Wednesday, June 11, 2008

29 hours and counting...

It's 1:45am, and the house is quiet and still. Why am I up at such an hour when school finished a week ago? Well, I'll tell you why. My sweet hubby had to stay up late to finish up some last-minute stuff on the computer before his trip Thursday morning. So, being the good wife that I am, I decided that, instead of going to bed, I would fall asleep on the couch in the room where he was working. Then, as he would head off to bed, he could wake me up, and we could fall asleep together, getting in a few last cuddles before he leaves. But, being the forgetful wife that I am, I forgot to tell him of my intentions, and so, being the considerate husband that he is, he decided not to wake me from my peaceful slumber. He turned off all the lights, adjusted the thermostat, and checked on our little one before tip-toeing off to bed.

So I woke up to a dark, cool, quiet living room about 15 minutes ago.

And though I'm sure his thoughts were for my benefit, I felt so hurt and angry that he had gone to bed without me. I mean, ya'll, I was gonna go wake that boy up and give him a piece of my... but then the Lord broke in.

"Why are you really hurt and angry?"

"Oh, hi Lord, it's been a few days."

Yes, my friends, a few days... because I didn't want to talk with Him about the changes that are coming up in our life. I would rather pretend they weren't there.

So I didn't do the laundry for Brandon's trip because, honestly, those undershirts and mismatched socks meant that the trip is really happening, and he is really going.

For the last two days, I have spent my time watching Montel Williams (and other bad day-time TV), eating ice cream, and going to the pool with my daughter. I'm ashamed to say that my apron hasn't left the hook since Saturday. And the whole time, I was asking myself, "Why am I doing this?" But as quickly as the question had popped into my mind, I would push it away because I was too busy gettin' my Judge Judy on.

So, at two o'clock this morning, sitting in my dimly-lit dining room, with only the sound of the A/C unit running, I am face to face with this reality. But rather than talk about all my fears and insecurities about the potential changes in our lives, I'm going to write about all the ways that the Lord has directed us to this very place. I'm going to tell you why we believe this is exactly where we are supposed to be, and I'm going to talk about the fact that God has our lives in His hands and that we can be confident there.

I'm warning ya'll now, this is going to be a loooong post. I was due for one, ya know.

I should start the story by saying that the Lord sometimes speaks to me through my dreams. This seems to occur most often when He is preparing me for a big change in my life.

So, here goes:

Once upon a time... not so many months ago... in Fall 2007... I started having dreams. They came about once a week or so, and they were always a similar theme. I was an army wife, and my husband had gone off to war. I was never afraid for his life or anything, but I was always in a situation where I needed his help. Changing a light bulb on the front porch. Reaching something on a really tall shelf. Getting the lawn mower cranked. And in each situation, I would call for him, remember he was gone, feel a renewed strength in myself, and say, "Ok, how am I going to do this when he's gone?" Then I would wake up.

I mentioned to a friend that I was having these dreams, but other than that, I didn't give them much thought.

Then, in late fall, Brandon came to me with an idea. What if he taught overseas for a year? When he finished his degree in December, what if he went elsewhere to teach, since American teachers make a pretty penny in some countries, and he could pay off some of our school debt in a short amount of time. We both prayed and agreed that we would at least look into it.

I mentioned our conversation to one person, and then felt impressed not to mention it again to anyone else.

He went down a few avenues through the university and through some independent organizations, but we could never get a peace about any of them. So in the spring of this year, we decided to leave it in God's hands. I prayed, "Lord, if you want Brandon to do this, then you will have to bring it to us. We have pursued what we knew to pursue, and you have not released us. So, the ball is in your court."

It was probably around that time, that our friend Kathryn sat in her living room with a group of people from a large church in Korea. As it was told to me, she had been working with the church interpreting Christian worship DVD's which were sold by the ministry to help Koreans learn English. The pastor, who had come to visit her, sat in her living room and told her of his heart to pay "handsomely" for Christian American teachers to come over to South Korea and help spread the gospel in their schools.

Kathryn told Starr (the one other person I told, months before, about Brandon's desire to go overseas).

A few nights later, sitting in my living room, she relayed the information she had received from Kathryn and asked if we would be interested. I told her that we wouldn't mind getting more information from Kathryn but that we were not going to pursue anything.

