About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Yep! That’s me, all the way! I’ve said time and time again that I’d go wherever He called me, and I’d do whatever. I’d adopt a child from Africa. I’d go to East-wherever. I’d work for nothing. And yet, when He asks me to go *home* and invest in the simple life – building relationships with family and all the people around me in my community – stepping out and taking risks where the *familiar* feels so awkward…I resist. I cringe. I fear. I want to look the other way. He challenges me to forgive and love, and give, and learn, and grow. It is hard sometimes, but I think maybe He’s preparing us for even more than right now. We need to do well at *this* first. And even then, maybe our ministering to those around us will be used to prepare them. Only He knows the bigger picture and we must trust. I’m learning this.

    Rich blessings to you, Mary, as you continue to do your calling *well* and worship Him in your living…

    • Amy – I love what you said at the end there … “worship Him in your living.” What a great reminder … that’s the whole point! Wherever we are … even in the seemingly mundane … we can worship Him in the way we live.

    • Amy, thank you for being so open with us here. Sometimes the familiar IS awkward, isn’t it? But yes, God knows the bigger picture and knows so much better than I possibly could what my small actions are doing for His plan.

  2. Yes, I’m called to “stay” here as well. Only right now my “here” is the Middle East.

    I think people tend to glamorize those who “go,” as if there ministries were somehow more powerful, more important, more far-reaching than the ministry we can have with our children at home, or the neighborhood kids. I saw that clearly when I spent a year at home on furlough last year, and I saw many heroes of the faith, teaching Sunday school, working in church nurseries, raising their own kids. I admired them.

    Whether I’m “here” or “there” every day affords opportunities to touch people with God’s love. Those people can be my husband, children, a stranger at the grocery store, or a fellow parent at the park! May God make all of us fruitful in our callings!

  3. Had to comment when I read your description of your childhood church. The song, “Here I am Lord” that you wrote the lyrics to was also about the only song not in our traditional hymnal that we sang and I remember just loving it! I can definitely relate to feeling like I want to do something “big”, but knowing that living in this small town raising my children is my calling right now.

  4. I love this, Mary, because what you say so well here is that we just need to follow, serve, love God wherever we are. It may not feel like a big thing to us, but it is to God. Our obedience and our faithfulness is what He’s looking for . . . not a huge sacrifice. I often think of that old Keith Green song, “To Obey is Better than Sacrifice.” That’s been the theme of my life.

    • As I’ve been reading through the comments again, “obedience” has been a clear theme. Looks like God had a message for me here! 🙂

  5. This spoke right to my situation. Although I’ve never felt called to serve in foreign missions fulltime, I have so many desires to minister to women/girls. My passions are wrapped up in the plight of females. I have dreams that are so real I can almost touch them! God has said “not now”. I’m trusting that my creator in His perfect timing will use me, passions and all. Eph 2:10. I am blessed that He has allowed me to be a part of starting an Abstinence ministry where I am. He is faithful. Thanks for such an encouraging post. 🙂

  6. God’s not only telling me to stay but he’s telling me to wait. My WORST virtue. I see Japan in my future, I can actually SEE myself living there (if I can’t see my doing something it usually doesn’t happen) but He’s told me to wait and finish my degree. I know he’s preparing me to go and be his love to the Japanese people and I’m not there yet.
    i get so excited and I want to hop on a plane RIGHT NOW. But I’m to wait. And in the waiting I’ll obey.

    • Patience and obedience – those are not the easiest virtues to develop, are they?! Sounds like God has big plans for you…I pray that plane (or whatever His plan is) arrives soon!

  7. Wow…thank you for this. For the last three years I have been trying to get out of my job and find another that is more satisfying, one that aligns more with my desires, my skills, my dreams…and yet, nothing has happened. As much as I don’t want to admit it, or listen to it. Maybe God is asking me to stay.

    • If there’s one thing I can understand, LeeAnn, it’s being in a job that doesn’t seem to use my skills or fulfill my desires to serve God. I pray you get an answer and direction in that area!!

  8. Loved this! Thanks for sharing. I’ve often had many of the same thoughts. I should move to a foreign country and be a missionary only to be told, stay put – difficult at times but just as God-honoring. He wants obedience.

