Tuesday, March 16, 2010

God's Will in My Life: Big Decision

Jon and I are approaching a big decision: leave Guam on our already scheduled time frame (July 2011) or to extend for one more year (July 2012).
Guam had apparently been in God's ultimate plan for us from the beginning, no matter how much I wanted to fight it. Jon and I met when he was stationed aboard the USS Houston. We got married and about a year later the boat was scheduled to change ports, from Washington state to Guam. At that time the pictures that popped up in my mind about Guam, were sleeping with netting over the bed, constantly finding snakes, and huge spiders and other insects inside my home, near my future (at the time) children. I imagined sweltering, unbearable heat that would keep me inside almost constantly; very limited shopping (oh wait, that one I got right!); and no one that spoke English except of course the other Navy families. I never thought I would be able to find a church I could fit into, I imagined only Catholic churches on this teeny tiny island. I even thought I would develop claustrophobia from being confined to such a small, speck of island in the middle of the ocean. So in my ignorance we decided we would be better off taking orders to a shore duty command in Virginia. While in Virginia we had a good time, made many wonderful friends and then it came time all too soon for us to leave. Jon and I had been really praying that we would be able to get back home to Washington state, but in God's answer to our prayers, He has given us a detour. We were informed the only way, at that time at least, for us to return to the West coast would be to go overseas first. And as luck would have it the only thing Jon was offered at that point was Guam. By then, a few things had changed to ease us into this transition.
First of all, I had grown used to being away from home for a long extended time, and when I really thought about it, there wasn't much difference between Virginia and Guam distance wise. Now yes there are thousands of miles more between Guam and Washington verse Virginia and Washington, but in either situation I would not be in a location that I could just pick up and go visit my family anytime I wanted. And most of all, during our time in Virginia, God had placed in my path a friend who had been there and had eased most of my fears about what island life would be like. I completely believe God placed us in Virginia first for those exact reasons, so that we could go to Guam with a more open heart to the island itself.
Now that we are in Guam, we are having a hard time with the thought of leaving. Jon and I would both like to experience a little more of the island life as it offers many activities we will not be able to do in the Northwest. Snorkeling, scuba diving, as well as many other water sports and activities, but also traveling and seeing some places of the world we otherwise will probably never see. Another reason we have grown so attached to this island are our friends. We have met some of the most wonderful people here on Guam. We still love and miss our friends from Washington as well as Virginia, but at least for me it seems that the longer I am away from my comfortable home in Washington were a lot of old friends that I grew up with are, the more I open up to new people and new friendships. In Virginia it took me a long time to realize I could make great friends anywhere I go and I am not just limited to only friends I have known since school. (Though I still treasure those friendships very dearly!)
Most of all though during our time on Guam, I have had the chance to grow closer to God then I have ever been. While there are some minor things I do not agree with within our church here, I do find myself constantly challenged like never before to reexamine parts of my life, so that I can have a better relationship with my Heavenly Father. And honestly that is hard to give up. On the one hand, I don't want to leave the environment when I feel I am constantly in check and held more accountable, but on the other, does God want me to go somewhere else for new adventures and my biggest challenge in that being to not fall back into the trap of being content to not move forward in my walk with God, or worse to backslide into old habits. This is what has been on my heart for the last few months as we try to decide which course of action to take. To stay or to go, that is my question to God!
So please pray for us as we need to make the decision by this coming July. They need a year in advance for both of the following- requesting a years extension or requesting to go back to the West coast (Washington not a guarantee, but I would be fine with California as well, we have a few friends and family there also). Another big factor in our decision making process will be if Jon makes first class from this last exam he took in March. We should know around May, and if he doesn't make it we feel it would be best to extend so we can ensure he will have made it before he moves to a new command. If he does make it, we will have to look at other factors on how to proceed, we may still extend we just aren't sure yet.
Any prayers or advice are most welcome.

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. ~Colossians 1:9

I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart. ~Psalm 40:8

The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord. ~Proverbs 16:33

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