A few days after that, Starr showed up with a packet of pamphlets, videos, and what-not from Kathryn regarding the Korean ministry.

Brandon and I watched the videos, read the pamphlets, and prayed.

The next morning, we received an email from Kathryn asking if we were interested. Kathryn also asked some questions about Brandon's credentials: Where did he go to school? What is his degree in? When will he graduate?

Once again, we said we were interested in receiving more information. I also expressed to her Brandon's heart to go overseas. Still, we did not feel led to pursue it on our own. Honestly, we thought they wanted English teachers, and since Brandon's major is in Math, we really thought they wouldn't be interested.

It was at this point, that I had another dream that solidified in my heart that he would be going. This dream is quite intense and should probably have an entire entry unto itself. Suffice it to say, the Lord let me know that this was all in His plan and that we should just go with the flow.

Two days later, we received an email directly from the Korean ministry. "Can you send your resume? Can you start work right after graduation, in January 2009? Can you travel to Korea this summer when Kathryn and her family come?"

We sent the resume, and waited. We told the Lord, "We are willing to take the next step, if you are willing to pay for it. So either send us the $2,000 it would take to fly over there, or have the Korean church pay for it."

A week later, Brandon received another email. They had looked over his resume, and they wanted him to come. The trip would be paid for. They would send tickets soon.

A few weeks after that, he received his e-ticket at the same time Kathryn's family received theirs.

And that leads us to where we are today, 29 hours before take-off.

I am genuinely excited for him and excited about what the Lord is doing in his life. I have no desire to go, as I am happy right where I am. And I really believe this is exactly what we are supposed to be doing.

Still, this trip has the potential to define our future. If they offer him enough, we will be able to pay off all of our school debt (a debt we accrued when we were obedient to the Lord by going out-of-state, giving up a free ride at UGA, to attend a private Christian college for a year). If everything goes well, he will be moving to Korea in January, without me and Chloe - hence, all the dreams about being an army wife. I should say too, that those dreams coincide with a prophesy that was spoken over us at The Call Nashville where a lady saw Brandon in army fatigues, marching in rank, and me standing on the side telling the people around me, "That's my husband! That's my husband!"

Deep deeeeep in my spirit, I have a peace and even an excitement about what God is getting ready to do, whether or not Brandon decides to work there next year. I am so proud of him for taking this step, and I already feel myself saying, "That's my husband!"

But I also find myself saying, "How am I going to do this when he's gone?" My flesh and my mind, they don't want to let him go. They make me want to pack extra toilet paper as well as 25 different kinds of medicine for him. They make me set an appointment tomorrow to get some extra life insurance for him. They make me want to watch Montel and eat ice cream and pretend it's not happening. Those stupid ol' flesh and mind.

So, that's where we're at. I'm planning on doing a liquid fast while he's gone; so please be praying with me for him as he's doing his interviews and checking out the ministry there. And also please be praying for me... 'cause this is hard, ya'll.

And for all of you stalkers out there... I will not be home alone while my hubby is jet-setting across the globe. Oh no. My bodyguard (read: brother) who is a former UGA football player, will be staying with me. So don't come a-breakin' in up in here, 'cause ya'll 're liable to get a whoopin'!

Ok. I'm off to bed since it is now 2:55am. *yawn*


superstarr said...

Hello friend! I feel your pain, but also know that you are both being obedient to the Lord and will be abundantly blessed for that. I am so excited to see what the Lord has for Brandon while he is in Korea, and what the Lord has for you while you are ALL HIS. I love you both and will continue to pray.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

Oh, Brandy. I've been anxious about this day just like you (and for the same reasons I might add). I've hated wondering if this will be hard for you.

BUT YOU WILL DO IT. You will make it. And... we can have more girl time chats while he's gone, right?

Christan said...

I love you Friend! I pray that God would give you a renewed strength. You are one of the strongest women I know. But if you need a shoulder to cry on, I will be here!

Debbie C. said...

All I can say is WOW. I will be lifting you both up during this time. God has already shown you and is opening doors and those doors cannot be shut. He will continue to provide and give peace and direction. This we know.

Kim Heinecke said...

Brandy - thinking of you today... I very much enjoyed reading this post.

One day at a time, sister. One day at a time.

The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood