A Life Changing Spiritual Battle and Move
Chapter 6 - of A Passion for Souls
Mom called one day, and said the doctor thought she should have a maid for housework; she'd told him she wouldn't hire anyone as long as she had a single daughter. This put me in a tailspin of debate with the Lord in my devotional life. Questions, and facing whether my dream, and all my church ministries were in fact God's will for my life. For two years I wrestled with this almost daily in my prayers.
Moving back to Hague would mean giving up my dream, my ministries at church, and my house full (well not always) of tenants. (It was hard sometimes to find suitable girls to move in).
I flew home for my summer holidays in 1982 to check out my parents' need. I convinced myself that they could still manage.
But my spiritual battle continued. I went home again in 1983, hoping for a clearer sign. Scenes happened that conspired to make it seem like the worst idea possible. But I could tell they were tactics of Satan.
I hunted through my Bible for some passage that would be God's direction. The one that stopped me in my tracks every time I turned back to it was in Jeremiah 15, about repenting and being a bronze wall to a stiff-necked people, but not being overcome by them. I didn't fully understand it then, but knew it somehow applied to me.
Agonizing in prayer, wanting to do God's will no matter what the cost, I finally saw what would be God's ideal will, but that He was not pushing me. I had the freedom of choice. I believed that God was inviting me to go home, to show my parents I loved them, and get this thing out of my system that they misunderstood me and didn't really love me in a way that healed and satisfied. In return, God promised me JOY, (that was what persuaded me), and that I would have time and be able to write freelance at last - without hiding it. But - and this was a big BUT - it would also mean, finally, once for all, giving up my dreams. The marriage, the great big wonderful family - it was never going to happen. I simply could not visualize it happening in Hague.
Knowing that my parents feared financial burdens above all else, I drafted up an agreement with my parents that I would come home to care for them as long as they needed me, and they would only owe me free room and board - I would trust God for anything beyond that. We all signed it.
Back in London for the month of August, I wrote eight resignation letters, including my job and all my positions in church, sold and gave away my houseful of stuff, packed 64 cartons of things to ship to Hague via CN, and on Labour Day got on a bus and was astonished to find myself suddenly weeping quietly but uncontrollably.
When I changed buses in Toronto, my Aunt Jean and friend Ruth Cairns met me there, and Aunt Jean said, "You can always change your mind."
"No," I said, bawling, "I've burned all my bridges behind me. I am resolved to live with this decision now." But oh-h-h, it hurt. It HURT! I had never realized just how attached I was to all my friends and my life in London. I left 12 crucial years of my life in London.
Just the night before I left London, in the evening service at West London Alliance, we had learned a new worship chorus with these words;
I don't usually learn music on first hearing it, but whenever I relaxed a bit, or tried to pray, I heard those words sung in my heart and mind. If I tried to sing along, I just croaked and began to cry afresh; however, if I listened, I heard the gentle words. It was not in my own voice, or any that I recognized, but after a while I was just convinced that the Holy Spirit was singing to, or over me.
All through my trip I heard that song over and over again. My Lord was allowing me to grieve this big change in my life, and He was just holding me and comforting me.
Later I found Psalm 42:8, which says, "By day the LORD directs His love, at night His song is with me --" and Zephaniah 3:17 has this gem, "The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
I arrived in Saskatoon 48 hours later, dried out from the inside. Mom and Dad picked me up and when I was unpacking a suitcase at home I was sick enough to throw up so I went to bed.
That same evening a call came that Grandma Friesen in Clearbook, BC had died. Mom and Dad took a bus the next morning, to go there for the funeral. I was in no shape to go anywhere so I stayed in bed for four days.
Then my 64 boxes arrived, and I started unpacking in my long basement room that became my home.
Back to Hope index
Chapter 1 - First, I Need Jesus Myself
Chapter 2 - Camp and Assurance of Salvation
Chapter 3 - A Passion for Souls
Chapter 4 - Hunting for Souls in Saskatoon
Chapter 5 - Ministries-for-My-Imagination-in-London
Chapter 6 - A Life Changing Spiritual Battle and Move
Chapter 7 - By Still Waters - The Hague Years
Chapter 8 - Multi-tasking Missionary and Business Woman