It started with a suggestion…
“You should try to get back with your wife at some point.”
This suggestion was made in August 2012, while I was still in France for two weeks’ worth of teaching at the Bible School. I had experienced what I thought was God’s call, I had let it set for a couple of days, and I was speaking with Bro. Brochu.
Up to that point, the bulk of my experience in France had been just that… my experience, Liz had only been there once, in 2006. Bro. Brochu thought that it’d be a good thing for us to come back together, experience it together, and see what/if God would speak to my wife.
Hatching a Plan
After I returned home, it happened that my wife decided to take some time, in October, to go see her parents in Belgium, along with Timo and a friend. She wanted to take her friend to see Paris and asked if I knew anyone who could show them the city. I assured her that I could, and off they went; their guide would meet them on Friday morning at 11:00am, in front of Notre Dame Cathedral.
To their surprise, the guide was me.
(At the time, Liz worked for Air Canada so it was possible for us to get inexpensive tickets based on stand-by travel.)
I flew out 2 days after them, arriving in Paris Friday morning. We spent the day touring the city together, all four of us, and then we headed down to Châtellerault to spend the night at the Château de la Motte (behind us) just a short distance from the Brochu’s church.
The pretext was that, for our friend’s first time in Europe, it should be memorable, so we were staying in a 15th century castle, turned Bed & Breakfast (cheaper than ANY hotel you’ll find in Paris). We would attend church with the Brochus on Sunday morning after dining with them Saturday night. Following church on Sunday I drove Liz, Sally and Timo back to Belgium, to continue their time with family, and I flew back to Canada Monday morning.
It’s possible to characterize it as sneaky I suppose, because I’d not yet spoken with Liz about what I’d felt the previous August. My reasoning was this: one of the things I’d asked God was to speak some things directly to her so that, if we did end up there, she’d know that she too was called to France, that she too had a role to play, and would not simply be “tagging along with me while I exercised my call”.
This trip created an opportunity for her to experience God’s presence and the people in that place, without an expressed expectation that could color her experience before-hand. It would give an experience that could be factored into her own process of sensing God’s direction.
Bro. Brochu’s advice was good.
- If you are married or engaged
(or if “your call” will have a direct impact on someone else)…
- If you did not experience the call of God together, at the same time, and
- If you are able to make it happen…
…a visit to the place of your calling is well worth the effort. It will only solidify the foundation that will support your ministry later.
Can God make a specific call without both of you having been onsite? Of course. In some cases it won’t be possible to both visit the place beforehand. In those cases God will allow other things to happen to confirm his call.
The main thing is… seek at all cost, to be on the same page with others that your call will affect. Here are two related posts, dealing with your spouse and your pastor, that highlight the importance of being on the same page.