastors, women who serve alongside me, and some of my mature youth) and they all believe that this path is both possible for Abide and the right decision for me in this season. It was so encouraging to my heart to receive their unconditional support and their desire to help me build the best team for Abide. I am excited to see how the Lord will continue to shape this vision and bring the right people together to carry it to completion. Please continue to pray for Abide. Pray that I will faithfully listen to the Spirit’s leading and step forth in obedience as He speaks. Pray for me in this season of transition. Pray that the Lord will bring together the perfect team for Abide. I am resting in the promise of 1Thessalonians 5:24: “He who calls you is faithful; He will do it.”