The Lord Directs His Steps

This is part three of the story of how I ended up in Bolivia. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here!

Once upon a time, I thought teaching sounded like a trap. Like a job that would induce teeth-grinding, hair-pulling, frustrated sighs, and misery in general.

Yeah, I was that against it. Ha. And I’m so glad I was wrong. Toward the end of my first year of teaching, it became so clear to me that I had a gift for teaching and that it brought life to my soul. I was ready to spend the next several years, if not the rest of my life, teaching with the school and the students I had so learned to love.

And that’s when I received news that almost turned my world upside down. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I misunderstood news and that almost turned my world upside down. I thought that the school I was teaching at was going to close for good.

Death and Resurrection

Even though it ended up not being true and the school is still running to this day, the Lord did wonderful things in me through my misunderstanding. After school that day I went to my room and surrendered the place and people I do loved to the Lord. I realized that the reason it hurt so much was because I loved the people around me so much, loved my students to much; and I resolved them and there that I would love them more and more, even if it meant a greater pain in the end.

A little after that time spent with the Lord, I had a meeting with a mentor. She asked me how I was doing, and I broke down in tears. As she listened to my story, a verse came to her:

The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9, NASB

I had planned my way, but now it seemed that the Lord was directing me elsewhere.

Her next question changed the course of my life, “Have you ever considered world missions?”

My dream of missions, that I had laid to rest, came blazing back to life. She gave me some information for a ministry in Nicaragua, and several months later I was connected with them.

Death to one dream resulted in the resurrection of another; even though the dream that I thought had died came back to life the next day when I realized the school wasn’t closing after all. And a year later, I was ready to go to Nicaragua for six weeks, and step into the beginning of the dream born in my soul over a decade before.

This Isn’t Over Yet

Then in the weeks before it was time for me to go, civil unrest broke out in Nicaragua. I wasn’t afraid; I knew that if it was to Nicaragua the Lord was leading me, He would see to my safety. But things grew worse and worse there until hospitals had to begin turning people away because they were so full. It was decided that I wouldn’t go to Nicaragua, two days before I was supposed to fly out.

I was crushed. But as I lay in bed, crying to Jesus, the Comforter brought Scripture to my mind: “You are good and what You do is good,” “As for God, His way is perfect.” The one verse that brought me the most comfort, though, was Proverbs 16:9. I had planned my way. Clearly, the Lord was directing my steps elsewhere.

One of the pastors in my life told me, “Olivia, this isn’t over yet.” For a while I clung to that as Gods promise to me that Nicaragua would still somehow happen. That the door would open again. But it became clear that that was a door I wasn’t to stand beside and stare at. It had closed, and I had to move on.

But it truly wasn’t over yet. Because the greatest disappointment of my life set everything in place for God to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond all I had asked for or imagined. But I’ll save that story for part four. 😉

12 thoughts on “The Lord Directs His Steps

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  1. Wonderful, wonderful testimony! I love it! I identify in some ways, too, for I was headed in a particular direction with my life, thinking that is where God was leading me, when the Lord intervened by closing that door and letting me know he had something else for me to do I had not even thought of. Two years later I was writing full time what the Lord was teaching me through his word each day and I was placing it on the internet and I have been doing that daily for 13 years. I would never have considered doing that. He was right.

    I look forward to hearing the rest of your testimony, Olivia. Beautiful, just beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sue! Isn’t it a wonderful thing that we can always trust our God? He is a good and faithful guide! Even if we are confused about where He is leading, we can rest in Him. And following His lead is always worth it! I praise Him for how He has lead you!

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! I hope to finish my story soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know how common it is. Perhaps you and our team were planning to go during the same extended period of unrest.
        No, our leader was called to be senior pastor at another church.
        I was a missionary in Africa and France for a few years. I learned Spanish when I came back home.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was going to go to Nicaragua in the summer of 2018. Did you say it was a few years ago that you were going to go?

        Oh wow, how cool! Have you shared any of your story anywhere – how you ended up in those places and what God did in and through you while you were there? I’d love to learn more!

        Are you fluent in Spanish? I’m certainly not fluent yet, but I understand most of what is said to me and I’m getting plenty of opportunities to learn, haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks, Ruth! I wanted to leave a note that I started to respond to your email this morning, but my draft was deleted (or maybe didn’t even save in the first place, haha) so my response might be a bit slow! Though I might have time to reply in a few hours. Anyway, you are a blessing and I’ll be sending you a response soon! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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