While Chad and I were praying, seeking counsel, and waiting for God to answer our pleas for direction about taking our trip, I realized that support and encouragement are two very different things. To support, according to the dictionary, is to bear all or part of the weight of; to hold up. The definition of encourage is to give support, confidence, or hope to someone. In definition alone you can see that these two are very similar and in my mind they have always gone hand in hand, but when it comes to this trip we are planning, they feel very different.
We have many people in our lives that we love dearly who are completely against us leaving. People who influence us and whom we want to please. My family has taken it really well, it is not easy to think of how they will have to continue their relationship with my daughter, Zoë, by video chats and email, it breaks my heart, but I know that their love of her and her love of Grammy and Grandpa will just grow regardless. No matter where we are, they will always be a constant, even if its just electronically. My parents are understanding and even are supportive, because Chad and I feel God is leading us, that they feel we must follow Gods direction. They are never encouraging though. I have never heard, and probably never will hear, “you guys should totally travel, its such a great opportunity, I wish we could do that,” etc. And I honestly would be a bit hurt if they were so quick to say we should go, but it sure would make it a lot easier to leave.
Some of our friends and family are supportive, but very few are encouraging. For the longest time this really upset me. It was discouraging and made me question my motives and desires. But then I realized, I should feel blessed. I do feel blessed that I have so many wonderful people in my life that want me here so badly, that they cannot bring themselves to be excited about something that will take me away from them. Thank you friends and family, your love is not ignored and I will always love you no matter where I may be on this planet of ours.
Chad and I have fervently prayed that our desire to travel was not just selfishness on our parts, but that God was causing it to get our butts moving. In the end, we felt that God was asking us to step out in faith, to walk into the unknown. We must follow through with plan to leave America and travel the world finding ways to serve Him as we go. We feel that we have Gods support and encouragement, and that is all we need. So we continue on and look to Him to sustain our hearts and minds because we know it is too hard for most of those we leave here.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” Deuteronomy 31:8
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10