My Story: Surrender–and the Dreams We Give Up

By Denise Rhoades

I had turned 40 in the spring of that year–and was still single. As in, never married. I had miraculously become a follower of Christ five years earlier (less than 10% of people do at that age. So yes, it’s a miracle!). I had briefly lived as a global worker in West Africa and was about to finish a Master’s in Missions. I felt only one gaping, jagged hole in this jigsaw puzzle of my life: a dream I’d held for nearly as long as I’d been alive. I wondered where I’d lost pieces along the way: for a husband. A family.

Path to a White Flag

On Labor Day weekend that year, my church was hosting a singles retreat in Branson. I had decided to not go; a friend cancelled on me last minute. But then there was my pastor’s wife. It’ll be fun!

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FREE PRINTABLE INFOGRAPHIC: 5 WAYS TO PRAY FOR GOD’S WILL AS YOU CONSIDER GOING OVERSEAS

It was a big “aha!” for me when I realized God wanted me to do his will even more than I did.

I used to think I needed to be alert for the smallest sign, the slightest indication of what He wanted. Wasn’t that being surrendered? I thought. But for me, I was a bit afraid of missing the signs. I ended up traipsing around on spiritual eggshells, deciphering some Christian version of the tea leaves.

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#BestoftheBestFriday: Your First Year; Staying Emotionally Well; Aspiring to a Leadership Role

 

Getting a Great Start: Five Best Practices for Your First Year on the Field

Pioneers USA weighs in on your first year there: How will you wish you’d spent it?

While you’re at it, don’t miss this wise post from A Life Overseas: Tips For Your First Year.

Staying Healthy Overseas: Emotional and Mental Wellness

Elizabeth Spencer writes, “It is easy to get burnt out while living overseas. I know that, you know that, but are we doing enough to make sure we don’t get burnt out? The answer for me is almost always ‘no.'” Here, she offers wise advice to create longevity and health in your global work–reminding us all that there are many things, but only one is important (Luke 10:41-42).

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How Ready Am I? FREE Self-Assessment for Global Workers, Part III: Relationships

When I moved overseas, my capacity shrank. See, the Africa slice of my pie was simply…ginormous.

Everything took about three extra steps. Need to brush your teeth? You might not want to use water from the tap. You’ll need to fill your water filter or boil it; if your water’s off for the day, you’ll need to haul it in from outside.

As this blogger posted on Go. Serve. Love a few weeks ago, surviving can feel like 90% of your life. It chomps into your availability for, say, work or ministry. My husband felt like he was only able to accomplish about 50% of what he’d normally be able to accomplish in his job.

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He Said/She Said. You Say? “How can I know if God’s calling/leading me overseas?” Part II

Missed Part I? Grab it here.

Years ago my husband had a friend who was contemplating starting his own non-profit (oh. And he had a family with six kids. So there was that.)

Our friend decided to take forty days to fast and pray, in search of what he should do.

At the end of all this fasting and praying, my husband wanted to know: Did God show you what to do?

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He Said/She Said. You Say? “How can I know if God’s calling/leading me overseas?” Part I

I’ve written before that my husband’s and my decision to shuffle our family of six overseas wasn’t perhaps as clear as we would have liked. But when I finally arrived overseas, y’know the funny thing? Everyone’s story and path on how they got overseas was completely different.

None of us had heard an audible voice, to my knowledge. That would have been nice, considering all the times you wonder what in the world you’ve gotten yourself into; all the times you’re second-guessing because the work and the results didn’t look how you thought. Did I hear you right?

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The Generation Who Can: Reaching the Unreached with News They Can’t Live Without

generation who can

I’m writing today with a question. A possibility. As in, no, I haven’t researched the tar out of this. No, I have a very limited number of acronyms behind my name. (Like, one.) I’m just a global worker with a vision that’s bigger than me and wasn’t really mine to start with.

Follow my logic for a moment.

We know that some generation in the future will at last succeed

in reaching every nation, tribe, and tongue with news they can’t live without (and trust me on this: no truer words are spoken).

We know that 40% of the world, to the tune of 3.15 billion people,

live in people groups where they have zero access to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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