This week I’m sharing some stories….stories of life change. Stories about God’s activity in people’s lives. Stories that I get to hear often, but maybe you don’t. Our Heavenly Father is actively at work changing hearts and lives, and I want you to know it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week of stories. I’m wrapping up these series of posts with the story of a family whose life is about to completely change. Check it out:
“God, what is your plan for us?” This became a prayer that kept repeating itself in my heart and mind five years ago. At that time, I don’t mind telling you, that my husband, Kevin, and I had just moved into a 3,200 sq. ft. custom-built dream home. The problem was, we couldn’t have been more miserable. The more we bought, the more we decorated, and the more we consumed, the more miserable and unfulfilled we became.
It was clear that our dream of building a successful Family Medicine practice and settling into our “dream home” for the rest of our lives was not God’s plan for us. So, we asked ourselves, spiritual leaders, and God how we could discover His “will” for our lives, and over the next several years, we discovered something.
God often only reveals one step at a time, and only when we’re prepared to obey.
We began to obey in every way that we could think of. I can’t say that we always obeyed immediately or that it wasn’t painless as God ripped the materialism and self-centeredness from our lives. First, Kevin changed jobs in order to have more time for family, for his relationship with God, and for service within the church. Then we down-sized our home and vehicles. Spending, eating out, and expensive vacations were reduced. God compelled us to take better care of our bodies by eating better and exercising more. Then came more sacrificial giving of our money, time, and service at church.
But we felt God compelling us to do more. The more God did in us and allowed us to be a blessing to those around us, the more He revealed of His plan. I began to pray that God would show us why he created us the way that He did and how we could leverage that for His glory
Then, last year, we listened to a man recounting his two-year service with an organization called Mercy Ships – an organization which meets the dire medical needs of the poorest people in the world, as an act of God’s love. When people understand that God has heard their cry and moved to meet their physical need, it is a short step to explaining that He has also provided for their greatest spiritual need. Mercy Ships volunteers are able to use their medical skills to demonstrate the love of God to the people on the west coast of Africa! My interest was piqued! Upon visiting their website, I noticed that they were posting an urgent request for a Family Medicine doctor. When I down-loaded the job description, tears streamed down my face. It was a perfect description of my husband!!!
So, in six months, our family of five will move into a 500 sq ft. cabin, aboard a floating hospital ship, to show the love of God to the people on the west coast of Africa and hopefully in doing so, we will get to share his plan for their spiritual lives, as well. There will be many sacrifices involved. But we can’t go back to where we were. It was miserable. And we know that each time we move out in faith and obedience we are met with true joy, satisfaction, and peace that has never come from any other source. We look forward to the rest of the journey, revealed only piece by piece, one step of obedience at a time.
Wow! God has done – and is doing – some incredible work in the lives of Melissa and Kevin Trapnell. Want to keep up with them? Check out their blog here. And, soak up that lesson – obedience leads to understanding.