  9. I’ve felt called for years. But after having children I had to stay. God was telling me not yet. You see I have a daughter with Autism. A blessing in disguise. Then my husband left me and God yet again was saying not yet. So I spent 6 years as a single mom and still had this long to go out. But still there was a ‘not yet’ from him. Now I am remarried to a wonderful Christian man but he does not feel the calling I do and I do still have my autistic daughter who is 13 and needs me immensely right now. Plus, a struggling 16 year old son. I realize this is where I am needed right now. My children need me here. But the long to go and reach out has not gone away. Even though God has given me the ‘not yet’, I somehow know I am where I need to be. And maybe someday He will tell me ‘Now you can go’.

    • Amy, thank you for sharing your story. “Not yet” is encouraging, and I pray we can both have patience and peace while we serve until that “yet” day comes.

  10. This was for me! This is my life, too, of saying “yes” to all my extravagent plans that I hand to God, and He has come back with a “no” and calling to live the simple life. I married my husband almost 15 years ago when he was a pastor and I dreamed of a life of meaningful ministry to many, but he has not been called to ministry since then and instead I’m called to love him just as much and just love and serve my family and community. Not sure why that is still hard for me some days, but it is. And I’m finally starting to learn what a wonderful calling that is. Thanks for sharing, Mary!

    • Kara, I’m so glad this spoke to you. If you’re loving your family and community, then it sounds like you are ministering to many. But of course I understand the pull to do more, different, bigger. I pray God keeps us both mindful of His unique plan for our lives in this moment, in this place.

  11. Wow….that is EXACTLY how I have felt for years and years and years. Even when I was 20 years old, I spent a month doing inner city childrens’ ministry in New York, begging God for the leaders of the church there to notice me and keep me on as staff. Nope. God sent me back to my home in Vallejo, CA, where we started an inner city ministry there. Again and again, I ache to GO! I’ve got a sister in Columbia and a friend in Sri Lanka even as I type this. I, however, have been called to stay here. I’m a stay at home, homeschool mom to 3 beautiful girls and I’ve got to remember that they are the objects of my ministry, not the obstacles!! 🙂 (I stole that from someone else.) Thank you for writing so eloquenly what I feel so deeply!! God bless you and your God-given ministry….right where you are!! 🙂

    • Kelly, I understand so much what you’ve described here. Thank you for sharing your heart. (And I love the way you put that – our kids are objects of ministry not obstacles!!)

  12. Wow, can I ever relate to this! I had always seen myself as a world traveller, an adventurer, one who wanted to live in a some foreign, exotic location amidst people that I could serve (read: hammock, treehouse living in some jungle…). As a younger person I travelled quite a bit and loved it all. And here I am 15 years later, called to stay at home and homeschool three little ones. (What, God? Are you sure??) Not what I had dreamed of at all!! And yet I am learning that God wants to teach me, change me, yes, *transform* me into a more Christlike person through this present adventure. Some days I would choose the tropical jungle over my present jungle but I know that God will lead me day by day. One day, perhaps, I will see those other dreams fulfilled. Until then, I need to trust God and His perfect plan and perfect timing. And sometimes I also wonder if those dreams and desires that have been planted in our hearts may never come to fruition here on earth, but maybe in our eternal life we will be able to see our dreams come true!

  13. Mary – read this on the way in this morning in my email inbox, but couldn’t see who wrote it. Came into work and clicked on the link… it means infinitely so much more to me now knowing that you are the writer as I see you as someone who has had a tremendously positive impact from right where you are 🙂 I love that!

  14. Mary,

    I had been praying for whatever and wherever God wanted me to do or go, saying that I would. Three years ago after seeing lots of my friends go to Africa (and never felt called) I read on a listserv about a group going to Poland.

    I will never understand why – but that call just JUMPED right off the page. Physically my heart started pounding and I said, “Is this where you are calling me?”

    We teach English to Polish families. I thought since I was a former teacher I would be teaching the English to the adults – WRONG. God had another plan – for me – to design and run a program for the 4-12 year olds.

