Some thoughts that have come to me since that meeting:
- Determining GOD'S WILL can be very scary -- especially when we look at it so seriously. I'm so scared about making the wrong decision that I can't move at all. Then I remembered the first time I went to Japan. I had been given the offer and said "no" without thinking about it. Then, as I was driving in the car, God spoke to me. I had been begging Him for a chance to leave the country and teach English somewhere. I just didn't want to do it in Japan. Then He said something only God could say, "This is a gift for you," He said. You won't be out of my will if you don't go, but you will be IN my will if you DO go. It's your choice and I'm giving it to you. But, if you choose NOT to go, you will be missing a wonderful present I have for you. As I sat here today, trying to figure out GOD'S WILL (Cuz that's what Raj wants me to determine and that's what it boils down to with my church, too), He seemed to say to me, "Stop trying to figure that out. On this one, maybe I don't have A WILL ( specifically). Maybe, like the last time, either one is OK. But one is probably better. That was a huge relief to me. Even if I make a mistake, God will be with me.
- Whether I live in Japan or in the U.S., it is going to be stressful to take care of Bonnie. I am currently working three jobs and raising her alone. AND driving 100 miles a day. The rest of my life is going to involve working full time and trying to care for Bonnie. NO matter where I live, Bonnie will have to have child care. Raj is being so flexible about things that it's hard to believe. I told him I couldn't work on weekends. Done. I told him I needed more money. Done. I told him I couldn't work both mornings and evenings. Done. I told him I wanted to bring Bonnie to some of my classes. Done. Done. Done. This is a good indication to me that he will continue to be flexible as things come up in Japan.
- I have to determine who to listen to and remember that God is BIG. He is very BIG. It is a privelege to get the chance to see how BIG He is.
- My friend Frank told me to chase my dreams and chase them hard. When I was growing up, my mom told me the same thing. She never pushed me toward certain activities or vocations or types of boyfriends, etc. When I got in my car and drove from northern Illinois to SC, her heart was in her throat (she told me later) but I had NO idea. She wanted me to follow my dreams. And I want that for Bonnie. It is another legacy from my mom to her. Follow your dreams. If I do go to Japan, even if I fail, Bonnie will see someone who dreams BIG and dares to believe that God will do big things; someone who is bold enough to GO FOR IT. That is the way I have always been and it is the way I can't help but be. If I do'nt follow my dreams, I will not be me. God knew what He was doing when He put Bonnie with me. We are so well suited to each other, it's amazing. He knew I was a person who had to GO, to dream big and try to make it happen. If all my dreams for Bonnie's future are to come true, she will need to be that kind of person. It's my family's legacy and Bonnie was adopted into it.
So I need to take about 24 hours and decide. But after I decide, there will be no turning back. Same as when I adopted Bonnie. I really didn't listen to anyone who thought I couldn't/shouldn't do it. When I ran into an obstacle, I refused to take no for an answer. Because I knew it was the right thing to do. Yes, I was willing all along for God to close the door, as hard as it might be, but I didn't start with that assumption. If I decide to go to Japan, that will be IT. We will go forward until God stops us. IF I decide not to go, that's IT. I will be back to the job hunt and give up the idea of missions altogether because if this isn't the right mission field for me, nothing is.
If you have any final thoughts, please let me know! I should be back this time tomorrow with a decision. One way or the other.