O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
~ Jeremiah 10:23
I was a junior in college at Bob Jones University. I was a premed major and wanted to go to China as a medical missionary. I had been going to school there since my junior year in high school. It had become more like a home than my own home was. I was growing in the Lord and was away from the wrong influences at home that were bringing me down spiritually. I loved where I was and what God was doing in my life.
Then my mother asked me to come home and join ATI for one year. Everything in my flesh said that was crazy. I begged her to let me stay to finish up my senior year. She said that the final decision was mine but she felt I was becoming rebellious. I thought she was wrong. I felt like I was growing spiritually like I never had before. I felt I was right in the place God had for me. If I stayed out a year then that would be one more year before I would be able to get to China.
I gave my mom lots of reasons why I should not move back home. I was addicted to television and at BJU I was away from those temptations. I asked my mom to get rid of the television if she wanted me to come home but she would not. I also reminded her of the bad environment I would be in. In my heart I knew that those were not the real reasons I did not want to go home though. The real reason was because of my relationship with my mother. Ever since I was a little girl there had always been a deep hurt between us. I began to rebel very strongly when I was about eight years old. My mother rejected me which caused a great deal of hurt in my life. She did not know how to handle the hurt I was causing her so when she would get angry she would stop speaking to me and become very cold toward me. Sometimes she would stay angry at me like that for a month. It eventually got to the point where she would get upset with my step-father and take it out on me. That was one of the main reasons I chose to go away to boarding school when I was fifteen.
The thought of going home for a whole year to be rejected by her made me feel sick. I tried to reason my way into staying. Several of my friends told me that since I was pretty much paying my own way at school
I should be able to make my own choice. I had been to a basic seminar though. I could not get away from the authority principle. One night my dorm supervisor and I stayed up till 3:00 a.m. trying to figure out if "Children obey your parents" meant that you were always your parents child. Our conclusion was that it does not say one way or the other in the Greek. It just means child. I knew in my heart though that Mr. Gothard was right.
When I was a little girl probably about seven years old we went to a swimming pool that had a high dive. I decided that I wanted to jump off it. It was only ten feet and did not look so bad from the ground but when I got to the edge of the board looking down it was terrifying. I wanted very much to climb back down the ladder but there was a long line of people who would not let me down. They started yelling at me to jump. I knew I had to but it was very hard to step off. As soon as I hit the water though my first thought was -- that was fun I want to do it again. When I knew I had to go home it was like standing at the edge of that diving board looking down. God assured me that He would be with me and sustain me as I went home. I was reminded of Jeremiah 10:23, "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."
Well I did go home and within a week my mother had gotten angry and stopped speaking to me again. On Sunday when we went to church my pastor's wife noticed that something was wrong between my mother and I. Monday morning my pastor asked my mom to bring me in to see him. Instead of talking to me, he asked my mom what was going on. She admitted that she was angry with me. They talked for quite a while. Then she apologized to me and for the next three years she never once lost her temper with me. God used that to show me that all I need to do is obey and He will work out the details. He also used it to get me where He wanted me. Shortly after I joined ATI I went to Russia and then to the Indianapolis Training Center. I am so much happier now where I am than I would have been struggling to get to China as a missionary doctor when that was not where God wanted me. The final bonus is that my relationship with my mother has been improving little by little. God is now restoring to me the years that the locust have eaten.