Of course we had heard a lot of words of caution regarding the dangers of visiting Mexico, but we have had plenty of people caution us about most of the things we do in life (planting a church, foster parenting, adopting, marrying an older woman, marrying a younger man, moving to Canada, living in an RV, you get the picture). We have not let fear or even caution direct our steps very often in life. We do try to listen to the voice of God. Now that can be hard to do, and honestly I am sure I have gotten His voice confused with something else more than once.
But this time it felt like God had opened up an amazing door for our family to do some ministry in Mexico and have another chapter of adventure in our life at the same time. Perhaps God was juts seeing how willing we were. A friend of mine recently said peace is a big indicator of God's will in your life, and I have always felt the same way. The morning we got up to leave for Mexico I woke up with a knot in my stomach. For some reason a big part of me did not want to go. I was feeling this was an unsafe position to put my kids in. I shook it off as nervous jitters and listening too much to the well-intentioned naysayers. So we packed up the van and headed to the Laredo crossing 150 minutes away. I said nothing to Patsy about my feelings.
I let her drive as I studied the maps of Mexico and tried to commit to memory where our route would take us, as we discovered our GPS had no coverage in this area of Mexico. Then our van started to act just a little funny. The steering was making some funny noises and acting a little weird. Nothing serious I was sure, but that knot in my gut was not going away. So then I committed and said something to Patsy about my feelings. She is the cautious one of our duo, so she was surprised how I felt but very soon began to feel dubious about going to Monterrey. Especially when I told her about the State Department warning specifically warning about the Monterrey area.
I made a few phone calls to friends and family, asking for advice and prayer. Then I made the call the the host missions agency and told them we at least wanted to get the van looked at before we went in. Of course finding a mechanic in Laredo outside of a Jiffy Lube or Walmart wasn't easy, so we decided to head over to San Antonio and spend the night there. The van still isn't sounding perfect, I think the power steering fluid may need to be flushed, nothing major. Anyway it was getting dark so we knew we weren't going into Mexico at night. Finally we settled on listening to our hearts and simply decided not to head into Mexico.
Yes we were disappointed, especially Blake and me. But who can fathom the mind of God and perhaps what He foresaw if we did make this trip. So while in general I do try to encourage people to live an adventurous life of faith and to not let fear dictate their life choices, I do highly recommend that you let God order your steps and be open to His voice at any time! He doesn't always make sense, and He even seemingly asks you to do one thing only to change course midway (think Abraham and Isaac on the mountain).
So in the end wether anyone was wondering or even reads this post, it is always a good reminder for me to write these things down as a memory stone for myself and my family of just how important it is to hear the voice of God and obey.