What is the most effective and most faithful way to discern God’s will for our lives? We asked Audrey*, who serves with Wycliffe Bible Translators in partnership with LCA International Mission, to share her journey. For me, discerning God’s will has been a step-by-step process. It has involved regular times of being still before God, […]
What is the most effective and most faithful way to discern God’s will for our lives? We asked Audrey*, who serves with Wycliffe Bible Translators in partnership with LCA International Mission, to share her journey.
For me, discerning God’s will has been a step-by-step process. It has involved regular times of being still before God, seeking him and being in his word, talking things through with trusted Christians and taking steps of faith without knowing the whole picture.
I moved to Asia at the beginning of 2020 to live and serve there long-term in Bible translation – but I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to go! The seed had been planted during short-term mission trips after high school. However, it wasn’t until I quit my professional job of 4 years to study at Bible college for a year that I really started to see where God may be leading me. God provided different opportunities for me to test the waters in Bible translation and, as my counsellor reminded me, ‘God often guides a moving ship’.
During one mission trip in my first year at Bible college, I sensed that this was it – Bible translation was how I could serve. And so, I began the next steps to prepare. It wasn’t easy though, and was often costly, as I ended up doing five years of study and had to change the country I was hoping to serve in as that door closed along the way.
After testing some more options, I finally had a sense of peace about which country I would serve in and headed there full of excitement and nervous anticipation! The first few weeks were intense as I met team members, set up a home with strangers and started language school. But I had such a deep peace that this is where God wanted me.
However, just two months later I was on a plane back to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions, which is where I remain two years later.
As you can imagine, there has been much disappointment and I probably have more questions than answers. I don’t doubt that God was leading me, but it hasn’t turned out how I had hoped and that’s hard. In these times, I have learnt more about what it means to surrender and lament – ‘to take my complaints, anger, sufferings, frustrations and heartaches to God’. Lament is normal (40% of the Psalms!) and it is the only way through these seasons of confusion and crying out to God in honesty. I have also had to rely on the body of Christ to help me through – people who will walk alongside me, listen and gently encourage, and not just quote Bible verses to try to make me feel better!
I haven’t been able to answer all the ‘why’ questions but I’m trusting that at some point, I will look see how God has used this experience for my good and that of his kingdom. Sometimes it’s more about the deep transformative work that he wants to do in us – rather than through us, in these seasons (Romans 5:3-5).
Even if we’re obedient in walking where we sense God is leading us, that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing. Obedience doesn’t guarantee success as the world sees it. We are called to be faithful, not necessarily successful, and to love God from the heart as our first priority, out of which obedience flows.
*Not her real name
Please pray for Audrey as she prepares to serve in South Asia. If you would like to hear more about Audrey, support her through prayer, finance or encouragement in this ministry, you are invited to contact LCA International Mission at firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 8267 7300.
Read more stories about Bible Translation at https://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/bible-translation/