“I take the backpack.  I open the book. I close the notebook.  Watch me. What are you doing? Excuse me.  Are you American?”

French phrases are rolling over and over in my head as I try to prepare for both moving to France and teaching a language I don’t know for homeschool.

Isn’t it comical how little we know God’s ultimate plans for our life?  Fifteen years ago, I was rooming with a girl who dreamed and desired wholeheartedly to be a missionary in France.  She is a gifted person with languages and loved making up her own languages and studying elfin languages in her spare time.  She listened to French and Welsh rock bands.  She wrote stories that she would translate into gaelic languages.

Meanwhile, I had grown skeptical of any sort of “calling” to missions, after being taught in church that there was no such thing as a “call to missions,” only to the pastorate.  In a missions-focused college, being openly skeptical of a missionary’s calling didn’t exactly make me popular.  (But then again, during that phase of life I regrettably wasn’t a very kind or gracious person, so I don’t think I can blame my lack of popularity solely on my differing viewpoints.  It’s a marvel that Michael married me at all!)  I *knew* that I wasn’t meant to be a missionary.  At least, not overseas.  Camping ministry?  Sure, why not!  Fifteen years later, the friend that I lived with has given up her dream of being a missionary for now.  And I’m on my way to be a missionary in France with a firm sense that God is calling our family there.

Had I only known then where I would be today, I would have used my time so much more wisely than I did.  I could have spent 15 years learning French and branching out into other languages.

Yet, here I sit.  I cannot change the past, but only thank God for the formative years he’s been gracious enough to give me.  I take heart from stories in the Old Testament, where it took people years and decades of waiting until God finally used them.  Those years may have seemed long or purposeless, but God was waiting for the right time.

And He’s waiting for the right time for you, too.  He has a definite plan and a purpose for your life.  I teach this to my kids every single day: “God has something special planned for you to do for Him.  Won’t it be exciting to find out what that is?”  Take heart; if you’re in a season of waiting, there is purpose and a plan in your wait. If you’re gearing up for action, you have been prepared for such a time as this.  The God who is the author and perfecter of your faith will walk with you.

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