Sovereign slowing

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Psalm 139:16b

For Valentine’s day, I finally managed to get our wedding album printed. It only took 16 years! Emelie and I first started dreaming about ministry in Sweden before we got married. After we got married and began working in the East End of London, we planned that we would move to Sweden after six years. That seemed like a good plan at the time, as the London Olympics were six years away and lots of our evangelism strategy was about planning for ministry around that event.

We faced many personal challenges at the church we were serving, and after seven years we left the ministry in the East End feeling battered and broken. We were in no position to move to Sweden and start a fresh new ministry. We still had a lot to learn. So instead, we moved to Chessington to serve at Chessington Evangelical Church (CEC). We have now been serving there for nearly six years. Our time here has been healing for our souls. Through CEC God increased our confidence in His Word, given us a wonderfully supportive family and helped us to experience what a united Eldership looks like.all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Two boys with their newly adopted sister

One of the great joys over the past few years has been the joy of adopting two children. If we had moved to Sweden back in 2012 as we originally planned these two amazing children would not be ours. I can’t imagine a world without them! As a parent of four, I can tell you that there is no emotional difference between the love you feel for your biological or adoptive children. Adoption is not second best. The root into the family may be a different one, but I take great comfort in knowing that God ordained them being our children before the foundation of the world, just as much as He did our biological ones. Because of this truth, I like to think of us being one of God’s ‘always meant to be families.’

Why am I saying all this? Well, because, ‘in their hearts, humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.’

Emelie and I had our plans. And we did not, would not, have planned any of it the way that it has happened. But God establishes our steps. We are so much better equipped for Sweden now that we could have been in 2012. We have a better knowledge of the task ahead. We have a fantastic support network in place. And we have four beautiful children to take with us on this journey. I am so grateful for God’s sovereignly slowing down our plans.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”

Proverbs 16:9

As I ponder this, it gives me reasons to rejoice as I think ahead to all the unknowns of the coming years. Covid. Brexit fallout. Housing. Finances. Teen angst. Death. Taxes. There are so many things that are ultimately outside of my control, but praise the Lord they are all in His! As long as we trust Him every single one of them will work out for His glory and our good.

I may not know what the family album will look like 16 years from now. But I know that all our days are written in His book, and that will be enough for me.