I always laugh when I hear “grown-ups” say this but today I had one of those moments. I live a very simple (minus all the shoes), small and admittedly spoiled life. While it isn’t without struggle, I don’t have experiences of travel or seeing the world. I’ve spent my life living in West Michigan and while I’m contentedly proud to say that, I wonder…what might God have for me to do for Him somewhere out there? As I ponder those questions and try to listen to His calling while praying for the people of the world on my shirt tags, today I came face-to-face with a woman who has inspired me more than she probably knows.
I have the privilege of knowing a beautiful woman named Candice. I just love talking to her! She, like me, is a mom of 3 (though she has one on the way) she loves to sing, she loves shoes…but she always looks fabulous! Candice, however, leads a much different life than I. She has given birth 3 times in Bethlehem…as in miles from where Jesus was born! Her husband founded and runs a leadership development program for youth in the West Bank called Paidia International…which makes her a missionary’s wife. Time and time again she has packed up her family and moved for months at a time to the middle east. And I think moving toys to the basement in a few weeks is a big deal!
Candice is a Facebook addict…just like yours truly. I LOVE reading her posts…it’s like a virtual prayer reminder. The last trip to the West Bank for them was certainly trying with things like dealing with not having a car and quite often no water…things we take for granted…but from our point of view in West Michigan, Candice handled it all with such grace. She got right in there, prego belly and all, with demolition and chopping away at trees not to mention giving birth to another baby while there! Yeah I would be complaining about being hot and tired and uncomfortable with my feet up and she’s smashing concrete at 35 weeks…A-MA-ZING!
My question asked in our missionary luncheon today was “What do you most admire about missionaries?” My answer was that I admire people, like Candice, who travel and pack up their lives and move away to foreign lands. If my husband came home and said “Hey, Baby…we’re thinking of closing up shop and relocating to Jerusalem to sell tires because we think God wants us to go there. What do you think?”…even a week ago I would’ve been like “Uh, I don’t think so! Are you nuts!?” But today…I think I’d say “Really!?” I’m telling you, while she admits it is really difficult, Candice is truly an inspiration to me and shows by her life what it’s really like to be a godly wife, mother and servant and go wherever God calls her.
Do I want to move to the West Bank? Not particularly…it’s probably not for this home-grown West Michigander…I am not as brave as my friend…even though Candice says they have an Ikea in Tel Aviv. But…I can actually see how moving, traveling, going, serving God wherever He calls is compelling and exciting…and extremely hard. I’ll be honest…selfishly I don’t want Candice to go back to Bethlehem in January. I love when they are home and we get to catch up. But seeing her updates and praying for them while they continue to grow their organization and train leadership for the Lord in Palestine will be so incredibly encouraging to this stay-at-home mom with a small, simple, spoiled life in West Michigan. Perhaps it will even encourage me to “grow up” and be ready and willing to go wherever the Lord calls me…like my beautiful and inspiring friend Candice.