{31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way} :: Lesson 27~Sometimes the Answer is No

If you've been around this little blog here for any amount of time, you have heard me talk about Uganda. I love the country of Uganda. I love the people of Uganda. In a I-can't-talk-about-it-without-tearing-up kind of way. In a heart racing and words get all jumbled kind of way.

My daughter Brooke says these wonderful "I love you more than..." phrases. Like "I love you more than ice cream!" or "I love you more than pink!"

I love Uganda more than coffee and chocolate.

I went last year and then had the opportunity to go again this year. When we got home from our trip this year, Brad said he saw our missions opportunities "expanding". He wants New Life Worship to be serving around the world. I assumed that meant I would coordinate some other trips and lead another trip to Uganda.

But every time I talked about it, I had this little, icky feeling in my stomach.

And then, on a day that started like any other, everything changed. During my prayer time that morning, I heard a "no". Not an audible "no". But a feeling kind of "no". I knew what He was saying. I knew He was telling me to go a different direction next summer. But the thought of it was nauseating. Our contacts over there are only stronger now. I knew I could lead a trip and see all of these wonderful people again and I would love it. Why would He say no?

I ended my prayer time by making a little deal with God. "We" agreed we would talk about it more the next day. I met Brad for lunch that day. We were chit-chatting and talking about the goings on of his day. And I was mostly paying attention, but I had this nagging feeling that just wouldn't go away. I knew I should talk to him about my feelings about Uganda, but I knew that once the words left my mouth, there was no taking them back. If this was what God was saying, and I admitted it out loud, I was stuck. I would either have to admit that I wasn't going to Uganda this year or admit that I hadn't really heard from the Lord.

Finally, through tears, with my heart racing, I blurted out the words. "I think that um, maybe, that I'm, um, maybe not supposed to go to Uganda next year."

My wonderful, understanding, practical husband. He looked at me with such understanding and asked why I might think that. Hmmm...why did I think that? I didn't have a reason. Except that maybe God was saying "no". I told him about my little deal that I had made with God. That we would talk about it more tomorrow. And we kind of left it at that.

Except that I couldn't. I cried all day. I was angry. I went on a drive and told God that I was confused and angry. I had finally found an avenue of ministry that fit me. That feels so right and so good. Why would He take this away from me?

The next morning, I awoke with the question lingering, burning in my heart. What was the answer? Was He really saying "no"?

I turned on the Bible-reading app on my phone. As I was reading, I came across this:

I know! It couldn't have been more clear.

*Disclaimer: it's always important to take into context Scripture as God speaks it to us. So just as I don't have any "family" in Uganda, I don't think God was saying to actually "forget" the people over there that I love so dearly.*

I surrendered. Through tears. And not the silent, weepy, kind of tears. Like the bawling, ugly cry, kind of tears. I told Him that I don't want to go anywhere He isn't leading me. I have learned that He is a good God. A good Father who only desires what's best for His children. He knows so much more than me and I will choose to trust. I will choose to obey.

I went into the next room and showed Brad the verse on my phone. We both laughed about how completely obvious God's answer was. God knows me well enough to know that it needed to be obvious. There's no wiggle room or getting out of this one.

I had already scheduled to go to breakfast with one of my dearest friends that morning. As I cried all my makeup off and gulped down coffee, I explained to her all that was happening. And as I explained it that wonderful feeling came that always does with obedience...peace.

Although it was hard (and still is, to be honest) there is such a peace in knowing that I am going in His direction. I know the difference between following Him and following my own way. At this point, it's about as blatant to me as going outside on a cold, Colorado-ey day with or without a coat and gloves. One makes me feel prepared and protected. The other leaves me feeling frazzled, shivering and cold.

So, I'm not going to Uganda next summer.

I don't think I'm done with Uganda. Or with Africa. But it's just not for next year.

I don't know the why.

But I do know that He told me to give up a business that was successful when it didn't make sense. And it was to prepare me for my first ever trip to Uganda...that changed my life.

I do know that He took my second trip to Uganda and completely wrecked any plans I had so that He could create the trip that He wanted. And the experiences that I had and the people that I got to meet are treasures that I will always hold dear in my heart. Looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way.

He loves me and is FOR me and is working for my good. His plans are only good and I'm beyond second guessing Him at this point.

What has developed since then is that I am going to WALES! I have never been there before and I have no idea what to expect, but I am excited for all that God has planned for me, our team, and the people that we will come into contact with.

See? All those times that I've told you that this life with God is such an adventure? It's really true! He has such great, big plans for each and every one of us. He has wonderful plans for you, too. But the key is to ask and obey.

What (big, scary, hard, crazy thing) might He be asking you to do?


This post is part of the series {31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way}. Did you miss a lesson? Catch up here.

Would you like to go on missions with New Life Worship? We have trips planned for Uganda, Swaziland, Germany, Wales and El Salvador all taking place next summer. Contact me by commenting or email if you'd like more information!

1 comment:

  1. We were supposed to go to the beach as a family this summer. As it got closer, I started feeling more and more apprehensive about it and my husband and I prayed about it and really started feeling like we weren't supposed to go. I was totally bummed, but we definitely didn't want to go if God was saying no, so we cancelled. But the way we approached it with our kids...and I tried to believe it myself :), was that while God was shutting the door for this vacation, it must be because He has something way better in mind and we knew He would bless us for being obedient. So...its totally working out for us to come to CO for Christmas this year! Which is so great, we haven't been since we moved to NY. And I'm just so excited about it and so are the kids. Your story was a great reminder that God is so faithful and He really has awesome things in store, even when the answer is no. I'm thankful to be able to pass on these kinds of attitudes to the kids so they don't get resentful. This morning I said to them- remember how the beach didn't work out but look what God did instead!! Thanks for posting!


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