30 January 2012

Plans: La Española

I didn't get the Fulbright Scholarship. I'd been planning spending ten months in the Dominican Republic with my new bride, talking to people and doing research and exploring the country.

Then I got an email with the subject line, "Fulbright Applilcation Status." Who wants to do a scholarship with people who can't spell anyway? But actually, it was disappointing news. I called my fiance, and she took it well: this means God has something better for us. True. And this means we can have kids sooner! Also probably true. My Academic Advisor, in his typical fashion, responded with a pun: "So you're only a half-bright?"

But there's another side to the island: Haiti. My fiancé and I initially planned to go on the Baptist Student Union mission trip to Russia, but that trip was cancelled because the dates couldn't mesh. My fiancé thought she heard from God that we should go to Haiti, and I thought I heard the same thing.

But last week, she texted me and told me she was having doubts about going on the trip. We talked the next night, weighing the options, then took a break to read our Bibles and pray. She read 2 Samuel 7, where David says, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

To which the Lord responded, "Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in?" Then God turns it around, saying that He'll take care of Israel and establish a house for David. The next morning, the same scripture came up on my reading plan - coincidence? Probably not.

We came to the same conclusion: God wants us to establish our house before we go to Haiti to help build His. We're getting married in less than four months, and we have a lot of wedding preparation ahead of us. And more importantly, we need to prepare for our marriage.

Plans change. But God doesn't.