    I have had 2 wonderful summers (2 weeks) in this mission and am going again this year. If anyone is interested or feels a calling it is called International Messengers – in Canada – http://www.im-canada.ca/ and in the US – http://www.internationalmessengers.org/ Or contact me from my blog http://jancoxabetterway.wordpress.com.

    I am a grandma to 4 wonderful grandchildren. My time to serve outside my country may be later in life but very fulfilling. So don’t fret – you are where you are supposed to be. God has the plan and it is perfect.


    • Jan, thank you for sharing your story. It reminds me of how God has changed my heart. For many years – as I watched several friends leave for missions – I actually said, “I’m so glad I’m not called to [overseas] missions.” And then – bam! God changed my heart! Thanks for your encouragement today!

  15. Mary, I do understand what you are speaking of. Personally, I have been dust in the wind of ever-changing seasons. Sometimes it’s “Stay”, sometimes it’s “Go”, and sometimes it’s “Return back”.

    The dichotmy between trust and fear, comes into play constantly.

    When I opened up my computer, and your post greeted me (as (in)courage is my much-needed home page), I couldn’t help but see the irony. Your post is about staying. I just wrote yesterday on my website about Leaving. Your perspecitive is so important for me to have read. I was blessed by the open sharing of your thoughts. For the season you are in: plant yourself firmly in the roots of the Living Stream, so that no matter what buffets your heart during the changing times, you are constantly fed, watered in Truth and able to sustain it all. I know that you know this. I see it in your words when you speak of The Father. You know. I pray for the belief, the absorbing of that knowledge to daily refresh you. Because I understand how knowing and grasping can be two very different acts – and each can sometimes take a very active verb participation from us. How glorious that we have a Patient King, standing beside us!

  16. I mean aren’t we all missionaries really? We all are on a mission from God. In fact I think it might be the most common kind of missionaries. Ones that are called to live and to minister right where they are.

  17. Wanted to move to a bigger, nicer house–God said, “Learn to take care of this one.” Wanted to something big and important–God said, “No.” Wanted to change to the church where I was sure we were supposed to be. God said, “No.” The next 6 or 7 years were tough. But, at the end, I saw He had taught me so much, and He had used me. Perhaps, when I see Him face to face, I will see that was the biggest, most fruit-producing, eternal work I did in my whole life. Maybe.

    Sometimes, God convicts me of my motives in wanting to go. Wanting to do something “big.”

    “Is it for Me? or for you? Are you wanting My glory? Are you ready to take up your cross? Then do that for Me today, right where you are.”

    When I lay myself in His hands, I am like the bread which He first broke, before He distributed it to feed others.

    Thanks for sharing your heart, and being willing to be used right where you are today. I was blessed,

  18. Yes! I went through a season a couple years ago where I was so ready to GO! I went to Guatemala on a mission trip and it stirred my heart for more. I went to Ft. Lauderdale on a short trip to help start a church there. God was doing a passionate thing in my heart and I wanted to GO GO GO and spread his love and light. And then he anchored me in my own city. He put a burden on my heart for those in an impoverished area just 15 miles or so from my own home. I now coach soccer for a high school in that area and couldn’t imagine him sending me elsewhere! Of course I continue to have the heart of following him wherever but for now, it’s right here in my own town and I’ve never been happier 🙂

  19. I’m called to TX, serving on a home team for a native missions movement called Gospel for Asia. Yet due to my adopted childs specual needs I have also been struggling with this same issue. God has also been telling me it’s a season at home, not serving in the office for the last few years. I realize how precious few years I have with my daughters (China and India). Focusing on their love for the Lord and the ones’ development is what he has called me to do right now. Tho my heart is in the office helping those wh need education, clean water, and most if all Jesus. Tho I love how our ministry links the lives of those ‘not yet’ called to go with those already serving on the the mission field in Asia.

    • Sara, thank you for sharing your story. It’s been so encouraging to hear from others who struggle with this but stand firm in the faith that God will use every willing heart.

  20. Yes, we all want to do the big things. . and yet the small things matter as much or more. Just wrote a post about being the “ingredient” instead of the product.
    Thank you for this reminder that sometimes, often actually, we are called to stay. The small is large when it is His calling on our life.

