OK, I’m Not Going to Iraqi Kurdistan

The Kurds hold a special place in my heart, but not just culturally, as many of them rescued and aided perishing Armenians during the Armenian Genocide by the Turks.  In recent years their courage and diligence in fighting diabolical ISIS impressed my soul and led me to pray consistently for their salvation.  While they long for a country of their own, I pray even more that they will “long for a better country – a heavenly one” the eternal Kingdom of God.

Aligning with them in Washington D.C. “Turkey Guilty of Genocide!” enlarged my heart.  We supported the mission work in Syria through Frontier Alliance International (https://www.faimission.org/) but that didn’t seem enough.  I learned in October of their planned trip to Iraqi Kurdistan, “that’s for me!” my heart exclaimed.  It would be difficult and expensive for Bob and I to go but if God is calling us it will be fine and affordable.

But was God calling us or was my heart convincing me?  Strong emotions can shroud spiritual direction.  Did I sense a ‘check in my soul’ because it would give my elderly mother a giant anxiety attack or because it was not God’s will?  Bob and I prayed during the month of November.

I believe in the headship of the husband and tried not to influence him too much, “You may not know this Bob, but Erbil is actually a tourist destination….a lot of people go there!”  When I do sense the Lord leading, nothing can stop me, my heart is fixed and there is a glad expectation.  I did not sense this but believed it would come.  I had the itinerary and suitcase mentally packed but seemed to wait at a starting gate where the ‘starter pistol’ never blasted.  Bob prayed but kept reporting, “I don’t sense the Lord leading us…”

Unraveling my emotional fervor, I submitted to the ‘check’ in my own heart and unpacked my mental suitcase.

Within weeks of this decision, General Soleimani was killed in Iraq and all Americans were called home. Missiles hit the Kurdistan capital of Erbil, blowing up any remaining itinerary in my heart.

If God wasn’t calling me to Iraqi Kurdistan, did He have another call for me?  When we realize what God is not doing, perhaps our focus can turn to what He is actually doing.   My fellowship with young women, as mentioned in Fruits of Surrendered Aggravation has deepened with meaningful ways to serve, including personal and spiritual counsel, childcare, Bible study and practical resources.

God knows I would go to Kurdistan but He never waved me on.  Instead I stand local, engaging and mentoring younger women as the Lord leads.  God’s will may not seem like the ‘fantastic’ choice but His call is supernatural – never ordinary.   When He calls He leads and He fills to overflow upon others, and that is the high call worth it all.

 

21 thoughts on “OK, I’m Not Going to Iraqi Kurdistan

  1. Thanks for sharing these great insights, Lisa Beth. There are lessons here for everyone. For me, this post definitely hit a chord: personal desire must always take a back seat to God’s will.

  2. My ministry to Kurds is a little closer to home. Through a group called “Refuge” some of us from our church have “adopted” a Kurdish refugee family. We have grown to know and love them through helping them get settled in, taking them to appointments and driving lessons until they got their licenses, helping them with English, and of course, inviting them to our church. They, in return, have had us into their home for Kurdish food, music, and celebrations with their family.
    A young couple I know were missionaries to Iraq until health issues forced them to come back top the States. They’ve settled in the Nashville area, where they’re now doing ministry with some of the 15,000 Kurds there.
    So, God may use your passion for these people, but in ways you aren’t envisioning right now. I have a feeling all that love won’t be wasted.
    Blessings,
    Annie

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Lisa Beth. I appreciate how you and your husband sought the Lord’s will in this matter. I tend to just jump ahead. Lord bless your ministries!

  4. There are so many lessons for me in what you wrote.
    Thank you for sharing about your experience.
    I’m glad you are safe at home, but know that you are in God’s
    care wherever he leads you.

  5. Pingback: Love Thy New York Neighbor | theburninglampdotcom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s