The anti-depressants were helping, as was my continual diet of Bible verses. My hope was beginning to be restored, and I could think clearly and feel happy for the first time in ages. Perhaps there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. Although I still felt distant from God, our relationship was improving. I continued to view Him as big and controlling, and I was unsure how much I trusted Him, but at least we were on speaking terms.
While I continued to improve, more decisions needed to be made. We had been back from Slovenia for a couple of months, but were still unsure about our future. No one could decide for us what to do next; God had to open doors and shut them.
IMF, our mission sending agency, was continually supportive of our
situation, offering encouragement and patience as we walked through our
valley. One day as we were contemplating our options, an unexpected possibility entered our lives. Someone working at the home office suggested we consider the open position for the Director of Missions. After reading the job posting on the website, we dismissed it. We didn't think we were qualified. Not too many days later, Frank, the General Secretary of IMF, called Rob. He talked with him about the position, and wanted him to consider applying for it. The Missions Director would give oversight to all the missionaries, domestic and foreign, who called IMF their agency. It would mean being the leader of over 80 missionaries in more than 40 countries around the world. He would be responsible for guiding and counseling them, traveling to their place of ministry for site visits, and any other aspects related to assisting them in fulfilling God's call on their lives. This was a big deal!
When Rob hung up the phone and told me what had just been offered, we looked at each other with a unified gawk which translated into, "this guy is nuts." Obviously he didn't have a clear picture of what we had been going through the past year or he would never have called. This had to be a mistake. Plus, who were we to be given such a position? We had no "formal" training, didn't have the "appropriate" degrees, and had only been on the field ourselves for less than a year. Yep, this had to be a mistake. But what if it wasn't? We mulled it over and pondered it; beating any life out of the possibility with the stick of our own disbelief. In spite of our doubts, we called Frank back a few days later. We had questions. We asked Frank if he understood what we had been going through, and were still working on. He did. We asked him if he understood we didn't have the degrees and training most people were required to have for such a position. He did. We asked if he was actually offering us the position. He said yes. Then we asked why he had chosen us for this role because in our eyes, we were the dark horse. We met none of the criteria others would have expected, and we felt completely unworthy to shoulder such responsibility. His response was simple. Who better to understand the trials and frustrations missionaries go through, than one who has experienced it? In his eyes, we had been tailor-made for the position. It was an incredible life-giving, life-building moment. Someone had seen the value in the battle we had been fighting. Someone had seen the indisputably pertinent life lessons learned from walking through the fire. Someone was willing to pick up our dream from the pile of rubble and rebuild it, re-establishing not only the value of the dream, but re-enforcing the value of the broken dreamers. We accepted the position, and embraced our new purpose and mission. The door to our future had swung open.