Two lines. It couldn’t be. But there it was – two lines. I set the plastic indicator on the counter, and the sound echoed making me jump. My heart stopped momentarily, and I inhaled searching desperately for air. My mind raced with numbers – days, dates, times circled in my brain looking for a place to land.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God (Romans 1:1 NIV) followed Christ whole-heartedly. He was jailed, flogged, and shipwrecked; yet still he chose to follow. God called him to preach the gospel, and he took that job seriously. Paul traveled on many missionary journeys, yet none intrigue me as much as the journey to the province of Asia.
The Bible tells us that when Paul tried going into Bithynia, God wouldn’t allow it.
When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. Acts 16:7 NIV
I have to wonder why? God called Paul to preach. Wouldn’t He want Paul to preach any and everywhere? Paul wasn’t sinning or on a fast road to destruction. Still, God chose his servant’s path for him. We aren’t given much insight into Paul’s thoughts. We just know that the next night he had a vision of a man in Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After the vision, Paul and his companions got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. (v. 10)
God called me to write. He has confirmed it on many occasions. He alone has opened doors in that area that have blessed me immensely. My youngest child will be in kindergarten next year. I have commented often about how amazing it is that God would lead me to this place right as my youngest is going to be gone all day. How timely to have all day to devote to writing. (Have I mentioned I have two books I’m working on?) I am following Him with my whole heart.
Yet, there I stood looking at the two lines, wondering how the plans got changed. My dearest friends, I am pregnant. The Lord willing, I will deliver mid-September, right after my youngest hops on the big yellow bus to kindergarten. I know I’ll be blessed with a new life in our home; a baby is always a blessing. But I have to admit to you, I’ve struggled with the change of plans.
“But Lord,” I cried, “I was following what you called me to do. How can you take that away from me now?” And He said, “I’m not.”
“I don’t understand how all this can happen with a baby on the way,” I pleaded.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
Yesterday, I submitted. I gave it to Him – the writing, the baby, my plans – I gave it all. And I felt His pleasure. In that familiar voice, I heard Him say, “Trust me, Carol. I am not asking you to give up your writing. I called you to that. I’m asking you to give up control.”
So friends, I humbly ask for your prayers as I pack my bags and travel with my Lord and Savior to Macedonia. I have concluded that He wants me to write the gospel from there.