It's been a month of the "unexpected", to say the least, since Pat's first episode. Wow. She's gone back up on her medication and that does seem to be helping quite a bit. Her family doc and the E.R. doc had Pat decreasing her medication thinking it was causing the hand tremors and these "spells", but the neurologist didn't think so. This week she actually got to get out of the house on several occasions and act like a human being. She gets tired easily but she's steadily improving. We'll pursue the answer to the hand tremors when things settle down. [Talked to Pat just now and she says thanks to you all for your prayers. She says because of that, this hasn't been a discouraging time for her.]
All of this of course caused me to spend some time thinking about the big "What If"? What if Pat's illness had been a show-stopper as far as our move to France is concerned? It's NOT, but I'm just supposin' here. What if we hadn't been able to go after all, because of an illness?
I decided that surprisingly little would change. Huh? Oh yeah, the obvious outward circumstances would be different -- you know, not living in a foreign country and all. And there'd be new questions to address, like where would we live and what would I do for a job? But in the end, I had a complete peace that God would still be in control and we would still be serving him.
The last year-and-a-half of preparations to go to France wouldn't have been a waste, either. They'd simply be training. From what I've learned, heard, and seen, I'm convinced of the need for Christ in that part of the world and that the arts are an arena in which God is starting to move there, bringing people back to himself. If I wouldn't have been able to go, then I'd dedicate my life to sending an army of others. (I was going to say an "army of artists" but that just sounds kinda doofy to me for some reason.) And I'm thoroughly convinced the idea of using the arts to disciple artists is one of INCREDIBLE potential. If I'd had to stay here, then I'd do that here -- and teach others to do the same, only there!
As teammate Joe said to me just today, "Serving God isn't about where you do it, it's about what you do." You know -- eyes on God not on circumstances. I've spent the last couple of days going over what I learned from taking the StrengthsFinder survey, which lists your top 5 talents (strengths). One of mine is Connectedness, which means I have "faith in the links between all things, that I believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason." Of course, my faith isn't in the links themselves, it's in the Creator of the links, but you get the idea.
My point? That I could see that ALL 5 talents come together in what I'm doing right now, in igniting the hearts of artists to use their creativity to introduce others to the Creator. It doesn't matter where. And a really interesting outcome is that I'm getting contacted by loads of artists interested in serving in this little "army" even if they don't go anywhere themselves. Sweet.
Big shout outs, then, to Judy and Casey and Brian and Justin for the interest and encouragement. It's got me feeling beautifully militant.