After a season of spiritual growth, Clint and I were truly starting to realize God’s unfathomable love for us; in spite of many failures. Through the teaching and ministry of our church, our pastor and elders, we began to see and recognize God’s grace at work in us. We began a time of earnest prayer for a clear direction for His plans for our future, and the call for our family’s gospel goals. It wasn’t a time free of pain or trials. We felt we were slaves to past poor decision and in a cycle of drifting without a clear purpose. We were wandering and wondering what God was doing. Clint had unreliable construction work, his Reserve Unit was talking about deployment to the Middle East, I still wasn’t pregnant, and the SB Mission Board, after months of applications and thinking this was God’s plan, turned us down. (Even with aptitude, skills and phenomenal recommendation letters.)
In November of 1994, Clint and I were wondering and discussing our “what next”. Now, for years we had tried to figure out how he was to finish his college degree. Although college degrees aren’t necessary to follow God’s call, we had an overwhelming sense that it was how God was directing us. He dabbled in Junior colleges and Non-traditional degree programs, but always had to quit or postpone, due to work or money or just a sense of too many outside distractions. That wake-up call from the SBMB, whose main objection was our lack of education, brought us to the end of our self-direction. We started pleading for His direction. Broke, no savings, one teenager and KC being our only safety net of any possibility of work, we decided that it was time to stop wandering around the desert. We talked about the story of Joshua’s entering the promise land in Joshua 3. We felt a sense that until we stepped forward in faith and stood IN the brink of the Jordan, we would not see the promises for us. Like the earlier generation of Israelite’s, who failed to enter because of disbelief, we were tempted with anxiety because of the challenges and roadblocks we saw ahead of us. However, with a faith outside ourselves, we were ready to step into the rushing waters. On the other side of our Jordan, was Warrensburg, Missouri, where Clint would finish his degree, become a teacher or preacher or a coach or…..
We had to trust Him for every minuet detail of providing for us! We were desperate and dependent but full of unexplainable trust. Everything from the house we’d live in, the money for deposits, the availability and qualifications to provide financial aide to pay for school, our needed moving expenses. I would have to be re-licensed for my home daycare and would need children to fill it right away. We had to step in faith. No more trying to listen to God, and then figure it out by what “looked” rational. No more faith dependent on seeing (or how we felt), but the genuine faith of Hebrews 11:1. We had no plan but to step into the river and watch God part the waters.
I heard Warren Weirsbe once explain that the Israelite’s crossing the Red Sea represented the children being delivered from bondage of sin. Crossing the Jordan represents the believer claiming the inheritance of Jesus Christ. For years we lived in our salvation adoption with our slave clothes still on. We were not living as His precious heirs!
In the brink of the Jordan, God made a way for the journey ahead of us. There were still vast obstacles, seasons of drought, times where I struggled with faith, but 22 years later I recall God’s extravagant provision from that night we knew we were to move to Warrensburg, Missouri. We found a house and qualified for immediate funds for school. My daycare was filled with 6 children within the first month and in less than 3 months was full with 10 amazing kids from great families. I was also pregnant! God was also clearly re-directing Clint with the idea of a medical career, something he’d never even thought of in the past. AND, Warrensburg would where Blake would meet his future beautiful bride!
I remember in the story of Joshua, the people were told to expect God to do a miracle “for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (3:5b) I remember when we trusted God even with the swollen river banks of the challenges ahead of us and ” stepped in brink of the Jordan”. We trepidatiously and eagerly waited to watch God do wondrous works that only He was able to do!
“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you.” Deuteronomy 15:15
“Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered” 1 Chronicles 16:12