  21. I love this post! I feel like you took my heart, ripped it open, read the innermost chambers of it and then neatly summed it up in this post. absolutely outstanding 🙂

  22. Hi Mary,
    Thank you so much for your post. I can identify so much with your desire “to go” for the Lord. Even to the same hym you quoted..first sung at a women’s retreat. At the age of 40 (28 yrs. ago) He began calling me….not across the sea or even the state but into a ministry to women that I would have never dreamed of. During 2009 He began preparing me for yet another call..back to where I began…here in my home…
    A precious sister asked me over the weekend… “what are you doing”? are you teaching?? And as I think about it I believe the call to teach is still His call but it looks so much different than I expected. I’m in school dear one and sometimes it’s scarey but most of the time I’m just so grateful to be loved by my Savior and to know deep in my heart that wherever He calls..whether it’s go or stay..His way is best.
    Much love to you Mary….keep encouraging us with the lessons the Lord is teaching you!

    • I love what you’ve said here! His call is the same but it looks different than you expected. Beautiful and true – and all part of the great adventure God has written for each of us!

  23. Without a doubt, right here where God wants me. Like you, I surrendered to do WHATEVER and WHEREVER. I married a minister, worked for a church, all those things. And slowly God removed each sparkly jewel I thought I was doing for Him. “Will you do even this for me?” – betrayal. shame. divorced. single, working mother. alone. impoverished. in need. “Will you still be faithful? Will you still give all?”

    Yes, it’s much harder than I ever thought, but more than ever I know He is enough. All my treasures are truly His. All my ‘resume’ points are His to fashion. I would love to teach, to lead, to study more deeply. But my task in this season is to provide, to nurture, to raise children and encourage others to be faithful in the unexpected and to be excellent with what they have.

    Thank you for acknowledging that not all are called to go, even though we’re cheering them on as we stay.

    • I have just found your blog Missy, something stuck my attention and I’ve spent the last 20 minutes reading posts and becoming aquainted with your descriptions of how God has moved with you, through this life.
      I just thought I should take a moment and tell you “thank you” for your honesty and words, you are being “boosted” in prayer today, and do not discount the day-to-day devotion your Father gives to you in leaps and bounds. I don’t know if any of that resonates, but I was compelled to speak. Have a day full of the knowledge that you are cherished – a treasure to He who formed you intricately.

    • And how awesome is it to have the privilege of cheering them on?! I can’t imagine how hard it’s been to stand and face what you have and still answer YES to those questions (Will you still give all?). Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  24. I can totally relate to this post. It can also be difficult when those around you are being called to other places/things. But is does take just as much courage to stay where you are, sometimes even more because it can make us feel left out. But isn’t it great to know HE is always in control, no matter where we are? 🙂

  25. Love your post. Thank you for sharing it, and your heart! I can relate, so many times I’ve asked God and the answer has been, “No” or “Not yet.” or “You aren’t ready.”. Prayers and love and bright blessings!

  26. I grew up as the daughter of overseas missionaries and now my husband and I serve overseas as well, as does my sister and her family. My sister shared this link with me today and said: “Those whom God calls to “stay” are the very ones who make it possible for me to go.” For that both she and I are thankful, and often humbled.

    As the Apostle Paul wrote, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:4-5) Neither role (staying or going) is greater than the other, but as we work together God is glorified!

  27. Wow. I deal with this issue about once every three months. With three little ones at home, I have so many details to attend to that morning til night, I’m extremely focused on my primary task of mothering. I work as a minister with my husband in church about ten hours a week, using a babysitter that has become a wonderful substitute grandma.

    Recently I dealt with the lie from the enemy that I did not have as much value if I didn’t accomplish “great” things for Him (read: write a book, travel and preach, etc). The truth that counteracted the lie was from Colossians, “I am complete in Christ.” I don’t need to do big things for Him in order to be more complete than the cross has made me.

