Do you fly often? I flew for the first time at twenty-four years old and was scared to death. I used to be able to tell you exactly how many flights I’d been on, but now I’ve lost count. I’ve also gotten much more comfortable on flights.
There are a few flights that stand out vividly in my mind. Like the time a flew a sex trafficking survivor to St. Louis to take her to Mercy Ministries. She had never been on a plane before and let’s just say that from the moment we entered the airport until we landed in St. Louis was an adventure that would rival Madea in her movie, Witness Protection Program.
Another time that stands out to me took place six years ago on August 4, 2008. Our family was flying home on the red eye from a vacation. My husband and daughter were sound asleep while my son sat reading. I used those quiet moments to have my quiet time with the Lord. I was reading in the book of Acts when I came across Acts 1:8,
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Many sermons have been preached on this scripture, specifically about being filled with the Holy Spirit. This particular time as I read it, God had me camp on the later part of the verse…
you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
I must have read over that section of the verse twenty times and each time I felt like I was missing something. I remember journaling and asking the Lord,
What? What am I missing? What is it that you’re trying to show me?”
In the quiet of the plane I heard,
Remember your Jerusalem!”
I wrote that down in my journal and for weeks following that flight, I researched the verse, reading it in various translations. I read commentaries on the verse. Finally, I realized I was making this harder than necessary. I had an ah-ha moment. Jerusalem was where Jesus was speaking in Acts 1:8. He was talking to His disciples there. Jerusalem was their home. His message in Acts 1:8 could have been translated,
….you will be My witnesses in your home, and in your community and country, and to the ends of the earth.
So that being said, by telling me to remember my Jerusalem, God was telling me to remember my home, my family, my first mission field.
I knew in that very moment, God was telling me to not lose focus on what was right under my nose. I was to reach out to people around me and even to the ends of the earth, but not at the exclusion of my family. They were my first mission field.
I made a declaration to God that day that I did not want to be someone who served others in the Kingdom at the expense of my family. I wanted, first and foremost, to be a good wife and mother. As a result, I’ve turned down speaking engagements and ministry opportunities so I could be at lacrosse games and school events. I have chosen to run my conference dates and speaking engagements by my children as often as I have my husband, not because I need their permission to go, but because I want them to know they have and always will come first.
In the next two weeks both of my children will be going off to college and my nest will be empty for the first time. I know this is a new season for all of us. It’s bittersweet, because we are so close, but I know we’re all doing what God has for us.
That being said, I will be taking the next week off to spend with my children before they leave, making memories, and preparing them to launch. I covet your prayers for us all as we enter this new season of life. It’s going to be great, but like many great things, it will come with some tears. I’ll meet you all back here on Thursday, August 14th, in a much quieter house, trying to gain my footing in new territory.
Until then, I encourage you to love well those God has entrusted you. Remember your Jerusalem, because in doing so, you are a strong witness to the goodness of God to those in Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth!