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Saying Yes to Where I Am

When I was invited to share my story, I thought, “What story?” How do I tell a story that I’m still in the middle of? I could tell you any number of things God has taught me, none of which I would feel is coming from a place of authority as much as from my own questions.  And I can’t help thinking that I have to have answers and wisdom to share with you.

I feel I need to preface this, however, by confessing that I am clueless. I often learn that I’m actually more clueless than I thought I was yesterday! But I hold fast to the hope from Philippians 1:6, that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  

I live in Hueytown, Alabama, with my beautiful wife and two wonderful children. I work from home, I love my job, and I get to meet people from all over the world. I have a wonderful, blessed life, but if you had asked me ten years ago, or maybe even five, where I would be now and what I would be doing, it would not be this. And, as a result, I often find myself questioning God.   

At some point, I must have started to believe that Jeremiah 29:11 (For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.) also included a promise that I, too, would know, in detail, the plans God has for me. I also thought his plans for me involved living a rugged, sacrificial, holiest of holy lifestyle in some remote land traveling with nought but the pack on my back and doing life-on-life discipleship with people who have never heard the name Jesus.  

My first experience in another country was in Brazil. It’s a wonderful, gorgeous place filled with the warmest, most joyful people. But more than the people, it was the experience in another context that made me realize that God really is as big as he says he is–because he’s not just in Alabama at my Southern Baptist church! This realization led me to ask, “Where else is he?”   

I fell in love with other cultures and started to build my dream of going overseas. My heroes included (and still include) Billy Graham, Jim Elliott, William Carey, and OMF’s own Hudson Taylor.   

During this season, I was encouraged to take a class called Perspectives which helped me solve a big conundrum I had at the time. I wanted to do mission work, but my problem was that I hadn’t been “called.” I thought ministry was one thing, but missions… I knew that I had to wait for the holy dove to fly down and whisper in my ear: “Go!”  

But after night one of Perspectives, I was coming back to my buddies saying, “Guys, what if the default is to go, but the call will be to stay?” I don’t know whether that was the answer, but it was all I needed to hear at the time to pack my bags, grab my machete, and buy my plane ticket. I started to pursue any route I could to live overseas long-term. I even decided I couldn’t get married unless the girl I met planned to do the same thing–with or without me. Well, as God would have it, I did meet that incredible girl.  

Fast forward a few years, and after being told to wait by several agencies, going through years of missions training programs, and, I believe, maturing and learning a lot, I still found that I was not overseas. I got upset with God, especially when I was in another Perspective class six or seven years later, hearing how desperately we needed people willing to go anywhere–people willing to go to hard, remote places.   

I was in the back of the room, trying not to yell, “That’s me, God!” I started to question whether there was something I was holding back from God, which is why he wasn’t sending me. Though I don’t know whether that’s always how God works, I can tell you that I was holding something back. I told him “yes” to everywhere except where I was.   

A friend and mentor shared a verse with my wife and me, “Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3) Together, we came to realize that we needed to give our “yes” fully to God. If that meant we would have us stay in Alabama forever, so be it. May we be faithful wherever we are. And you know what? I’m leaving something out here because while I did not join the missions team overseas, I was blessed with the opportunity to join staff with Perspectives USA to help build relationships and network with missions agencies around the country, so that more people can learn what I learned and hear of the invitation to God’s global purposes, which is such an honor.  

I still get frustrated, confused, and sad. Even though this job is, in so many ways, my dream job that was a miraculous gift to my family, I still question God. And yet, He has not given up on me. My hope for my future is well-founded. In all my mess, he doesn’t ever cut me loose, but he holds me fast.  

My goal in sharing the story is to encourage those of you who are also in the middle of your questions. Your story and your struggle may be still ongoing. I do hope that you will also join me in asking a few questions that I have been trying to ask for myself:   

Where do I find my hope? 

Where do I find my satisfaction? 

God, what would you have me to do today? 

God, what would you like me to know about you? 

God, can I join you? 

I don’t know where God will have me tomorrow, but I know I want to be wherever that is. 

(Map photo credit: Unsplash; Louis Hansel)

About the author: Logan Middlebrooks serves as the organizational partnerships manager for Perspectives USA. As a liaison between Perspectives and their partnered organizations (like OMF), he works to drive greater care, communication, and collaboration. Born and raised in Alabama, he now lives in Hueytown, AL with his beautiful wife, Lauren, and their two energetic kiddos, Sparrow (4) and Solomon (3). Logan and Lauren have been dedicated members of Iron City Church since moving to the Birmingham area in 2015. Logan loves to tell stories, play with kids, and meet unique people. You can subscribe to his newsletter at: https://the-middlebrooks.epistle.org/subscribe 

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Angelica
Angelica
1 month ago

This was a really encouraging read! I feel like I am in a similar place right now. Thank you for being obedient to God’s call where you are right now and sharing your story!

Eunice Au
Eunice Au
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing this. Others need to hear what you are discovering.

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