    The truth is that even if I did write a book or had the opportunity to travel and preach, Mothering cannot be done by anyone else and has to be done with quality and focus. I would have to say no to my big dreams in order to provide the emotional stability that my little guys so desperately need. They deserve that kind of care and the I pray that Jesus will walk through our little yellow cottage and dwell with us. “The kingdom is coming through the ordinary and I pray His will is being done on earth right here in Michigan as it is in heaven.”

    You are all beautiful and I am so proud of Your honesty and your stand to listen and obey! Thanks for encouraging the work of God in me today through this post!

    • Summer, I really needed to hear what you had to say here. “I don’t need to do big things for Him in order to be more complete than the cross has made me.” Just…wow. And thank you.

  28. WOW! I now I know how to express some of this that’s going on deep in me. I love that even though we are so very different God allows us to feel or experience some of the exact same things in order to relate to one another better and to never feel alone in this trudge to the end.

  29. Wow, this is EXACTLY what I’ve been struggling with. I want to go – there’s a need – yet I know I should be here. I remember sitting through a sermon where the pastor was going on about how much harder it is to go but that’s no reason not to and I was screaming inwardly: “its way harder sitting here in this pew than it would be just to pack my suitcase and GO”. Different versions of hard, perhaps?? Sometimes it’s harder to be a missionary in my ‘home town’ – it’s harder to fight the tendencies of materialism and becoming passive in a wealthy country – but if I believe God has a plan, well, who am I to doubt it?

    • I agree that it can be harder to reach out in one’s own culture. I have lived overseas and noticed the difference when I returned “home.” Seeking first His kingdom is not easy here.

    • I hear you, Becky. I’ve thought that, too – that it’s harder to stay than it is to go. I suppose we all struggle with different perspectives. But you’re right. God definitely has a plan!

  30. Oh, Mary. Yes, for “right now” I’ve been called to stay. And to be honest – a year ago I would’ve been excited about that. Now all my heart wants to do is “go.” I trust God and His timing and I’m very empathetic with your heart and your post.

    • Sometimes I think about how awesome it’s going to be, someday down the road, to look back and see how God was preparing me in His timing. Sounds like you’ll have that kind of story, too!

  31. Like many of these women and you, my heart is to go and serve and chnge lives in a big way. But my day to day is diapers and math and writing and abc’s and the occassional afternoon of volunteering or more occassional cup of coffee w/ a friend. I itch to do more. I will pray to God to open the door to full time ministry. And every time I say that prayer He responds “I have. Your boys, husband, family, friends, and neighbors are the people you are to minister to.” Sometimes, to go and make disciples, we just need to step outside of ourselves. Sometimes, that’s all the “going” we need to do. I have to tell myself that constantly.

  32. i’m sorry, i haven’t been able to read all the comments. i hope i’m not being repetitious. Speaking as someone who has lived overseas both as a child of missionaries (for part of my childhood) and as an adult (7 yrs.), i think it is very important to realize that missions is way more a matter of the heart than of geography.

    If we have a heart for missions, we are looking around wherever we live, at the people God has placed in our path…neighbors, co-workers, family members and any others who don’t fit that group. There is nothing magical about going to another geographical location when it comes to missions. this is especially true when it comes to those of us in the U.S. We have so many people now in our country for work, education, and who knows what else, that are from other cultures that are totally unaware of the gospel. It isn’t accidental that they are here…some of them are our neighbors, co-workers and even attend school with our children. Our attitude toward them needs to be a missional one.

    As in, “Welcome, we’re glad you’re here! How can we help you feel more comfortable in this strange community.” “what can we do to help you?” that is the beginning of friendship…and that is part of mission…reaching out to others with the love of Christ!

    • Thank you, Martha. Missions is absolutely a matter of the heart, and it’s an adventure in itself figuring out how God wants to use our willing hearts today.

  33. I think I should just copy this and paste it to my mirror. Called to be at home. Is there anything that “seems” smaller, less important and more repetative? Sometimes I totally lose the vision and want to do “big things” instead of making lunch, feeding the baby, folding laundry and keeping up with the constant questions of my 3 and 5 yr olds. I forget that sometimes when the confines narrow, the impact deepens like a river in a canyon. My challenge is keeping the vision and enthusiasm when I can’t see any results and trusting that if my heart is willing, I will know when it is my time to go. Thanks for expressing it so well, Mary!

