Convinced that I was to be a career missionary overseas, I spent 7 weeks in Peru as a missionary apprentice in the summer of 1987. I returned excited, starry-eyed, and ready to pursue my dream, what I believed to be God's call on my life.
During the following school year, I wrote a letter seeking advice to the mission agency I had worked with the previous summer and that I hoped to work with as a career missionary. The response I received pulled the rug out from under me and, at that time, seemed to close the door to the career I had believed I was to follow. My college major, trips I had taken, activities I was involved in all were to prepare me for this career. This letter, arriving in the midst of a series of difficult events, pulled the rug out. I felt lost, confused, directionless. I asked why over and over as I tried to make sense of this sudden and unexpected change.
This letter, combined with the series of unfortunate events changed the course of my life from a focus primarily on overseas ministry to ministry in the USA and even more specifically in the church. However this shift took time and only came after a dark night of the soul.
During this dark night of the soul, I doubted the character of God. What kind of God would do this to me? I withdrew from church, feeling deeply hurt and wounded by the treatment I had received at the hands of those IN the church. Eventually I wrestled through my questions about God's character and came to a place of peace, but that is another story for another day.
Have you ever felt like the rug was pulled out from under you?
What advice would you give to someone in that circumstance?