My greatest fear over twenty years ago was provision for my children. As missionaries, would we be able to provide for their needs? I remember back in 1994 my husband and I found ourselves doing what is so common for missionaries: we were once again loading up the old gray Oldsmobile and starting on a cross-country journey to raise our support. This time, however, I was a new mother. We had our two little girls strapped up in their car seats, with toys and books in every nook and cranny. We were listening to Adventures in Odyssey and Kids’ Praise over and over again. My husband was just finishing up with seminary, and we were once again getting ready to go overseas.
However, I found myself questioning my call. I felt worry bubble up inside me because it was now very different. We were no longer a young, crazy, newly-married couple moving to some unknown land—we were a family. We now had the responsibility of two precious daughters, both blonde with big blue eyes. They were my babies. I knew that wherever we went in Latin America they would probably stand out like a sore thumb. My motherly instincts were strong, and I wanted to provide for and protect them in every way I could.
Bottom line, I was at a crisis point in my relationship with the Lord. I was filled with fear. I did not know any longer if this was what we were called to do. After all, did we not have the responsibility to provide for our children’s needs? The unknown was the root of my inner fear.
Somewhere on that hot desert journey between California and Tucson I was talking to my husband in code about a problem I could foresee in the near future. My mother had found a lovely pair of pink, glittery cowboy boots for our older daughter, but she was not able to find a pair small enough for the little one. What were we going to do? I knew our littlest girl, then only 18 months old, would be utterly disappointed when she got to Grandma’s house in Chicago and did not have a pair of cowboy boots waiting for her. My husband, in his calm divine wisdom, said that the Lord would provide, and that we could keep our eye out for a pair as we traveled. I did not really think he understood the gravity of the problem as I visualized the tears that were going to happen over the disappointment of not receiving such a fun gift.
About two hours later we were pulling up to Mrs. K’s home in Arizona. Mrs. K, a bubbly grandmother and the mother of one of my husband’s best friends from grade school, met us in her driveway. She was so happy to see us; she ran out talking with a huge smile on her face. When she saw our youngest daughter, she stopped short.
“What size shoe does she wear?” she asked. Without waiting for an answer, she ran back into her home; in a matter of seconds she ran out with a pair of red cowboy boots in her hand.
“I think these look like just about the right size for her!” she exclaimed. Well, it was a Cinderella moment—the shoe fit.
It was also the moment the Lord spoke to me: Debbie, I will provide for all the needs of your children. After all, did I not bring them into this world? Go with peace, and trust Me.
Twenty years later I still have those well-used red cowboy boots. They have always had a prominent place in each home in which we have lived during our time in Argentina, to remind me of His provision. God has provided for all the needs my daughters have had over the years, in His perfect timing and wisdom. He has healed them both emotionally and physically. He has provided a good education and life-long friends. He has provided grandparents and aunties on the mission field. He has provided that they are very close as sisters; they both find themselves walking close to the Lord and studying nursing in the United States.
I find myself often gazing at those red cowboy boots and thanking the Lord for His daily provision for our family. I can now see that His will was and is perfect for our daughters. My girls have been richly blessed growing up on the mission field. If you were to ask them they would not exchange that opportunity for anything. I am richly blessed by the Lord’s gentle way of dealing with my unbelief and fear.
© 2013 Thrive.
Questions to Consider: What were your greatest fears as you left home for the field? How has God provided in ways that calm your fears?