What happens when pursuit of ministry causes someone to neglect other important aspects of life, specifically family? Michele Phoenix calls upon her firsthand experience as a missionary kid to explore that very question in her novel Of Stillness and Storm.
“It’s the story of a family that moves to Nepal to serve those that are the poorest in the country, but the story really begins with the husband, Sam’s, calling to this people group.”
In Sam’s mind, his calling from God is crystal clear. However, his wife Lauren and their son don’t see things the way he does. Sam and his wife even sought the advice of elders in the church who all expressed caution at Sam’s perceived calling. Despite Lauren’s repeated attempts to convince Sam that this lifestyle change wasn’t for them, Sam was bound and determined to go anyway, so they did.
What was driving Sam to throw caution to the wind and pursue what he was convinced was his calling despite the warnings of others?
Michele says that while this story is fictional, it plays out time and time again around the globe.
“Sam has decided that God has called him and therefore nothing will stand in his way. I think we’ve all known people who will always come back with but God, but God called me, but God told me. In a more humorous way, we hear people say that God told them to marry someone, but then what happens if God didn’t tell the other person as well.”
Michele suggests that we might be wise to seek the counsel of others before we assume the voice we heard was actually God.
“I think we diminish God when we think that us thinking we heard His voice is enough. Sometimes it’s just our hurry to find significance to do a work that nobody else is doing or that sense of accomplishment that motivates us. Sometimes that hurry stands in the way of everybody being on board and if we waited a bit longer everyone would be on board.”
Michèle Phoenix is a mentor, writer and speaker with a heart for missionaries’ kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy in Germany before launching her own ministry advocating for Third Culture Kids. She now travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group.
Key Scripture: 1 Timothy 5:8
Featured Songs: Hills and Valleys – Tauren Wells; Do it Again – Elevation Worship; Tears – Matt HammittGod's calling to missions