    • And thank YOU for the reminder that keeping the vision and enthusiasm now, specifically, in the mundane tasks of my everyday life is crucial for moving on later.

  34. Wow…this is definitely a post that struck heartstrings! I too have big dreams. In fact, Paul won’t let me answer the phone if it’s an unknown name or a toll free number because he knows that if it is some cause asking for help I will say yes. “$20 for veterans? Sure!”, “Send out fliers to all your neighbors to save babies with cancer? Sure!”, “$15 for the guy who lost his right arm saving the kitten from the fire 4 years ago? Sure!” I MAY have possibly gone over budget once or twice on my willingness to “help”. I would extend this to other things, but God says, “No. Not right now. That is not your chapter in life at the moment. You are called, right now, to raise your children. This is not an easy calling. In fact, you are called to teach your children to know ME, in hopes that one day they will teach others about ME, who will teach others about ME.” (you know, “The Power of One” syndrome…”a waterfall starts with one drop of water and looks what comes from that.”). There are days that I get frustrated…especially when I hear of mission trips that x-group is going on, and I am needed at home with my children. But one day this chapter will be over and I may be moved. Or I may not be. Only God knows. All I can say is, God has been teaching me through my discontent, “Whatever you do work at it will all your heart as working for the LORD not for men.” ~Colossians 3:23 I’m pretty sure that if we work at what God has for us, with all our heart, we have a larger missions field than we think.

    • “God has been teaching me through my discontent.” Ahhhh, story of my life for the past few years, Tara! And that verse from Colossians has been written on a 3×5 card and stuck on my desk at my last four jobs. Needless to say, it speaks to me. 🙂

  35. “Here I Am Lord” was a song we sang on special occasions growing up, too! Good memories.

    Thanks for your words. Before getting married I had the blessing to do all the going that I wanted to…I traveled a good little bit of the world and loved every minute of it. When I chose to get married we kept on going and when our first child came we still kept on going. As time moves on, however, we have slowed down and there are days when it really wears on me. I look at the sweet little boys I’ve been given divine charge of and try hard not to long to be out there in the world. In my heart I know there is no one or no place on the planet that needs my attention and love more than they do right now. It never takes that longing completely away, but it reminds me to look a little closer to home for the miracles happening all around me.

    I’m sure wherever the Lord is calling (or parking) us, if we follow Him whole-heartedly, the heavens will open and joy will reign down upon us!

    • I love that, Michelle. Well, I love all of your comment – that you traveled, that you are doing what you know God is calling you to do now, and that God might be parking us for now. 🙂

  36. YES, I’m struggling with knowing that I am called to stay (at least for awhile) & not liking it, There is a niggling feeling of frustration, restlessness, ingratitude. I want to move, out, up, into bigger, more daring. But it seems like right now is where God wants me. I wonder what if I will never fully learn to want what I have? What if I will never silence the voice that says that RIGHT NOW is just not me? To help me see the rays of sunshine, I count my blessings on paper. I anchor on to the fact that God is good and he will work everything out according to his will.

    • I face those questions, too, Nancy. I wonder what I’m supposed to be learning and when I’m going to do it already! But yes, absolutely, God IS good.

  37. while my husband is away on mission this summer, i am here. watering the garden. driving the kids to their million places. he’s hiking mountains to remote villages in guatemala. the last two summers i went. i feel guilty, like a lesser christian. but i come around to knowing that this is the place for me right now. god-ordained. no less important.

  38. I’m a pastor’s wife and I need to confess the truth that sometimes I am jelous of those of you who are called to stay. We have been called away from our homes and family and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I would love to raise my children near grandparents and cousin’s. I would love my closest friends to live down the block from me and not hundreds of miles away. I know we are where we are suppose to be, but it’s a lonely walk sometimes.
    Don’t forget how important your ministry at home it. Missionaries need people at home to support them with both prayers and finances. Your neighbors down the street need Jesus just as much as those in another country. Their are hundreds of children here who need homes just as much as those from Africa do. Embrace and love your ministry of being able to stay. And don’t forget to live your life as a ministry. So often we thing that the missionaries and pastors are the only people who need to be reaching out. We go to work and come home and run our children to their many activities and forget that we are suppose to missionaries right here and right now. Don’t forget that important job.

