What an absolutely insane 2 hours.
At 10am, I was standing at the post office. I wrote checks totaling almost $300 for my passport, passport expidition (to get it faster) and for 300 stamps for support letters. Then, I stepped back to the work counter to organized Steph's passport renewal stuff, which would be another $127. Stephanie called me, telling me to call Bob Waters, the leader of the East Asia trip. Apparently there was a hitch.
Boy howdy was there.
Because we had signed up so late, the airline ticket prices were going to be more. Much more, in fact, like, $500 or more in additional costs. I told him about Stephanie, and he was excited that she was willing, and he stressed how important he thought it was for married couples to spend time on the mission field. Then he expressed to me some thoughts about the trip, and asked me to consider Steph and I going on next years trip. We both agreed that with raising support, it would be important to be good stewards of other peoples money & donations, and with an additional $1000 (or more) needed just for plane tickets, that might not be the best use of the money. I agreed, and made the decision for both Steph and I to step back and consider next year's trip. Disappointed, yes. At peace, yes. Happy that Stephanie was willing to go? Definately.
I called Stephanie, told her the news, which she was fine with. I mentioned that perhaps we could go to New York together this year, and she made a statement that made me smile... "Honey, if we are going to East Asia next year, I'll need to save my vacation and roll it over." Not "let's talk about it" or "we'll see" but almost a declaration of "well, we'll go next year. let's plan for it." Perhaps she was just speaking off the cuff, but I truly think she meant it.
And then I figured it out. This whole past week, with considerations for East Asia, with the prayer and conversations that came with it... it drew us closer spiritually, but more importantly, she now has a willing spirit towards missions, something she was hesitant to even discuss before. This whole thing with me and East Asia... was all for her.
When you make the statement "You never know what God is going to do", do you ever try and think of all the possible scenarios that could happen, if only to mentally prepare for them all? During the last five days, I've tried to think of everything... but from last night to this morning, I hadn't thought of any of this, much less prepared for any of it. And I love God for it.
And you know what? I think I'm going back to New York City this summer.
ps... big props to our friends, who have been nothing but supportive and extremely helpful in everything we've talked about, and almost seemed to be going to East Asia vicariously thorugh Steph and I. You guys are the best, and we love you.
pps... I went back to the Post Office and reclaimed all of our checks I had written, and even returned the stamps.
ppps... in a completely unrelated note, check out Dave's Sport Sites, which has (or will in about fifteen minutes) Scott Latta's Rammer Jammer blog.