    • Faith, thank you so much for sharing your perspective and your heart. It’s so good for us to remember that God has created us differently and He has different jobs for each of us.

  39. This post really spoke to my heart! I am the dreamer and my husband is more than comfortable to stay! I know that in His time, we will go where He wants us to go.Thank you so much for sharing!

    • I identify with your struggle, Nicolette. My husband is finally (almost) on the same page as me about staying/going. I pray that God aligns both your hearts with His in His perfect time!!

  40. Thank you. I’ve been slowly learning these lessons through a few years now… learning to be faithful in the small things, knowing that God will entrust me with more in His time.

  41. Isn’t it a blessing to hear God’s “no” along with his “yes”? God has been telling me “you are just fine where you are” in spite of my begging too. There is a satisfaction that comes in knowing that even though it may not be where you want to be, you are exactly where he needs you.

  42. Wow! The comments here are as encouraging as the blog entry. I can’t believe there are so many women who feel exactly like I do on this! The staying is what challenges us, causes us to persevere, and grow in the faith. The staying is our learning ground. And it’s just like the Lord to lead us in this way. ; )

  43. Oh how I need to hear these words!!!!!!!! I feel like I’ve opened the book to my life and read a page right out of it. I too was and am so eager to go wherever. I even thought I’d someday land my feet in Africa permanently. I went to Bible college feeling oh so certain that one day I’d be the next Elisabeth Elliot. But that is not what has happened. 10 yrs. after graduating I am here. Most of my friends are off in far away lands doing things that I thought one day I would. There are times I struggle at being here, I question if I’ve made the wrong decision along the way and so many others that lead to the same answer- stay here. I am so glad that I have someone who is like me in this area. The here and now are the most important and greatest things that I can do. Thank you so very much for sharing this. I am going to bed tonight with a huge weight lifted off my shoulder and a heart full of peace.

    • La Donna, I’m so glad this was an encouragement to you. Hearing from so many women who feel the same way has, in turn, encouraged my heart!

  44. This really touched me in a deep place. Psalms 139 is the Word that covers this for me. My paraphrase—He knows me in my inner parts, formed me in secret, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He knows my going in and my going out. He has good works planned for me before the foundation of the world. My challenge is trusting that I’m walking out His good plan every day and endeavoring to have a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Daddy-listening to His leading, knowing He is my Good Shepherd, knowing He is giving me life and life more abundantly.
    Thank you for posting this and sharing the insights the Holy Spirit gave you and to all who commented here. The comments have blessed me and spoken to my heart as well. Selah. Praying Colossians 1:9-12 for all of us.

  45. I enjoyed your post and nodded in agreement about your questions.
    It is interesting how the Lord makes things turn out for His purpose.

    13 years ago we had 2 college girls from Japan stay with us for a week. They shared a room with my then 10 year girl. It was organized by another Christian family we knew.

    Fast forward to 5 year years ago. The same daughter decided she wanted to learn the Japaneses language and studied it in college. She also encouraged us, her parents to take a Japanese summer student each year and she volunteered in their English language summer school. She also volunteers each month with our churches Asian Outreach group get-togethers for college students living in our area from Asian countries.

    While I am in directly doing mission work, I feel very happy that I can support our daughter in various ways while she is doing something she feels called by the Lord to do.

    She is the oldest of 5 children. When I was a young mother, I could not even imagine that the Lord had a plan. I would get frustrated at my lack of “doing something for the Lord”.

  46. Mary, I love the song “Here I am, Lord”, but I think the chorus has it wrong. It is not “I will go, Lord, IF you lead me.” God ALWAYS leads, as you have found out, even if it is to be led to stay. So I — and a lot of people in my congregation — sing, “I will go, Lord, WHERE you lead me”, trusting that God is always out in front of us, calling us to what GOD wants for our lives, no matter what we want. Thanks for the post. Sometimes we all find it hard to stay.